Weekly WordPress Tip Number 2

WordPress Tip #2: Your pics need titles, too

Image optimisation for SEO, part 2.

Add calls to action, explanatory text and, arguably, a little bit of SEO juice to your images…

The image title attribute (or tag) is best seen as a piece of text that acts as a tool tip. In many browsers, it pops up when you hover your mouse over an image. Although, it’s not absolutely essential to optimising your images, if you have the time, it’s well worth doing.

There is debate as to whether image title text adds any major SEO benefit though we do know that Googlebot does read the title text and many users who have tested results themselves swear by the fact that image title text does affect rankings in Google’s image search.

Whether or not, image title text has SEO ‘juice’, it can improve user experience and increase click through, by including a call to action in the text.

So if you were unlucky enough to be a proud owner of the Voice Christmas Jumper 2015 and thought now was a good time to sell it, you might want to add this text to your image title:
“Buy the Voice Christmas Jumper 2015 here.”

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How to add the image title attribute in WordPress

After adding an image to your page or post using the visual editor, left clicking on the image will show a small edit bar above, then click on the pencil (edit) to display image details.

Edit image details in the WordPress Visual editor

On the left, the last option is a drop-down to reveal advanced options, with the first being the Image Title Attribute.

Adding the image Title Attribute text in WordPress

Enter your text here and click update. Remember to save your changes to the whole page, or you’ll lose it won’t take effect.

A quick time saver, can be to use a neat little plugin called Restore Image Title uses the Title from files in the media library as the Image Title attribute. However, you will no longer be able to have a different Image Title Attribute than the Title of the media files, which could either compromise getting the most value from SEO or the ability to easily locate the image you want.

Media files Title field

Not to be confused with the Image Title Attribute, the Title field is used internally by the WordPress media library to display in the list of your media files. There must always be a Title set and so WordPress generates a title from the filename upon upload.

Having a helpful Title for an uploaded file will make life easier when searching for a certain image. This is particularly important as the media library grows, and finding the picture you want manually becomes harder and harder.

It’s important to note that the Title is also used to set the alt text when there isn’t any set. We talk more about alt text in tip#3 of image optimisation.

How to use media file titles to help you find images in WordPress

In the WordPress media library, click on an image to display the Attachment details window. On the right are the attachment details which includes the Title field where you can edit the Title text.

Insert Title text in WordPress

Any change you make will update automatically if you hit the enter key, or perform a left mouse button click outside of the box.

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