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SEO Tip: How to Use Alt Tagging for Backlinks

If you have a website, you know that it’s important to have high-quality, beautiful images. Not only do they show potential clients what they can expect when working with you, but they can also sometimes lead to backlinks if you utilize alt tags properly.

family of five playing at cannon beach and drawing in sand with haystack rock behind them

What are alt tags?

Alt tags are the text that appears when an image fails to load on a website. They are also used by search engines to understand the content of an image and help users find what they are looking for, as well as to tell people using screen readers what the image is about. By adding relevant keywords to the alt tags of your images, you increase the chances of your images appearing in search results and being found by potential users. It is also much better to have an image with relevant alt tags next to the part of your blog post that is talking about something similar. For example, if your alt text in your photo says “Family of 5 running around and laughing with a beautiful mountain scene behind them” then the words around that photo could be talking about a fun family photo session in the mountains. Just make sure that the alt text you use does actually describe the image.

closeup of mom and dads hands on pregnant belly

Imagine that you have a photo of a dad swinging his kid around at sunset on your website. You’ve added keywords like “dad,” “kid,” and “sunset” to the alt tag description of your photo. Someone who works at an online publication might be looking for a photo like this to use in an article so they search Google for “dad swinging kid at sunset” and your photo shows up in the results. They see your photo and email you asking for permission to use your photo in their article. Score!

This is where it gets interesting. Depending on the publication and their policies, they may offer to pay you for the use of your image, then you can earn some extra income from your photo. But even if they don’t, they may offer to link to your website as credit for the photo. Depending on the size and popularity of the publication, this could be a very valuable backlink, as it increases the credibility and authority of your website in the eyes of search engines.

If you pay for a backlink, a lot of times it’s classified as “no follow” which doesn’t give you a great boost with Google. But when you aren’t getting paid, it’s typically a “do follow” link, the most valuable kind of backlink. So it’s up to you if you want to make money or grab a great backlink.

Family playing in a field with alpacas

Backlinks are important for a few reasons. First, they can help improve your website’s search engine ranking. Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of a website. One of the factors that these algorithms consider is the number and quality of backlinks that a website has. If your website has a lot of backlinks from reputable websites, then search engines will view your website as more relevant and trustworthy. This can help your website rank higher in search engine results, which can drive more traffic to your site.

mom in blue dress playing with baby splashing in river

Be Careful of Scams

I’m adding this here because if you are hoping to get publications sending you email requests to use your photos, you do need to be aware that some may be spam. Once you start to rise in the Google rankings, that means more eyes will be on your website. That’s good, but it also means that you’ll get more spam emails. A very common scam is an email asking you to post their link on your website in exchange for them putting your link on their website. These types of requests are often not legitimate and are most likely trying to get you to click on their link and steal your information, or to gain your trust and then use that to their advantage. If you receive an email like this, it’s best to immediately block and delete it. Definitely don’t click any links. If you aren’t sure, google their website yourself rather than clicking their link. Also check the email address and see if it is actually coming from the publication they said. Google the person and the publication to see if they work there. Basically, do your research before believing anything! If they haven’t mentioned their site name, it’s probably a scam. 

Mom and daughter sitting in field of flowers

Alt tagging your photos can be a simple way to increase the chances of backlinks to your website. Sure, it’s not guaranteed to happen, but there are other benefits to alt-tagging so it’s definitely worth your time.

Would you love to learn more helpful tips like these to help your family photography business grow? Enroll in Family Photography Biz School and get your photography business running smoothly and attracting the right kind of clients!

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