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Continuing the theme of Church Website Photography month, in this post I’m going to share an easy photo-related SEO trick anyone can do. Not many web admins do this, so if you do, it will give your website an advantage in the search engines.
Google is very smart, but it doesn’t understand photos.
It can see where the photos are on your website but it doesn’t know what’s in a photo. Therefore, it relies on website developers and admins to explain what’s in each photo using what is called the “ALT attribute.”
The ALT attribute provides alternate information about a photo in case a website visitor cannot view it (for example if they have a slow Internet connection, have images turned off, or are visually impaired and uses a screen reader).
Bad: Most website admins ignore the ALT attribute and leave it blank.
Better: Some admins put a few descriptive words in the ALT attribute.
Best: Smart website admins who want their website to rank better in search engines craft their ALT attributes to include words that describe the image and keywords they want to rank well for.
Here’s a view in the website editor of an image showing the pastor of my church and his family.
The “Alternative Text” includes the name of the pastor, his wife and kids, which puts this image in the “better” category I described earlier.
The best alt attribute (alternative text) would be something like this:
Our church meets in Safety Harbor, FL. We want to rank well for “church in Safety Harbor.” By including this keyword phrase in the alt attribute, it helps Google understand this is what our website is about, and helps our church to rank better for this keyword.
Note: this text is not a caption. This text cannot be seen by website visitors (unless they are using screen reader or viewing the source code), so changing the alt attribute does not change the appearance or text of your website at all.
On-page SEO is about helping search engines better understand what your website is about. -Paul Steinbrueck
Take action! Go through your website and add keywords to the alt attributes of your photos and other images. Also, from now on, every time you add new photos to your website, be sure to include a keyword-rich alt attribute for each one.
If you’re thinking you’d rather turn your SEO over to experienced professionals, let’s schedule a free consultation to talk about how we can help you with SEO for your church, school, ministry, or business.
Post a comment – have you optimized your images by including keywords in the alt attribute? Why or why not?