Last week I shared 4 tips for creating more effective post images and several of you commented and/or e-mailed how much you appreciated the tips and would like more like them. Thus, in line with last week’s topic, this week I am sharing with you a few tips I’ve been learning about optimizing the Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description settings of your post images to make them go viral.
To begin, we must have a basic understanding of what the post title, caption, alt text, and description are, where to find them, and why they matter. Both Blogger and WordPress incorporate image settings but all to often bloggers don’t even know they are there or if they do, they may have no idea what purpose they serve. So let’s first find out WHERE your image settings are located.
Where Are My Post Image Settings?
In WordPress, you can find your image settings either to the right side of your screen when you upload an image or by clicking on the edit image tool on the image from within the post editing window.
In Blogger, the settings are actually set up in two locations. To begin, you can find your caption settings by selecting “add caption” from the image toolbar when you click on the image from within your post editing window.
To edit the Title and/or alt text you must select “properties” from the toolbar. There are no description settings in Blogger.
What are My Post Image Settings?
Understanding the Post Title
The post title is what is shown when the mouse hovers over an image. It’s also the default description others see when posting to Pinterest–no default title, no default Pinterest description. In addition, if you set your image up to open in an attachment page (WordPress only), it is also the title of the attachment page. Finally, if you incorporate the image in an image gallery it often times appears by default below the gallery image, depending on which plug-in you are using.
Understanding the Post Caption
The post caption is the description that appears on your blog below the image. Above, you can see the description of my title image as “Tips for Optimizing the Title, Caption, Alt Text, and Description Settings to Make Your Post Images Go Viral.”
Understanding the Alt Text
The alternate text is what the search engine bots see when scanning your post or what is displayed via text readers when the post image cannot be displayed.
Understanding the Description
Exclusive to WordPress, the description is available for when you want the image to open in an attachment page. The description will preceed the image on the attachment page.
7 Tips for Setting Up Your Post Images to Go Viral
Now that we understanding what a blog’s image settings are, here are 7 tips for setting up your post images to go viral and bring the traffic back to you.
- Add a web address watermark on your images. You can either do this through the use of a plug-in such as Watermark Reloaded (WordPress users only) or by adding a watermark to your images before you upload them to your blog via Microsoft Publisher, Photoshop, iPiccy or some other photo editing software. This allows the viewer to know where the image came from even if the originally pinned address gets lost in the shuffle.
- Save your image to your computer with a filename that is SEO-friendly. What does this mean? Search engines like image file names that use hyphens instead of spaces, keywords instead of photo numbers, and jpg or gif files over png. In addition, SEO prefers filenames with 4 words or less. Who knew, right? Yes, it all matters. So for this post’s title image, I saved it to my computer as “viral-post-images.jpg” just to make sure I have all my bases covered.
- Create a Title with Pinterest and Twitter in mind (even if you don’t have a Pinterest and/or Twitter account). Since Pinterest automatically incorporates the Title into a pinner’s description, think of how you want the description to appear to gain the most post traffic. Both Pinterest and Twitter incorporate hashtags (#) for optimal searching so choose a keyword or two and mark it carefully in the title. In addition, many pinners often tweet about their pins so include your Twitter handle (@) as well. For example, my title for this post is “How to Optimize Post Images to Go Viral #pinterest #twitter @kathygossen”. Remember to keep titles 120 characters or less so that they may be re-tweeted without alteration.
- Bold your captions and incorporate keywords near the front of the caption to gain more search engine traffic. By bolding the text, it draws more attention to the image for the search engine bots.
- Incorporate your post’s keyword in the alt text for optimal SEO. For instance, my keyword for this post is “post images” so my alt text for the title image is “Viral Post Images”–clean for a text reader but optimized for SEO.
- Add an automatic pin-it button on or below your images. I like the Hover Pin-It plug-in for WordPress and know that many Blogspot users like the hover button provided through this tutorial on Blogger Sentral.
- Finally, get the ball rolling by tweeting and pinning and sharing the image on your boards, group boards, and link-up parties. Remember, you are your own PR representative so get out there and spread the news.
And that’s it! Your images are now set up to go viral. Now go out and conquer the world! 😉
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15