There are a lot of online sellers out there that create beautiful pieces of crafts, products, and or artwork but have very little knowledge of how the internet works. A lot of time this lack of knowledge makes us feel as if we’re spinning our wheels and getting nowhere or worse yet like our products aren’t good enough for the market place. In all reality you’re most likely battling obscurity, no one knows who you are yet. A few weeks ago we addressed the topic of adding descriptions and keywords to your product photograph to enhance the content that you share which in turn helps build up references to who you are and what products you have in the marketplace. This week I would like to address the topic of Title and Image Attributes better known as “ALT Text”.
For those of you just starting out with your online store or those that feel that you are struggling to be found online, I recommend not only reading this article but checking out the previous article as well before you start uploading your product images to any selling or social sharing network. Depending on the platform you are adding your photos to; these tips could help you improve your rankings much quicker than others in your industry and a lot quicker than going without them.
Default Titles for Photographs
Just a quick tidbit on how your images are captured. When you take a picture either with a traditional digital camera or your cell phone, the photograph is instantly given a title based on the cell phone or cameras settings. Unless you manually go into your camera and change the settings the titles of the photographs usually get labeled as a default with “Untitled” plus a sequential number or odd lettering plus sequential numbers. This is done so that the cell phone or camera doesn’t overwrite an existing image in your library, automation is great isn’t it?
What This Has To Do With Product Photography
Google, Yahoo, Bing and every other search engine uses context to help index both web pages and photographs. Some social media sites, blogs, selling platforms and photo sharing sites utilize titles as well for searches. Every time someone searches for a product the search engines or platforms send out “Spiders” to crawl billions of web pages looking for relevant information to that search, then it neatly organizes it into a list “search results” for the viewer to review; this includes photographs. When you upload your product photos using the straight out of camera title such as Untitled, you are losing valuable space that could otherwise be used to describe your product.
Here Is An Example:
I’m a landscape and nature photographer and I sell my prints online in my art gallery in a variety of ways as well as on a few other platforms. All of my photographs have a unique name (well I try anyway) but a lot of the time that unique name doesn’t describe what the photo is of or my industry, so I have to add a little more to the titles. I’m going to use my landscape photo Kissed By The Sea. As you can see, Kissed By the Sea is a beautiful sunrise on the beach as the tide rolls in around the ruins of a washed out pier. Originally, my camera recorded this image with the title untitled-115, which isn’t very helpful for being found on the internet; this is true for any product not just for the sale of photography prints.
Before I upload any image of mine I go through the Metadata and add all relevant information the search engines might need in order to find me when someone searches for that item, the title is always the first to be edited. I not only add the unique photograph name but I also add one or two main keywords into the title as well. Here are the 4 other product photo versions of Kissed By the Sea that I share on my website, on the selling platforms, and on my social media page. Again, a few platforms strip out the data but most leave the written content of the metadata intact. As your business grows so will your web presence and the variety of platforms that you gather followers on, so it will always be more beneficial to prepare your product photographs for the majority rather than the minority.
Because a lot of people have trouble visualizing what the photographs would look like printed and hung on their walls I also create mock-up product photographs of my nature and landscape photographs; these are shared on different platforms as well; all of which have the embedded keywords, descriptions and titles.
Landscape Photo: Kissed by the Sea Canvas Print
Landscape Photography: Kissed by the Sea Reproduction and Fine Art Prints
Landscape Photo: Kissed by the Sea Canvas Print Mock-Up
Landscape Photography: Kissed by the Sea Reproduction and Fine Art Prints
It doesn’t matter what you sell, as long as you can describe it in context, titling your product photography will work for any industry. I recommend doing research on keywords for your particular industry to find out which words or phrases would be most beneficial to you and your products. One of the resources I like to use is Google Adwords. they have a section in the ad planner that helps you defined your keywords for your ads and it shows you just how many times a month those particular words are searched for.
Image Attributes “Alt Text”
Alt text is quite simple really, it is an area of metadata that you can add a written description of what the image is of or what is going on in the image. The image attribute Alt Text is mainly used by the search engines if the person is having trouble displaying the visual photograph; the browser will display the written content in place of the photograph. Adding a small little blurb about the photograph will go a long way. We’ll use Kissed By The Sea again as an example: The alt text or image attribute for this landscape photograph is “Beautiful landscape photograph of the sun rising over a beach with soft rolling waves washing ashore”. Once again keywords are used, this time they’re used mainly for the user experience but it does also helps with the crawling of search engines as well.
How to Edit Image Titles:
In your editing software there is a option to change the metadata, this is the same location that you can add a description and keywords as well. The second option if you just want to change the title is “rename” it through the dropdown menu when you right click the .jpg.
Being an artist, a marketing manager, an accountant, a sales rep and so many other roles that a creative business owner must be can be challenging and unfortunately there is no quick fixes to increasing traffic to our website. However, the more you build the references of keywords the more chances you have at being seen. Using keywording the titles of Product photography is just one way to build references for free.
Please let me know your thoughts about this article and if you have time check out my website please visit: PI Photography and Fine Art.
About the Photographer:
Melissa Fague is an emerging nature and landscape photographer from Bear, Delaware USA. In just a few short years her work has been published over two dozen times and she has won multiple national and international awards for her beautiful photographs. Her most recent accomplishment is her first published photograph in an international publication with a worldwide distribution, “Landscape Photography Magazine”. Melissa is passionate about the art of photography and nature. Exploring areas and creating photographs is her form of stress relief and art therapy, but she also loves to share her visions so that others can enjoy. Her goal is to one day be ranked among the most famous nature photographers in the world. All of Melissa’s nature and landscape photographs are available for purchase, visit Pi Photography and Fine Art.