Images speak a thousand words. They add instant visual appeal to SEO blog posts and engage your readers emotionally. The truth is that you only have about thirty seconds or less to capture your readers’ interest and you want to do everything you can to get them to read down past the title of your post.  The use of eye-catching images along with descriptive heading (h2, h3, h4…) tags, that clearly outline what your post is about, is how you reel them in.

Finding and Saving Images

Let me start off by saying that it’s not a good idea to copy or use images taken directly from the Internet for your SEO blog posts. 

First of all, just because an image is on the Internet doesn’t mean that it’s public domain. If you use an image in a post that’s copyright protected, you are actually in violation of U.S. Copyright law.  Look for copyright info and never assume an image is free for the taking.  Here are two, free public domain image libraries you can use instead:  MorgueFile and Stock.XCHNG.

You always want to save an image as a file on your computer first, then upload it to your blogging system.  Also, make sure that you give images descriptive file names so they can be easily identified. 

Images found by searching Google Images could be hiding malicious code or be infected and unless you have antivirus protection that warns you that an image is unsafe, saving those images as a file on your computer can infect your computer. 

Get Found Now uses Avira antivirus protection. With Avira, a warning pops up, letting you know that the code behind the images, banners or flash could be from a dangerious site and potentially harmful to your machine, then puts the file into a quarantine folder.

Last but not least, images found on the Internet contain the source code from the website they were published on and you don’t want that code in your post. So, please allow me to repeat myself here – never copy and paste images found on the Internet directly into your blog posts. 

Purchasing High Quality Royalty Free Images

You can purchase high quality, royalty free images for a nominal fee (most are only a buck). Royalty free basically means that the original creator of the image doesn’t receive money each time the image is used and you pay a one time license fee for unlimited use of the image. 

Keep in mind that there is no exclusivity on royalty free images so other people can also purchase a license for the same image and use it as often as they want.  istockphoto has a wide selection of inexpensive, high quality, royalty free images to choose from. 

Blog Post Image Titles/ALT text

Although search engines can’t read images, they can read image titles/ALT text, so you want to make sure that you give each image in your post a title/ALT text description. Images without titles/ALT Text are not good for your SEO.  Also, people are able to see the title when they mouse over an image and it doesn’t look very professional when there’s no title or it reads “ALT text,”  because you skipped that step.

WordPress Image Captions 

WordPress gives you the option of adding image captions so you can give readers and search engines more detailed information about an image.  Unlike image titles that can only be seen if a person mouses over the image, caption text is visible in your post.

WordPress Image Links

WordPress gives you the option of  linking an image to another page within your website or to another website.  If you don’t have anywhere for the image link to go, delete the image link URL in the insert image box. 

Otherwise, when someone clicks on the image, the link will take them to the full size version of the image or will jump them to the home page. Either way, your reader has left the post and the chances of them making the effort to back to it are next to none.

Adding Maps to your Blog Posts

When it comes to maps, you’ll get more geo-targeted SEO results by embedding the iframe code of a Google map into html than inserting an image of a map into your post, even with a geo-targeted title/ALT text description.  To learn more about the SEO benefits of embedding the iframe of Google maps into pages and step-by-step instructions, please read Website Geo-targeting for Area Authority using Embedded Google Maps.

Get Found Now!  A Content Focused SEO Company

Entice more people to read your SEO business blog posts by including eye catching images. Remember, the more people that read your posts and link back to them, the better your website ranking and search engine placement will be.  No matter how you look at it, adding images to your blog posts is good for usability and good for SEO!

**If you would like to leave a comment on this post or check out the after-post discussion (questions and banter), visit A Blog about SEO Blogging on ActiveRain.  Due to the unprecedented amounts of spam, spamouflage and security issues, we have disallowed comments on Get Found Now.  ActiveRain is an open forum for questions and we invite you to ask, comment AND disagree!

Search Engine Optimization and Quality Content – The Best of Both Worlds! 

On our website, we give away a ton of free, up-to-date SEO information for webmasters, written by Michael Stankard, and expert business blogging tips for non-SEO experts, written by Victoria Stankard. Learn more about why people-focused, optimized content on WordPress is the answer for top, organic search engine placement SEO WordPress success – the Diva and Cowboy Way!

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