Since there are so many photographers and photography websites it is very hard to get your pictures noticed on the internet. You may really be a very talented and experienced photographer and you may indeed have many great pictures. But how to you get the word out on the internet? How do you get your pictures noticed? What do you do to have your pictures show up in an internet search like Google, Yahoo or Bing? Fortunately there are some steps that you can take so that your pictures become “visible”. Read on and see what I have found out about making my pictures “visible” on the internet.
Without text your pictures are dead on the internet
This is the basic principle about making your pictures known on the internet. I realized pretty quickly that search engine robots have no idea what is in the pictures I publish on the internet. I can have a gorgeous sunset picture in Monterey Bay, and it can be the best sunset picture in the world (well…not really). However, software agents that come and scan your website where your picture has been published, well “they” have no way of interpreting the pixels and knowing it’s a great sunset picture. In order for this great sunset picture to become “visible” to software robots is to have text around the picture. In addition, it’s not any kind of text, but meaningful text that will make your pictures “live” well on the internet.
Unless you have meaningful text around your great pictures, your great pictures will remain “dead” on the internet.
With that being said, what kind of picture meta data do you have to add on websites where you publish your pictures?
If you publish your pictures on your own website the following things are the most important things that you can do to get your pictures noticed on the internet.
Add meaningful and specific description of your picture in the
img HTML tag.
Have proper HTML tags for your images. This means that you fill in the
title attributes of the
img tag. This is very important to the search engines when they index your pictures. So, make sure the text in your
alt attribute really represents your pictures. On the other hand don’t overload it with keywords either because it will look like spam to search engines.
<img src="http://somewhere.com/images/image1.jpg" alt="Storm clouds gathering at sunset time in Monterey, California." title="Sunset can be an awesome time during a storm in Monterey, California."/>
Add specific description of your picture around the
alt attribute of the
img tag is crucial for search engines, the text around your images is also very important. Make sure you have some text directly before the image or after the image. In addition, this text has to also be meaningful and it should describe the image in more detail. You can reuse the text in the
alt attribute, or make small changes to it to add more details about the image. Make sure that the two texts do not contradict each other :) .
<p> Storm clouds are slowly gathering at sunset in Monterey, California. <img src="http://somwhere.com/images/image1.jpg" alt="Storm clouds gathering at sunset time in Monterey, California." title="Storm clouds are slowly gathering at sunset in Monterey, California."/> </p>
Flash sites will keep your pictures dead because they are “closed” to the search engines.
After this discussion about having meaningful text around your pictures, Flash sites do not make much sense. It is very true that Flash sites look a lot better than regular HTML sites. It is also true that Flash sites will make your pictures look great and very professional. However, if your goals is to get your pictures indexed by Search Engines, then you have to leave your Flash sites alone, or create a regular HTML site in addition and point to your Flash site from it.
In summary, creating textual descriptions of your pictures is good not only for your readers but also it is extremely important for search engines. In essence, you are creating metadata about your image and placing it around your image on an HTML page.
Use a good photo gallery generator.
For best SEO results for your images use an HTML based photo gallery instead of a Flash gallery. I know I have already said this, but it’s very important. I use a gallery generator that gives me the flexibility to add descriptions for my images and also meaningful
alt text. I love using Extreme Thumbnail Generator. I have looked at many other gallery generators, but this one is by far the most flexible. I can insert meaningful descriptions and Google ads as well.
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I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has excellent photo editing capabilities. Yes, Lightroom has a steeper learning curve as you have to learn to keep your catalogs in sync with your hard drive. However, Adobe Lightroom makes most sense especially when you do lots of image editing.
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