Blogging Graphics and Alt tags

I recently did a post about my friend’s blog. I usually like using a graphic or photo with my posts. Since his post is influenced by Greek philosophy I wanted something kind of Greeky. I know I have a photo of (Artemis) Diana and her faithful hound.

The problem is it was taken with my old 35 millimeter film camera. That means it is in a box with a whole lot of other photos. I spent over 3 hours looking at old photos and still didn’t find it. However I did find a lot of pictures of attractive girls and dead people. Oh yes, there was also a young guy who looks a little like me.

While looking for the Goddess Diana I Found Shadows Of My Past
While looking for the Goddess Diana I Found Shadows Of My Past

I ended up using photos of the southwest. That is if you include San Antonio as the Southwest. Not quite Greek but I think they convey the same meaning for a certain people at a certain time in history. Perhaps they still carry that meaning for new generation. These symbols of place and people may even take on new meaning as time and myth transform them into something new.

There are several reasons for using a graphic (picture) in your blog. I used to think it was good for feeding the search engines. It probably still is. My recent experience is that no matter what I do the search engines, at least the one who sounds like the noise a baby makes, doesn’t like me.

Even if the search engines forsake you and cast you into the wilderness to eat only mushrooms and grasshoppers I still think it’s a good idea to use graphics.

Pictures make a post more interesting. I hope you find my pictures interesting even if the writing or typing leaves something to be desired.

When using graphics don’t forget to add an alt tag. Alt tags help search engines index your content. At least they used to. If search engines should ever decide to ignore these tags they will still be helpful for some of your readers. In WordPress you can add additional information about a picture including the Alt tag during the upload process.

The WordPress picture uploader is where you can ad alt tag and other helpful information about your pictures and graphics
The WordPress picture uploader is where you can add the alt tag and other helpful information about your pictures and graphics

There is some debate as to whether a person should watermark their photos. I personally like to add branding to my photos. The main reason I have not done so on this blog is because, this is my personal blog and it takes extra effort. It’s just one more thing to do before publishing. Like most people I have more to get done in a day than I have time to do it. But don’t be surprised to see it in the future. I was especially tempted to watermark the Petroglyph picture I posted.

I usually like to add a description along with the alt tag. I’m not sure if it helps with SEO (search engine optimization) but I like to add a bit of information about what people are seeing

Now the point of this post is, if you value your time it may be better to use stock art instead of your own graphics. In the long run you will save that most precious resource – Time.

I probably won’t use stock art, but then again, I am plagued with strange and unusual dreams that the average person is not burdened with.

Wishing you the best in blogging and the best in life,
Andrew Ledford

14 thoughts on “Blogging Graphics and Alt tags”

  1. Using images in your posts definitely enhances them. It makes them more appealing and easier to share on social networks. The search engines don’t necessary need them or want them, but if you use them it is a good idea to use an alt tag to describe the content of the image to the search engines. The caption field can be used to describe the image to your readers.

    I had to LOL at this: “Even if the search engines forsake you and cast you into the wilderness to eat only mushrooms and grasshoppers I still think it’s a good idea to use graphics.”

  2. I totally agree, graphics add white space, which gives the blog the appearance of an easy read. Plus, I like seeing how the author ties the photographs into the copy. You do a good job of that.

  3. I used to use Stock Photos exclusively, but I have since moved out of that and back into my own personal spin on my own graphics. Will it make a difference to the Search Engines? I highly doubt it… but it might to my readers, and that is who I write for. 🙂

    My favorite part of this post, Andrew:
    “While looking for the Goddess Diana I Found Shadows Of My Past”

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Alison, to write a post around a picture is a great idea. I think this is one of the best blogging tips I’ve heard.

  4. I think a combination of my own pictures and stock photos make sense. It does help if the pictures help communicate more than the words. Sometimes I read someone’s post just because the pictures draw me in. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. Good point about the watermarking. I haven’t done that and I’ve posted thousands of pictures that I take of the various sports teams my kids are on. Some shots are just amazing…love to share them! Great post!

  5. You have a personal writing style that stands your posts apart, Andrew. I agree with Wendy, Janet, Alison, Cliff, Oscar re: use of images. Pinterest has proven the power of “visual” and I’m more conscious these days about posting something that will entice a pin. I never watermark, but like you and Dennis point out, it’s something to think about. The uniqueness, value and quality of the image factor into whether to spend the time to mark it.

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