3 Basic Shopping Cart Advices To Optimizing Images For Web Stores

June 22, 2011 by  Filed under: SEO 

For SEO purposes, it is always advisable to use text instead of images on your store pages. However, if you run a web store, you will find that not only must you optimize your shopping cart powered store for search engines, you also need to optimize it for shoppers as well. Therefore, the use of images is necessary.

Most people find it easier to optimize text content because of various SEO tools provided by shopping cart software and forsake optimizing images.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to optimize images so they are search engine friendly. The idea is basically the same as optimizing content for web pages. The key is to make sure search engines are able to relate the image to the page content or search terms you are targeting.

Image File Name
The first thing you have to look at is the image file name. Let us say you have a store selling jeans and you have an image of a model wearing a pair of jeans located on a particular product page. Make sure the image file name contains the apparel name or a keyword you are targeting for that product page. Please do not name the image ‘On Sale Image 1’. That is way too generic.

Just to be on the safe side, prepare your keywords before you begin creating your store images. That way you can save them with appropriate keywords. It is all about naming the image within the context of the page.

Alternative Text
Many SEO experts consider alternative text to be just about the most important element when optimizing images. It is the element search engines look at most when deciding what the image is all about. This is especially so if the image used is for the header banner of the site.

Alternative text or Alt Text for short, should convey the same information as the image itself. You should prepare alternative text with the visually impaired in mind. The text should be succinct with targeted or related keywords included. But most importantly, it must be able to relay the same message as the image it represents.

Try not to use the same keyword you used in your image title for your alternative text. Some search engines might consider this as keyword stuffing and you might get penalized for it.

Surrounding Text
To encourage relevancy, make sure the text or content surrounding the image gel with each other. To do this, slot in some content above and below the image.

Shopping cart software usually segregates a page into 3 parts for which you can insert content. So you can easily insert a couple of sentences, with one or two keywords, at the top section followed by a longer writeup at the bottom section. You may insert the optimized image in the middle or main section.

Bonus Shopping Cart Tips
Try not to use too many images on a page. If you would like to use sliders, make sure they are not Flash based as search engines are still unable to read Flash content. Also, try to limit the file size of your image. The bigger your image file size the slower your page loads and one of the factors Google looks at when ranking a site is load times.

Harry Goldberg is a retired ecommerce entrepreneur who has built and sold over 100 online stores. He now shares his ideas and tips on how to make full use of shopping cart features and where to obtain free ecommerce templates.

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