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Tips for driving traffic to your photo blog

April 26, 2010
screenshot2010-04-26at1-37-26pm.png

My mistake - not filling out the text fields

I recently heard an episode 145 of This Week In Photography podcast where the the CEO of Woopra, John P. discussed how photographers can optimize their content to create a larger web presence and driving traffic to your image-intensive blog. Here is what he said.

  • Even if you are a niche photographer, try to sometimes shoot photographs that have mass appeal.
  • Never have photographs on your blog that don’t have text associated with them. Google search engines can’t understand pictures; they can only read text associated with it. Your picture will never turn up in an image search because Google doesn’t know what it is. Annotate your photographs as follows:
    • ALWAYS change IMG_00045.jpg to a key word loaded filename. For example an image of your dog should be called golden-retriever.jpg. This name doesn’t only describe that its a dog but also what type of dog. Separate the words with a dash instead of lumping them together. This helps Google read them as two words.
    • In a WordPress blog for example (I am sure other blogging platforms are similar, but I am familiar with WordPress since innBrooklyn is on WordPress), when you upload an image, there is a window where you can type the title, alternate text and description. In the example above you must fill out the title as ‘Golden Retriever’ and the alternate text as ‘Golden Retriever’. The description should be at least a couple of paragraphs long where you should describe your dog using as many key words as possible. You may think that this is unnecessary because this doesn’t show up on your blog post and all the text is hidden.. but to Google it’s the only thing that’s visible. When the page is generated Google can read all that because it is hidden in the HTML code. The actual code associated with the page will look like ahref=golden-retriever.jpg, title=Golden Retriever, alt=Golden Retriever. What you have done is just taken a photo that is called IMG_00045.jpg and loaded it with information that describes it. When people go to Google and do an image search your photo will appear. If they click on your photo, it will take them to your website and this will generate traffic.
    • Always post your photos on flickr.com in addition to your blog since flickr is ranked very high on Google. Link back to your blog.
    • Don’t use flash on your website since flash images cannot be found by a search engine since there is no text associated with. In addition, since iPhone and iPad cannot run flash, by using flash you will eliminate millions of users.
    • Submit your photos to stumbleupon.com and link back to your website. Stumbleupon has a loyal community of nine to ten million users or ‘stumblers’. If a few ‘stumblers’ give your photos a thumbs up, stumbleupon will show your photo more often, which will generate more clicks to your website.
    • Get involved in social media and join Twitter and Facebook. An interesting stat that John shared was that among all Woorpa users, facebook alone sends 52% of the traffic to their blog or website. This number is much greater than Twitter contrary to popular belief.

Once you have a good amount of traffic, Woopra is a great app to monitor to your blog. Woopra is a real time monitoring solution for a website. It allows you to see how many people are on it at a moment, what country they are searching from, what browser they are on, what hardware they have, what resolution is their monitor and what they are doing at that moment on your website. It doesn’t work on the free version of WordPress.com yet.

-by Noerah

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010 1:54 pm

    That’s interesting. I’ve never thought about that! I’ll definitely fill out the text fields from now on.

    • April 26, 2010 1:59 pm

      The photo above is actually from my photography post and I didn’t fill out the fields myself. I too will be more careful in the future.. or maybe one day when I have time, I will actually go back and add text to all the pictures on the blog!

  2. April 28, 2010 1:37 am

    This is fantastic information. Thanks so much!

  3. trissalicious permalink
    April 28, 2010 5:42 am

    Thank you for this post – honestly, very helpful. I’ve done this to my pictures before. I should start soon. In fact, am thinking of re-labelling my pictures now.

  4. May 2, 2010 9:20 am

    this info is very much appreciated noerah.

    its just this kind of stuff that makes my head swirl when all i want to do is take photos, write and be in my kitchen/garden. seeing it laid out very clearly like this is helpful to cats like me.

    thanks! 🙂

    • May 3, 2010 7:31 am

      I know what you mean this stuff can be pretty tedious. Even though Talia and I have our duties divided (she is the cook and writer and the major force behind this blog – I just take pretty pictures) I still find it difficult to keep up with ‘good photo housekeeping’! I have been trying though.

  5. May 2, 2010 3:35 pm

    I just got to reading this, and am glad for the tips! I’ve been so busy, that I’ve let flickr fall behind… That, and my computer is still so slow that it is simply “trying” to get anything done on it! Hopefully, we’ll remedy that soon, and I can get to work using your hints!

    • May 5, 2010 7:38 pm

      Yeah you definitely need a new computer from what i know about your existing machine. I have been dutifully tagging the photos faithfully. Let’s see how long that lasts.

  6. May 12, 2011 9:02 pm

    Noerah, thanks. I only very recently dug myself out of the bad habit of not re-labelling photos. I hadn’t thought of this point, but it makes sense about traffic. Do you know if there’s some way to automatically link up flickr and your wordpress uploads so you don’t have to do it twice?

    • May 12, 2011 10:01 pm

      Thanks, Sara. I am glad you found the tips useful. The only way I know to upload pictures simultaneously to different websites is by using posterous.com. It sends photos or text to many websites including WordPress and Flickr. The only problem is that I think it will send the photos to WordPress as a post (and by doing so, enter them in your WordPress media library as well). You then will have to go to your website and delete the post. Play around with.. maybe you can make it work. Let me know if you figure something out – Noerah

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