Not so very long ago, no one even thought of putting images on their blogs – they just wrote a whole bunch of words and hit “publish”. Now, it’s difficult to read through actual news articles if there are no images to help us stay interested. But it’s not enough to just throw some images in your posts – let’s make sure your blog images are working for you.

Check Photo Size

If you load several large images on every blog post, your blog will begin to load more and more slowly – and everyone knows there are too many blogs out there to sit and wait for a slow one! A typical image on a blog post should be around 650 pixels wide, but you can size yours up or down depending on the pageview specs your theme is based on. With the advances in camera phones, even images snapped on your iPhone need to be resized.

If you truly don’t think you can handle adding one more thing to your blog post creation schedule, have no fear, there are plug-ins! Here is a list and here is another one. Thank goodness people who know more about this stuff than I do make lists. (Note: All of these plug-ins are for WordPress, so if you’re using Blogger you will need to edit your photos with a photo editor before you upload them to your blog.)

Name and Describe Your Images Appropriately for SEO

Once you have your photo adequately sized and ready to upload, you need to be sure that the name you give it is going to boost your SEO. Think about what you search for when you’re looking for images yourself – do you ever search for ‘image2440.jpg’? No? Well neither does anyone else. If you want people to find your blog through an image search (and they will if you help them!) you have to use words in your file name that they are looking for.

Use descriptive names, and include keywords that make sense. For example, if your post title is “How to Paint Wicker Furniture”, use that title for the name of your featured image, and make your key words ‘paint wicker furniture’. For a photo of the tools you use for your project, a good name would be ‘tools required to paint wicker furniture’.

After you’ve settled on the name of your image, don’t forget to put something in your Alt Text field. When someone pins or re-pins your image to Pinterest, this is the text that gets pulled along with the image, so it should be exactly what you want to show up. Many folks re-pin images without changing the descriptions at all, so if yours is informative and points people back to your blog, this small step will increase your chances of getting some new readers.

Make your description conversational – a short sentence that describes what your image represents works fine. Or, it could be the title of your post, with your URL behind the description. Like this: ‘Make Your Photos Work Harder |’. Every image in your post can have the same Alt Text, so it’s easy to copy and paste this section.

These tips do add a couple of steps to your work, but they are vital to keeping your words on top of the pack online. Just a couple of extra minutes will bring a ton of SEO love your way!