How to Optimize a Website Based on Images
If you run an imaged based website, you probably already know that special considerations need to be taken into account in order to optimize your site for the search engines. After all, the search engines usually base their search results on text as it is really hard to get accurate search results based on the images themselves. However fear not, as there are some things that you can do to optimize a website that is primarily based around images.
Optimize the Text around the Images
Google’s Matt Cutts advises image based site owners to optimize the text around the images wherever possible. This includes the page title, the caption of the photograph, the paragraph describing the image and the ‘alt’ tags of the image itself. Although many image based site owners prefer a minimalist look and like the image to be the star of the page, Cutts suggests that if you want your website to be found by the search engines you need to include text. Even just adding a small description of the photograph that includes your target keywords can help the search engines to pick up your page.
If you’re still not too keen on including much text with your images, the second option you have is including a blog within your website. Your blog can be about anything to do with your images, it can talk about upcoming art events and festivals or it can be about how you create your images in the first place. The key here is to include your targeted keywords in your blog posts and then link to your images from your blog pages.
Another way to optimize your website based on images is to allow your website viewers to comment on your image. Comments are also picked up by the search engines and if the comments include your keywords your page ranking will increase. Of course, you can (and should) moderate the comments so that they aren’t full of spam, but the content of a comments section can increase the amount of content on a page, hence help the search engines to find you.
Like any website, image based or not, you still need to promote your website to increase your visitors. Social media is great for this and websites like Twitter, Facebook and Stumble Upon can all help you to garner an internet following. In the art world, social media marketing is especially good, as research has shown that readers are more likely to tweet or share a photograph that they like than a page of content. You might however want to disable the ‘right click and save’ option on your photographs to prevent people from stealing your images. This will encourage people to link to your website instead and more backlinks = a higher search engine ranking.
Use a Pinging Service and a Sitemap
By using a pinging service like ours at Pingler, the search engines are immediately notified when you update your website. This helps them to index your pages quicker and again helps your pages to appear on the search engines. You should also look into creating a sitemap for your images – the search engines love to crawl through these and it can also increase your keyword ranking.
The most important thing to do is include high quality art on your pages. Don’t go too overboard on the optimizing if it means your art suffers as a result. By following these steps you can make the most out of the images you place on your website and also increase the value of your website for both your website readers and the search engines.