You’re familiar with the usual search engine optimization advice: put keywords in your site and page titles and meta tags; make sure your page copy contains the words you want people to find in search. Those are good places to start, and you’re probably doing them already.
If you’re ready to do more to help your site be found, here are three less-obvious tips that you can quickly start utilizing on every new page you publish.
1. Use dashes, not underscores, in file and image names
Search engine algorithms are written to treat dashes in file names as though they were spaces. That is, if your file is named “yellow-daffodil.jpg,” Google will read this as “Yellow Daffodil” and will return a match when someone searches for that phrase.
But if you name it “yellow_daffodil.jpg,” Google reads it as “yellowdaffodil,” all one word. If someone searches “yellow daffodil,” a file named “yellow_daffodil.jpg,” may show up in the rankings, but it will be listed far below better matches.
2. Add more information to your image alt tags
You are using alt tags for all your images, aren’t you?
An alt tag was originally intended to be the placeholder text that would show on a web page when the image is not displayed, either because the file isn’t available or the user has images turned off. But Google indexes the alt tags as well as the file names. It’s a golden opportunity to add some additional information.
If you are selling products, make sure that the alt tag contains the manufacturer’s product number as well as its name. If the product is really specific, say a free-motion quilting foot for particular models of Janome sewing machines, make sure that this information is also found in the alt tag.
A tag that says “Janome Part 767409012 Free Motion Quilting Foot for High Shank DB Hook Models” will rank much higher in a specific search than one reading merely “Janome Free motion quilting foot”– and will lead potential customers directly to your catalog to buy.
3. Put keywords in title tags for all links
Did you know that you can add a title tag to your links as well as to your images? The newest version of WordPress makes it easy to do, giving you the opportunity to add more pertinent keywords to your blog post, website, or catalog listing.
A title tag contains text that will appear in a tooltip bubble when you hover your mouse over it.
Now your link will show up in searches for “lime green tee shirt free shipping.” Cool!