Here's how to use image Alt Text to lead cousins to your family history blog from BloggingGenealogy.com
Of course you do. ;)

Previously, I've shown you ways to lead cousins to your family history blog by using words. However, today, I'm going to show you how to lead cousins to your genealogy blog by using images.

[And let me just interrupt myself and encourage you to use at least one image in every blog post. It's more pleasing to the eye because it breaks up all those words. I can't tell you how many times I've landed on a family history blog and was disheartened by all the words. Don't get me wrong. I love to read. But?

When I'm trying to catch up on my blog reading wherever I may be on my iPhone, it's really nice to have an image or 2 to break up all those words.

Don't have an image of the ancestor(s) you're blogging about? Get creative. Find something in your family story or blog post that you can take a picture of that you have in or around your house. That way it's your image to post on your blog and you don't have to worry about copyrights of the image. Bonus!]

Okay. Once you've written your blog post and added your images, there's something else you can do to your image that will increase your chances of someone finding your blog post through the search engines or through an image-driven social network like Pinterest. And this Cousin Awesome Sauce? Alt Text, or alternate text.

That's right. You can add alternate text to an image in your blog post. Because search engines don't know what an image conveys, it's important that you *tell* the search engines what your image says with Alternate Text. 

For example, if you have an image of your Great Aunt Bernice, then by adding identifying information like her name, the location she mostly lived in, and the date related to the photo, you're telling a search engine about the photo. So if a distant cousin searches for the same info that you placed in the alternate text, then the photo linked to your blog post will appear in their search results.

See? Cousin Awesome Sauce.

Also, when a reader decides to pin your image to their Pinterest board, then the Alt Text goes with the image as the description of the image when it's pinned to the board. [Handy dandy.] 

Following are quick step-by-step instructions on how to easily add Alt Text to your images in the Blogger blogging platform and the Weebly blogging platform so you can increase traffic to your family history blog through search results as well as provide a solid description for sites like Pinterest for when someone or yourself pins your images to their or your Pinterest Board.

Blogger:
After adding the image to your blog post draft:
  1. Click on the image and a light blue box appears right below the image.
  2. Select 'Properties' in the light blue box appears right below the image.
  3. Optional: Enter a title for your image. [This will appear on your finished blog post when someone hovers over your image with their mouse/pointer.] Example: Carolyn Marie Blacketer, San Antonio, Texas, ca1944.
  4. Enter your Alternate Text without punctuation. Example: Carolyn Marie Blacketer San Antonio Texas ca1944
  5. Click 'Okay'.


Weebly:
After adding the image to your blog post draft:
  1. Click on image and a blue drop down menu will appear at the top of the window in the browser.
  2. Select Advanced and a drop down menu will appear.
  3. Click on 'Alt Text' box BUT do not attempt to delete the text with your mouse - very important.
  4. Backspace over the default text 'Picture'.
  5. Enter Alt Text. Example: Carolyn Marie Blacketer San Antonio Texas ca1944
  6. Click anywhere outside of the Edit box.


And that's it. Any questions? Contact me or ask in comments below. =)
Happy Blogging!
~C
 


Comments

10/19/2012 15:13

Thank you VERY much for posting how to do the Alt Text on a photo in weebly. I had never noticed that "advanced" box before.

Reply
Caroline Pointer
10/19/2012 16:44

Emily, you are VERY welcome! I'm glad I could help.

And? Thank YOU for stopping by and reading. I really appreciate it. =)

~C

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10/19/2012 15:14

Caroline - outstanding and timely post. I started adding Alt text to my images two days ago after finding a site that graded my blog.

Thanks for posting this. great info.

Kenneth

Reply
Caroline Pointer
10/19/2012 16:45

Kenneth, I'm glad you figured it out. It's a very handy tool.

Thanks for reading & commenting! =)

~C

Reply
10/27/2012 11:15

Hi Kenneth. I have not been use Alt text but plan to start. Will you explain a little about your comment "finding a site that graded my blog"? Thank you. Phyllis

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11/02/2012 22:47

Phyllis,

The site I stumbled upon that grades your site and provides suggestions is http://marketing.grader.com/?s=wsg&fb_source=message

I found it uesful in giving some ideas to assist in searchability, etc.

10/19/2012 16:14

Caroline,

When I starting doing this a couple of days ago, I did discover that if one uses the Gallery feature in a weebly blog, there is no way to enter the Alt Text for an image. It only allows Alt Text entries for a single image that is not part of the gallery widget in Weebly.

Kenneth

Reply
Caroline Pointer
10/19/2012 16:51

Kenneth,

You are absolutely correct which is why my instructions were for just adding an image to a blog post and not for adding the Alt Text info to photos in a gallery. All the more reason for adding individual photos to particular posts for family stories or blog posts. Another reason would be that folks cannot Pin your photos to Pinterest if that's something you want visitors to do. And family history bloggers may not want that for various reasons. [Me? I don't care to play games with folks by holding photos and documents hostage in hopes that will force them to contact me or give me info. Just doesn't set well with me for some reason.]

However, I'll be handing out more advice on using images in blog posts in the future as there are plenty more things to do to optimize them for our blogs.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! =)

~C

Reply
10/26/2012 14:49

Carolyn, this is a helpful post...but could you clarify one thing on your comment here to Kenneth? Does adding the Alt Text to an individual photo placed in a blog post <i>prevent</i> that photo from being lifted by others for use in Pinterest? I <i>do</i> want people to pin my blog's photos...I just want the details and the credit to go with the pic. For instance, in addition to naming the photo's subject and dating it, I'd also want to add my blog post's specific URL so people could refer back to what I wrote on the topic if they were interested in following up. I'm hoping your alt text process will let me use that...but your comment here got me confused.

Yes...more, please! :)

10/19/2012 16:18

Great stuff Caroline! Thanks so much for this information about how to add Alt Text to our images. I learned something new and useful. :-)

Reply
Caroline Pointer
10/19/2012 16:53

Jana, I'm so glad you found something new and useful because the aim of all my blogs is to be helpful. So I'm happy I could help you out.

And? Thanks for stopping by and reading! =)

~C

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10/19/2012 17:40

Extremely cool. I did not realize the part about using Alt Text without punctuation so that search engines can pick up the image. I'll do it! Nor did I know about Pinterest (tho working on my Pinterest is several items down on my to-do, still). A really neat trick! Thanks!

Reply
10/19/2012 19:44

thanks heaps for posting this information. Extremely helpful and I will now use it all the time

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10/19/2012 21:03

Caroline,

Cousin Awesome Sauce, indeed!
Thanks for the tip!

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10/20/2012 11:57

Yes, This is great. I'm on my way to go tru my old post it do this. Awhile back my eldest daughter told me I need photos. She was right!!!
Thank you Much!!!

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10/26/2012 14:10

Shoot! Now I want to go back and add titles and alternate text to all my pictures.

Reply
4YourFamilyStory
10/26/2012 18:03

Jacqi, the Alt-Text process is perfect for what you want to do. In fact, that was the point of my blog post.

Kenneth, mentioned Weebly Photo Galleries and how within the galleries Alt-Text cannot be used. That is different than an individual image added to a blog post.

Therefore, just follow my instructions above & it should work fine for pinning. You can put whatever information you want within the Alt-Text.

If you have any more questions, please let me know.

Thank you for stopping by & reading! :)

~C

Reply
4YourFamilyStory
10/26/2012 18:06

LOL, Wendy. You could decide to add the info in an older blog post every time you post a new post. Just a thought. :)

Thanks for reading!

~C

Reply
4YourFamilyStory
10/26/2012 18:07

You're welcome, Mariann! And thank YOU for stopping by and reading! :)

~C

Reply
10/27/2012 03:58

Hi Caroline,

Thanks for drawing my attention to this possibility. And it works, even in a Dutch blog ;) Tks!

Peter

Reply
Caroline Pointer
10/30/2012 11:28

Peter, I'm glad I can help and be international, all at the same time! LOL.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! =)

~C

Reply
09/02/2013 15:01

The best thing is that creating an ALT-text makes the images accessible for people with disabilities (that's the original purpose). For example, a visitor who is blind can use a screenreader to have the text read to him. Making your website accessible for people with disabilities also improves it for many other scenarios, like visiting search engines, low-bandwidth mobile phones, etc.
Just be sure you're not stuffing your ALT-text with loads of keywords that you want to be found for. Google doesn't like that and penalizes you, and worse: it's very annoying to blind people to have to hear their screen readers go on and on about your stuffed keywords :-)

Reply
Caroline
05/28/2014 07:48

Yvette,

All very good points. Thanks so much for reading and joining the conversation!

~C

Reply



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