Online advertising is a $149 billion business. If you don’t happen to work for a big name magazine, newspaper, or some other media outlet, one of the best things you can do is to create an online blog of some kind that includes professional photo books of previous work. You can’t just upload pictures and drop them into online professional photo books, though. When you publish an image online, there are actually ways to optimize them to help search engines find them.
There are various ways this is done, but here are a couple quick tips that cover the basics of publishing images into things like online professional photo books and keyword tagging.
- File Names Matter: This is for all those photographers with some numerical or otherwise non-descriptive system for naming files. What you name the file of your pictures matters. Yes, the file name many mistakenly believe is only looked at by them or whoever they send the actual file to. Google and other search engines also look at this file name to determine what’s contained in the image and what kind of searchers they should show it to.So to be clear, naming a picture you took of the Grand Canyon “Grand-Canyon-at-Sunrise.jpg” is much more informative to Google than “IMG00123.jpg.”
- Alt Tags, Too: The same basic principles can be applied to alt tagging your pictures too. While the file name can be helpful, alt tagging is the first thing search engine’s like Google look at when trying to decipher if your image will be of value to a given user’s image search query.You want to be a little more descriptive than the file name, but don’t overdo it. “Keyword stuffing,” or jamming a bunch of words you’d like to rank on/relate to in the alt tag, is an excellent way to get your professional photo books flagged as spam by Google. Pretend you’re a reporter, and stick to the facts. Say exactly what the picture is and get out.
- Surrounding Content Provides Context: You might want your professional books to be only pictures, which is ok, but it could hurt your exposure. The content of the page that your pictures are on are also used by Google to determine subject and value. The more you can tell Google, the more favorable it will be towards you. Make sure the content you include relates to the subject matter of the picture or else you could be knocked for sending a confusing message.