Add Alt Text to Images for SEO

ElyEly Big grinsPosts: 68Registered Users Big grins

Hi, I am trying to restructure my website www.northwestlondonheadshots.co.uk to make it as SEO friendly as possible. I keep reading that adding alt text to images is essential but I don't quite understand how to do it. I know you need to add this HTML tag text but where, since it will have to be for each image? I am going to add keywords for images but I don't want to add caption as it's a headshot website so all images are titled something like "men/women north west london headshots". Can someone please advise? Thanks!

Comments

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    for some reason it didnt let me copy and past the HTML text

  • annnna8888annnna8888 Slovenian Support Her0 SloveniaPosts: 929Registered Users, Super Moderators SmugMug Employee

    Ely, the title (or caption if there is no title) will be used as Alt tag for your photos. If you don't want to use titles/captions on your photos, add keywords as those are seen and indexed by search engines, too.

    Ana
    SmugMug Support Hero

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    Thank you!

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 80Registered Users Big grins

    @annnna8888 said:
    Ely, the title (or caption if there is no title) will be used as Alt tag for your photos. If you don't want to use titles/captions on your photos, add keywords as those are seen and indexed by search engines, too.

    Ana
    SmugMug Support Hero

    Hi Ana,
    I add a question, since it's also my trouble. I've read many siscussion here, asked the SmugMug support, but I always have doubts.

    Personally I like to have the lightbox clean and without text, since I also don't need it for my type of website (wedding, events). None of my colleagues use a similar lightboxs, but they can add alt text usign wordpress and other platforms.
    Anyway, I started using title and caption for a couple of galleries and I've seen that photos (and therefore also the galleries) are better indexed on google. So, even if I don't like it so much, I'll start to update all my galleries.
    I also use keyword, not for and internal keyword search since I don't like this feature but for the web search, keyword pages are indexed very good (sometimes better that the other webpages)

    My question is: do I have to insert both Title and Caption? Being the Caption with a smaller text, and not having much text to write, I'd rather use a phrase in the Caption and leave the Title empty.
    Since Smugmug should extract the Alt text automatically, I'd think that it's the same if I use Title and/or Caption.

    As proof, I've just done this test, by using the same text in the same photo and after analyzing the source code of the pages:
    1) If I write Title + Caption, Alt text will be crawled only from the Title, leaving aside what I've written in Caption
    2) If I write only Caption, Alt text will be crawled from there
    The extracted text is not modified, so if I write 2 words or 2000, this is put without changes in the text alt (from here I guess it's better to write a few words or a phrase, otherwise google takes the Alt text as spam...).

    But, if you tell me that it's better to have both for the the "SmugMug Alt text crawler", even if in this case the Alt text will only be crawled from Title, I'll continue to write both.

    Thank you for any reply!

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    Yes, I agree with you. I'd also rather just use Caption as the Title text is too big. My problem is that I have a headshots website so all the images are basically titled the same "Headshots in NW London".... which I'd rather not use but at the same time I understand I need to keep some image text for SEO purposes.
    It'd be interesting to know whether or not the Alt text will be crawled from the Caption when there is no Title text

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 80Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 18, 2018

    Same thing for me Ely, I'd almost always have the same Caption...even if it's not nice to see, it's fundamental to have it written for SEO. Try to use a series of synonyms, it will increase your SEO.

    I can confirm this, if you write only Caption this will be used as Alt text. Take a look at this screenshot, the showed alt text is written in the Caption field, while the Title field is empty.

    If you write Title and Caption, only the Title will be used as Alt text. It would be interesting to know if it is worth to have both, even if in this case only Title text will be used.

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    Thanks!

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 3,946Registered Users Major grins

    @Ely said:
    Yes, I agree with you. I'd also rather just use Caption as the Title text is too big. My problem is that I have a headshots website so all the images are basically titled the same "Headshots in NW London".... which I'd rather not use but at the same time I understand I need to keep some image text for SEO purposes.
    It'd be interesting to know whether or not the Alt text will be crawled from the Caption when there is no Title text

    If you're concerned about SEO, you need TEXT on a page(s) and not just alt tags. Having alt tags okay but it isn't the holy grail. You want to rank you need a good <title> element, a good page title and content (text).

  • AllenAllen "tweak 'til it squeaks" St. Louis, MoPosts: 9,422Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2018

    How does that have anything to do with photos. Smugmug is absolutely terrible for image searches. The other photo sites have much higher ranking then Smug. My blog photos pop up real quick but not from Smug. These are photos I use Smug links on my blog.

    Al - Just a volunteer here having fun
    My Website | My Blog
  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    @Hikin' Mike said:

    @Ely said:
    Yes, I agree with you. I'd also rather just use Caption as the Title text is too big. My problem is that I have a headshots website so all the images are basically titled the same "Headshots in NW London".... which I'd rather not use but at the same time I understand I need to keep some image text for SEO purposes.
    It'd be interesting to know whether or not the Alt text will be crawled from the Caption when there is no Title text

    If you're concerned about SEO, you need TEXT on a page(s) and not just alt tags. Having alt tags okay but it isn't the holy grail. You want to rank you need a good <title> element, a good page title and content (text).

    All my pages have a good title and content, though I am still working on things. As for the single images I will definitely keep the caption because it looks smaller and nicer than the title, or are you saying that the photo title is more important than the caption? I can't keep both as it looks awful considering that being all headshots of non famous people the titles/captions are all basically the same....

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    @Allen said:
    How does that have anything to do with photos. Smugmug is absolutely terrible for image searches. The other photo sites have much higher ranking then Smug. My blog photos pop up real quick but not from Smug. These are photos I use Smug links on my blog.

    Are you saying that Smugmug is not good for high ranking on Google search even if you have good page titles and content etc? Well, if so that's going to be a problem since I just launched a new business and high ranking is essential for me... Just to clarify, I don't want the single photos to have high ranking, but I want the website to have it if that makes sense?

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 80Registered Users Big grins

    I recently asked for information in this regard, about google image search. SmugMug must surely increase the indexing of the photos.

    It remains to understand if it's enough to use the Captions or if we also need to insert the Title, for the Alt text. Hope that some SmugHero can answer.

    That said, webpages indexing is the most important and from my experience if your site is well optimized this platform is works fine...and that's why I'm using it.

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    Cool sdb thanks, I will read that thread. And like you I am hoping for some SmugHero to let us know if image Captions are enough or we also need to insert image Titles

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 3,946Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2018

    @Ely said:
    All my pages have a good title and content, though I am still working on things.

    You still have a lot to do. Read my SEO for the Photographer (in my signature below) as a start.

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    A> @Hikin' Mike said:

    @Ely said:
    All my pages have a good title and content, though I am still working on things.

    You still have a lot to do. Read my SEO for the Photographer (in my signature below) as a start.

    I updated the Homepage Meta Description, added title, description and keywords to all Pages, Galleries and Folders, resized and named all the single photos (as well as adding meta data) and added a caption and/or title on here ...... I think I am doing everything right but all the changes don't seem to appear on Google search yet.... maybe it takes a few days before they do?

    Thanks for the link, I will read it now

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 80Registered Users Big grins

    It will take weeks...months...before seeing increasing results. But this is so for all the sites.

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    @sdb said:
    It will take weeks...months...before seeing increasing results. But this is so for all the sites.

    I am not talking about increasing results. I am talking about simply entering my homepage and all other pages' URLs on the google search and not seeing the page, gallery, folder title and description as I wrote/updated it, if that makes sense?

    I have updated the homepage meta description before and it took a few days before it got updated in the google search.

    But no luck with the galleries, pages etc. is that because it takes a long time before getting updated etc?

    Thanks

  • sdbsdb italyPosts: 80Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 20, 2018

    Ok, I understand. Yes, I noticed it too (also other members), slowly updates in google search. Normally, after changing title metatile etc in a few days it could be seen on google, when you type site:www...your link

    Probably it's due to the big update that SmugMug is doing, the transition of the whole platform to the SSL security certificate.

    More than this I can't tell you...not being an expert.

  • ElyEly Big grins Posts: 68Registered Users Big grins

    Thanks sdb. I didn't know about the big update. I am going to wait a week or so, then starting worrying....

  • Hikin' MikeHikin' Mike Walkin' like a Penguin! Atwater, CaPosts: 3,946Registered Users Major grins

    @sdb said:
    Ok, I understand. Yes, I noticed it too (also other members), slowly updates in google search. Normally, after changing title metatile etc in a few days it could be seen on google, when you type site:www...your link

    Probably it's due to the big update that SmugMug is doing, the transition of the whole platform to the SSL security certificate.

    More than this I can't tell you...not being an expert.

    The update from SmugMug has nothing to do with Google re-indexing your (or anybody else's) website. It can take a few days, weeks, months or never for Google to re-index new content.

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