Friday, February 29, 2008

When a Picture Is Not Worth 1000 Words: SEO Hint #6

Photos add tremendous value to your blog, both in search engine optimization and total visual appeal. The key is to make sure that your photos, videos, audio files and other multimedia don't dominate your blog.
SEO Hint #6: Get the most from search engine optimization by offering captions, transcripts, and alt tags on your multimedia.
Increasing search engine page rank with photos

Photos, graphs, charts, and icons add visual appeal to your website. A good photo will add a thousand words to your readers brain, however it won't add a thousand words to your search engine rank. However, adding a caption or alt tag (alternative text tag) will add a few words, and if you plan it right, they will be important keywords. Alt tags in particular are helpful because search engines know what the image is showing.

Unfortunately for fans of Blogger this is one of its shortcomings. There is no easy way to add alternative text tags or captions to individual images that you upload. If I find that a particular page is getting search engine traffic, I will go back and manually update the image tags. This requires a basic knowledge of HTML, so it isn't for everyone.

If your website is created using software such as Dreamweaver it's very easy to add alternative text tags to your images. Some blogging software can also use this feature.

Captions are a little trickier to add manually, it's not for the casual blogger. But if you know HTML and CSS, it may be worth your time.

Increasing search engine rank with video and audio clips

Very recently, Google has started including video in its major search engine results. They have several products in beta testing that actually listen to video and audio files and try to determine the content. It's just a matter of time before video and audio become far more important in your content creation.

Meanwhile, as of yesterday, here's how to get the most out of video.

If you add audio and video to your blog I strongly recommend writing a post with some text that precedes the embedded audio or video files. Describe details of the audio or video file content using keywords important to your site.

If the actual content of the audio or video file contains keywords I would recommend offering a full transcript, excerpts, or a least a link to the transcript.

I spent about two weeks studying some new techniques to get traffic using video files. I'll be reporting back once I've documented success or failure. It usually takes 60 to 90 days.

I guess this is a bit as good a time as any to announce that Jason's Million will be posting video tutorials soon for almost every major blog entry. I've been editing videos and will show you how to serve your videos free and get traffic to your blog using videos.

The best part is that even videos of funny looking people can be online moneymakers!
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