SEO 101: Using Images to Improve SEO

If you do a Google search for, example, “Wayne Rooney” it’s interesting to see which information Google chooses to display on page one of their search results:

1. Top rankings are given to Google News articles be it from the BBC, national newspaper (Guardian, Timesonline, Telegraph etc) or online portals such as Yahoo sport.

– You can choose to publish your press releases using an subscription based online newswire service such as PRWire, RealWire or Pressroom.

– And there are free to use newswire services paid for with PPC advertising such as free-press-release, freepressindex and openpr

– But if you can get your story published by a regional or national newspaper then you’ve cracked it!

Please be aware of the old adage that “yesterday’s news is chip paper”: Google News has a very short shelf life, so it may not be an appropriate channel for many B2B businesses in improving your SEO.

2. Google ranks Video very highly, so if you are not already embracing multimedia to communicate with your audience, then you need to start thinking about using YouTube videos as an important weapon within your SEO armoury.

3. Google Images are also right up there, illustrating the impact an image can have on SEO, providing it is relevant, has a good description and is correctly tagged for keywords.

I have been experimenting with using the popular Flickr service to improve SEO for a commercial online shopping site and am not convinced! I got my knuckles wrapped when including a link to an commercial e-commerce site from a Flickr Gallery:

“Don’t Use Flickr for Commercial Purposes Flickr is for personal use only. If you sell products, services or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account. Any other commercial use of Flickr, Flickr technologies (including APIs, Flickrmail, etc), or Flickr accounts must be approved by Flickr.”

Clearly Flickr doesn’t want it’s excellent service sullied by commercial interests… I didn’t try the alternative service, PhotoBucket, as I expect they have a similar policy.

So I decided to create an image gallery on my own website from the “Links” page which I optimised for SEO:

I ensured each image is optimised for SEO by ensuring (1) the image filename contains targeted keywords (2) I used all the html tags to ensure clear and accurate descriptions using html “title” and “alt” tags and (3) I included a target link into the online shopping site from each image.

Attractive design and usability should never be sacrificed to SEO so I also included a javascript based gallery feature which I selected from dynamicdrive.com: The popup feature image also includes an inbound deep link to the product description page on the online shopping site which will also great for SEO.

So in summary, my advice, year to date is to have your image gallery built into your own website, ensuring it uses good design, has targeted descriptions and clear html markup to get your images into Google Images.

Southern California is known through out America for its natural beauty and laid back culture. Made iconic in the 1960’s by the Beach Boys, Gidget and the invention of fast food, Southern California lives in the hearts and minds of Americana even today.

One of the most famous areas in all of Southern California is Orange County. Known for its unprecedented beauty and casual lifestyle, Orange County is home to some of California’s most beautiful beaches. These beaches offer a wide variety of activities for every taste. As you travel up and down the famous Pacific Coast Highway you will see why this area keeps locals smiling and people from around the world coming back year after year.

If world class surfing is what your looking for, Huntington Beach is a must see. Located in the northern part of Orange County, Huntington Beach lives up to its nickname Surf City, and is home to the US Open of surfing, one of the world’s largest surfing contests. After catching some world-class waves you can enjoy fine Southern California cuisine and a nightlife that includes live music and comedy clubs. While you’re on land stop into the Surfing Hall of Fame and experience this sports rich history.

Orange County also offers a more relaxing type of beach going for those looking for something a little more serene. Crystal Cove State Park is located on a beautiful stretch of California’s Pacific Coast Highway and offers three miles of Southern California coastline, wooded canyons, open bluffs and offshore waters designated as an underwater park. Located between Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar, Crystal Cove State Park also attracts bird watchers and mountain bikers from Orange County, the United States and the world!

Just a stones throw from Crystal Cove is Laguna Beach, Southern California’s oldest art colony. Home to famous artist such as Wyland, Laguna Beach has many remarkable art galleries. Be sure to take advantage of the free public trolley as you hop from gallery to gallery in this quaint Orange County community. When you need to satisfy the rumbling of your belly, stop into Sapphire Laguna, known for its comfort food inspired from around the world featuring the best Southern California has to offer. You will leave Laguna desiring more of what this little beach community has to offer.

Orange County is absolutely not a place to pass up when considering Southern C