3 Tips for Using Images in Your Blog Posts for Better SEO | Sara Does SEO

We’re thrilled to have Sara Does SEO providing her expertise regarding better blog post Search Engine Optimization (SEO) this week!


You might think blogging for SEO is all about writing tons of written content, but images play a huge role in your blog post’s search engine ranking too.

As a wedding industry SEO consultant, I always make sure my clients’ blog posts include images, and that they’re optimized well to help the post rank.

Here are 3 of my top tips for using images in your wedding industry blogging.

1. Resize Your Images Before Uploading

Page load speed is so important to Google.  One of the biggest reasons I find that sites are slow and don’t rank well is that they use HUGE, unoptimized images uploaded directly from a photographer’s high-res files.

Don’t lose visitors or rank from too-large images.  Make sure to resize them before uploading.

I like to use Photoshop’s Save for Web tool for image resizing, because I can set a size, set a file format (usually JPG), and adjust the Quality down as far as I can without losing visual quality.

You can use Photoshop’s Batch Processor to do this process on a big folder of photos, if you’re uploading a full gallery or a wedding recap blog post.

Here are the image optimization stats I recommend:

  • Resize to 1400px maximum on the longest side of the photo (unless it’s going to be used for a full-width header image.  In that case, increasing to 1600px+ may make sense) 

  • Aim for 200kb file size or under per photo

  • Save photos as JPG.  Save screenshots or graphics with limited colors as PNG.

2. Rename your image filenames before uploading

What are you using as your image filenames?  I’m talking about the actual name of the image that you see when you look for it on your computer.

Image filenames are a big part of getting your image and your post found on Google.  The filename explains to search engines what is shown in the image, and Google recommends that filenames for images be “short, but descriptive.”

You should always give your image a filename that describes what’s shown in the image and/or what the topic of your post is.

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For example, I might name this image included in this post as “flowers-wax-seals-wedding-blog-post-image.jpg”  This is descriptive of what is shown in the image, and it includes “blog post image” which is what this post is all about.

Tips for renaming images

  • Rename before uploading, as some website platforms do not let you rename images that have been uploaded to your site.

  • Keep image names short but descriptive.

  • Do not stuff random keywords into your image filenames if they don’t apply to what’s shown in the image.

For more information and examples of image filenames, check out my article What Should I Name My Images for SEO?

3. Use Photos and Graphics Throughout Your Blog Post

If you want your blog post to rank on Google, you have to keep readers on your post and your site as long as possible.  Google monitors how long your visitors spend on your post, so you want to increase “dwell time” to show that readers find your content valuable.

A great way to keep readers on your post longer is to break up text with images and graphics.

Use relevant images not just at the top of a post, but also throughout the content.  Many readers will only scan the written content but will stop to look at the photos and read the photos’ captions.  

Here’s an example of using an image within your content. Were you scanning this post but stopped to read this caption?

Here’s an example of using an image within your content. Were you scanning this post but stopped to read this caption?

If you don’t have enough useful photos, I’m sure Pops of Pretty can help!

Sara Dunn is a wedding SEO consultant at SaraDoesSEO.com, helping wedding planners, photographers, venues, florists, and more reach rockstar status on Google. Sara can be regularly found contributing to such notable industry sites as Rising Tide Society, Special Events, WeddingIQ, AllSeated and WedAltered. 


If you found this post as helpful (seriously, isn’t Sara is amazing?!), be sure to check out our last blog post with some of our top tips for blogging success here!

Blogging as a Wedding Pro

We know that not everyone is on the blogging bandwagon. We get it. However, blogging should be an integral part of your marketing strategy IF you:

  • Want to show couples you’re working (by sharing your best work)

  • Have things you want to share with your couples that go beyond the initial consultation

  • Want to share your expertise and better prepare your couples for working with you

  • You plan to use Pinterest

  • Want to increase your SEO

  • Want to drive traffic to your website (and keep people viewing instead of bouncing)

Now we’re going to walk you through the flow of your blog posts and what should be included in each.

Each post should include:

  • Title (your category + location + details- example: Alex + Jordan’s Charlotte XYZ Venue Wedding | Charlotte Wedding Planner)

  • Copy (body text)

  • Images (at least 1, up to 50ish)

  • Inbound + Outbound Links (linking to additional blog posts, links to participating vendors)

  • Tags/Categories (such as “real wedding” + “spring” “ballroom” “boho style”)

  • Customized hyperlink (the address of the blog)

We recommend drafting you text, loading your images, adding credits/backlinks THEN formatting at the very end.

Not sure what to write? We hear you! When sharing about a real wedding, a simple formula to follow:

  • Tell your readers about the venue or location (and what you love about it)

  • Tell your readers about the style

  • Share something personal about the couple

  • Tell them about what service or product of yours they used

Next up, think about how the content flows.

Vary your formatting.

Use the “headlines” to highlight important content and key search terms/words. Below is an example of how that to use each format type.


 

Your most important text should be a headline 1 (ex: titles within the post, top search terms).

Your secondary text, which is also important but not your “main” keyword should be headline 2. Think about the venue name, wedding style, the educational topic, etc.

Headline 3 is our favorite for lists, bullet points and other important content (such as vendor credits/back-links)

Quote style is for something you want people to really remember!

Headline 1

Headline 2

Headline 3

Quote

 

Aside from varying formatting, all blogs should also include images. There are so many fun ways to use images to break up the text. From collages (our favorite tool is BlogStomp) to sliders to galleries. If you don’t have many images to work with, or are focusing on a topic versus a real wedding, Pops of Pretty images are perfect fillers!

This image below is a collage style (long form are great for especially great for Pinterest).

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This is the carousel style (also known as a slider).

This is a gallery style. This can be formatted in a variety of ways. This is considered a grid. If you love Instagram, this is the style that most closely mimics the platform. Thumbnails are great for a “clean” format, but be sure to add a lightbox feature (the option to click and make the image larger) to enhance the viewer’s experience.

Of course, having a consistent format is ideal, but switching things up keeps it interesting. So test a few and see what works best for your viewers and for you (tip- posts that include galleries tend to be faster to create than stacking single images).

Now that you know how to format your blog, let’s talk about pictures!

The most common thing you may miss is naming and adding alt text to your images.

When it comes to naming your images, the quickest “fix” is to add your business name + type of work (ie: California Wedding Planner - XYZ Wedding).

If you have an Apple computer, THIS is a quick tutorial for renaming multiple images at a time.

You can also do this in Blogstomp using the batch or freestyle feature.

Download this blog checklist to make sure you’re hitting all the steps and join Pops of Pretty to help you fill the imagery gaps!

Once you’re in a groove with producing regular content, Search Engine Optimizing your blog is key for getting it seen by a new audience. Because SEO is a beast on it’s own, we’re super excited that Sara Dunn with Sara Does SEO wrote THIS guest blog for us with loads of actionable image SEO tips!

Top Tips for Instagram Success - Pictures, Captions, Hashtags, Oh my!
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Instagram success doesn’t have a secret formula.

Just like any marketing platform, it takes time & testing to determine what will work best. Feeling overwhelmed by the what to post, when to post and how often can make anyone’s head spin. However, the current generation of couples is using Instagram regularly, so if you want to reach them, you need to be too!

 
 

Instagram is a powerful visual platform, so choosing the right imagery is the first step for “success”. But it’s not just about photos anymore.

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Your captions have a huge impact on the level of engagement a post can create (fun fact- 3% is considered average, however, the fewer followers you have, the higher your rates usually are), as well as how people view you, your experience and the potential of doing business with you. #nopressure

When you find yourself stuck, here are some great topics to discuss in your feed

  • Educate your followers. Couples are hungry for tips, delivered in an upbeat yet straightforward way.

  • Talk about where you get inspiration. This may just spark the interest and desire to work with you, and help couples craft a better vision for the day.

  • Share one of your core values or mission statement

  • Texture tips (our linen inspo gallery works perfectly for this)

  • Explain who your ideal couple is (yes, you CAN put that info out into the universe)

  • Tell people about your favorite part of the wedding day

  • Provide a budget breakdown for a wedding expense that couples often don’t understand or are surprised by

  • Attire tips - share tips for wedding wear during the various seasons in your market

  • Timeline tips- talk about how to save time or things to keep in mind to ensure that the day runs smooth (ps- this is a great opportunity to promo how you can help with this).

  • Share a collage of color combinations

  • Tell them something fun & interesting about yourself

  • Share a wedding nightmare (names shall not be named- ha!) and how you handled it

There are enough ideas here to get you through 1/2 a month of posting! Whoa! Use a tool like Planoly and you could knock this out in under an hour (or two). You can also use Pops of Pretty imagery to bridge the gap when you’re real event content is getting sparse.

 
 

We love how @aisleplaniteverywhere interspersed Pops of Pretty Images with her events. It helps to visually diversify her feed and makes the posts that are educational/tip-based more obvious.

Love how  @aisleplaniteverywhere  interspersed Pops of Pretty Images with her events. It helps to visually diversify her feed and makes the posts that are educational/tip-based more obvious.
 

Caption Tip

Be sure to always end your caption with a call to action. What do you want people to do? Read a blog post? Email you? Answer a question. Like your photo? Let them know with concise wording.


Now that you know what to include on your post, let’s talk about hashtags.

Statistically, your post will reach far more people when using hashtags, then not.

Most of us know that we should be using hashtags, but deciding which ones to use (and how to find them) can often feel like a challenge. If hashtags seem like a mystery to you, think about what is in the image and what you want couples to know or find you for. When you start looking at them as search terms, it's much easier to determine what should be used.

Quick Hashtag tips:

  • Hashtag your location + wedding vendor on every post (ex: #Torontoweddingplanner #nycweddingvenue #atlantabridalsalon )

  • Place your hashtags in the caption area to ensure they're searchable

  • Use between 10-30 hashtags per post for maximum reach

  • Find two to three hashtags to engage with each day. Customer centric tags such as #weddingvenuehunting & #recentlyengaged are a great place to start

To help kickstart your hashtag research, here is a collection of wedding industry hashtags that we’ve found beneficial for reach + impressions. Switch them up to suit your needs + geography. 

#weddingpro #weddingprof #weddingindustry #weddingvendors #weddingprofessional #weddingbusinessbosses #weddingindustryeducation #abcassoc #thisisnace #risingtidesociety #weddingcompany #eventprof #weddingplanners #eventplannerlife #weddingplannerlife

Avoid using generic tags such as #wedding, #bride, #groom and do your best to specify the ‘what kind’ question- #floridawedding, #tampawedding, #bohowedding are significantly more beneficial for reaching your target client.

We hope this is makes Instagram a little less overwhelming! There is SO much more that we can share, and will in the near future. For now, get posting! Consistency is key!

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