Setting featured images for SEO

Did you know the featured image could increase a blog posts Search Engine Optimization SEO ratings?

What is the featured image? The featured image is the ‘thumbnail’ image that represents a single blog post.  This is the first image readers see even before they read the blog post content. It is also the first image that appears for all your other blog post in the blog post section. Furthermore, it is what people first see when they share links to the blog content on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn.

The featured image could easily attract a reader to even one particular blog post. First impressions last particularly considering we live in the virtual world. Therefore, choosing the featured image is important, especially when you want to get good traffic.

How do you take advantage of the featured image section, mostly accessible in WordPress, to optimize the search engine for your blog posts?

  • Pick a Photo

When you have many images on your blog post, the choice to pick one may be difficult. Despite this, you will need to pick just one image. On the other hand, if you do not have any image on your blog post, it is important to choose one.

The featured image should be your preferred image that will be used to represent the blog post.

Other than picking an image, it should be relevant, clearly, add value and be engaging. Read more on how to pick a featured image here.

  • Insert Featured Image

Now that you have already selected the image and are certain that all necessities have been met. How do you go about it?

One can insert a plug-in called ‘featured image’, which helps you improve your workflow by adding a new button labeled “Insert & set featured image” in the bottom right corner of the window.

There is also a featured image button, in the WordPress blogging platform, in the lower right section when writing a blog post.

How to install The Featured Image Plugin for an easier workflow:

In your WordPress dashboard via Plugins  got to Add New

Search “Instant Featured Image”

Click ‘Install Now’

Click Activate

  • Name the Image for SEO and Set Alt Text and Title Text (Description)

After inserting the featured image, you will need to name it. Naming will improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

When editing an image for a blog post, there is always the Alt Text and Title Text options other than naming the image. Most of us ignore these other options and deem them irrelevant. For an improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO) outlook for your blog posts, these options are very important.

The Alt Text appears in association with the image. It is meant to be an alternative information source for people who are unable to see the image in their browsers.

Therefore, the Alt Text should describe what the image is about in order to get visitors interested to see it and probably read the blog post. Have you ever wondered why some images are always displayed as an empty icon especially when you are unable to load them? This is because there was no alt text.

The Alt Text is also an additional way for search engines to identify your image.

The Title Text provides additional information, associated more with the title of your content.

When creating tags for naming the image, Alt Text and Title Text, make sure to include your main keywords. However, change them up so you are not keyword stuffing. This is when you overdo certain keywords, which can lead to major search engines banning your website temporarily or permanently.

After following all these steps, your images will become SEO friendly. You can then work on creating good content on your blog, which will be well matched with the set featured image.

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