5 minutes of Image Alt Tags!


5 minutes of Image Alt Tags!

What are alt tags and why are we telling you to do them?


Alt tags are alternative text for images in the content of your website.
They had their origins way back in the early days of the internet when some browsers didn’t display images. The text literally displayed to show people what image would have been there! But nowadays you should be interested in them because they provides Google with useful information about the subject matter of the image.


Google uses this information to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query when they are searching in Google images.
With image search, just as with web search, Google’s goal is to provide the best and most relevant search results to users. The filename is also important in giving Google clues about the subject matter of the image. So its worth considering renaming image files before you upload them to your website. Google does have some pretty clever technology going on with facial recognition and object recognition, but I would imagine these image tags will be relevant in your SEO in some way or another, for quite some time to come.


For example, swimming-with-the-dolphins-in-christchurch.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG.


So what is the task this week?


1 Check one page per day on your website, or 5 minutes per day.


2 For each image on the page in the editor, right click on the image and select Image Properties, complete the Alternative Text field and click OK. Here is a good example of size and content for alt text – “Christchurch activities – swimming with the dolphins”.


NOTE: Most people don’t bother doing this. It’s a good way to get ahead of the pack!




Just show me the picture!


Just show me the picture!

This is just in case, as I’m amazed at how many people are simply not aware of Google Images for searching.
On top of that you even ‘show’ Google and image to search for the same or similar images!


If you are one of those people browse to http://images.google.com/ right now!


Google images organises the images on the internet just like it does websites, and you can search in the normal way with keywords and phrases.


Searching by images can be a very efficient way to find companies by visually scanning for a logo you know, or for finding a product online by simply glancing down the page. Here are a few advanced tricks -


Google used to have a bunch of text strings you could put on the end of your search to filter what was returned to you. The most efficient way these days is to use the Advanced Image Search: http://www.google.com/advanced_image_search


This allows you to filter all sorts of things from the exact size of the image, to the colours included in it. Worth a look.


Google now has ‘Search by image’. Click on the camera icon by the image search bar. You simply upload an image by drag and drop, or just provide the url.







Check one Meta Title per day again!


Check one Meta Title per day again!

The secret of Meta Titles is there is NO secret! Most people just don’t bother doing them properly (or at all) on their website, and they are missing out. You may remember this one from some time ago!


We are repeating it because your Meta Title is SO important to Google we want you to check or finish the work you did last time. Also check any new pages you have created recently. This is a task that is on-going, there is no harm in reviewing your Meta Titles on a regular basis and tweaking them to your key phrases. It can also help to look at competition website that rank well. If you right click (depending on your  browser) and view the source code, you will be able to see the Meta Title they use. The homepage one is probably the most interesting. Don’t rely on what they have done, just use it for reference.


Meta Titles are the most important elements on your website when it comes to the search engines and Google. Your task for the next three weeks is easy-


1 Bookmark in your calendar to check one Meta Title a day.


2 Open the admin and click on Manage Pages.


3 For each page click on edit, then the SEO button on the editor toolbar.


4 Create an EFFECTIVE meta title by sticking to the following-


* It must be unique to the page i.e. can’t be the same as other pages!
* Think about what the page is about
* Think about the search phrases you are trying to optimise your site for
* Maximum length is 70 characters (there is a handy countdown next to the Meta Title field in the editor).
* Write it kind of like a sentence but with all those good search phrases in it that are specifically about this page! E.g.-
“Christchurch attractions & activities – dining out, Canterbury wines”


Watch our video on how to complete Meta Titles here.





Digital alternatives to paper business cards


Digital alternatives to paper business cards

Somehow I don’t think the humble business card is in danger of extinction just yet! But for the more adventurous these might alternatives -


1 For the insanely busy there is a company called CloudContacts. Send them your paper business cards you have collected at a conference, and CloudContacts will actually type up all the information on them. Then all you have to do is export the data to Microsoft Outlook, Facebook or another digital address book, and you’re set.


2 There is an application on the iPhone where you physically bump two phones together (they don’t actually have to touch) and your contact details are magically passed through the air. Really it’s true!


3 Remember the electonic pets called Tamagotchi? It’s back. You can wirelessly exchange contact information and social networks with another Poken user by “high-fouring,” or touching the paw-like RFID connectors together. To download your new contacts, you insert the Poken in your computer’s USB port . You heard it here.