Hey guys, in today’s post, I’m sharing “The Photo Error (I could have easily fixed) that Messed with My Pinterest Shares (And Hurt My SEO)”. This is for Day 3 of 5 of My Top 5 Painful Blogging Mistakes Series I’m doing this week.
Btw, does this post win award for longest blog post title or what?
What Went Wrong with My Pinterest Photos
Something funny started appearing when I was checking to see what people were pinning from The Chic Life.
My photos were being pinned, but the description was way off. A recipe for “Ina’s Salmon with Lentils” was displaying “IMG_2267.”
As it turns out, Pinterest was using my image “alt tag” to create the description:
This resulted in many of my photos having not very descriptive descriptions. Eep.
So, What’s an Alt Tag?
The alt tag is a piece of information related to a specific photo. Think of it as a brief description of your photo. It isn’t visible in your post, but you can see it if you click the “Edit” option on an image or switch to the “Text” version of your post in the WordPress Edit view:
Alt tags are used by sites that scan your blog (for example: Google) to help understand what your photos are, which helps it understand what your post/page/content is about.
They are also used for accessibility. For example, visitors who are blind or visually impaired may use a screen reader that will communicate the image to them by using the alt tag.
Alt Tag and SEO
According to Moz, the alt tag may impact your blog’s SEO (search engine optimization – what helps you turn up when people search for things on Google, etc.):
Using alt text on your images can make for a better user experience, but it may also help earn you both explicit and implicit SEO benefits. Along with implementing image title and file naming best practices, including alt text may also contribute to image SEO.
What to Put in Your Alt Tag
For helping create a good Pinterest description, site accessibility, and SEO reasons, you should be using your Alt tag.
Put a short description of the photo using real words that actually describe the photo.
Here’s what Google recommends for Alt tags:
Tip: I often put my blog post titles (or pieces of them) into the image alt tags in my post. This is because my title usually has my targeted key words (what I’m primarily trying to rank for in search engines. Having your key words in your title and image alt tags is good for SEO. I learned this thanks to Yoast, which is one of my must-use WordPress plugins. Curious? I’ll discuss this more tomorrow.
How to Populate the Alt Tag
There are 3 ways to populate the alt tag when editing a post in WordPress:
- Add a value when you upload an image to your post
- On a photo already in your post, hit the “Edit” option and fill in the “Alternative Text” value
- In the WordPress Text view – locate the img tag for the photo and fill in the alt tag manually
Need more help with this? Let me know, and I’ll write a more detailed post on this complete with screenshots.
Note: Some apps will automatically populate the alt tag. Make sure you review it and like what it says. You’re ultimately responsible for the quality of your photo alt tags.
You should always fill in the alt tag on your images.
What Else Should You Do in a Post?
Here are the 10 steps I follow to write a blog post, with tips on what I make sure is completed for each post.
Previous day of the Top 5 Blogging Mistakes Series: How I Lost Hundreds of Thousands of My Community | Top 5 Blogging Mistakes Day 2 of 5
Thanks so much for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post and it’s helping you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve already had to endure.