Is a picture really worth a thousand words? – (Part II)

Last time we looked at the basics of images use on websites. In this post I want to look at search engine optimisation and images.

An image isn’t worth a thousand words to a search engine!

Search engines deal with words. So if your site is all images and few words you are putting yourself behind the eight ball. Search engines NEED words. They feed on words in an effort to digest your website and rank it according to its relevance for certain keywords. If your site relies too heavily on images then your search engine ranking can suffer as a result.

The marriage of images and words – how to make it harmonious

Images and words complement each other. The images engage your visitors’ attention and the words sell your product or service. In addition, the words help your potential customers to find you via the search engines. It is important that you tell your story in an engaging and interesting fashion while maintaining the correct keyword density (between 3 and 5 percent). In addition, make use of the alt tags for the images using keywords that are relevant to the image. Image naming is also important. Many visually impaired people use screen readers. “Sportscar.jpg” is much more evocative than “135009.jpg”!

Don’t fall into the keyword mania trap!

I have seen sites where the text makes no sense because it has been written with only one type of visitor in mind – the search engine robots, crawlers and spiders. This may make this site number one on Google for the keyword search and they may get thousands of visitors but do they get conversions? I know of at least one company that pays large sums of money to an seo company to produce gobbledy gook, search engine specific text, that ranks number 1. Yet when I asked them how many enquiries and conversions they got from their website it was fewer than the Yellow Pages!

Write for both types of visitors – search engines and humans!

You have to remember that you have two types of visitors. Humans who want you to speak to them and show you understand their needs and how to help them. And search engines who want to find relevant keywords and follow links. If you make life easy for both these visitors you’ll have a successful site! (Here’s the plug!) A professional seo, web content copywriter can help you satisfy both sorts of visitors.

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