How To Add 400+ Readers To Your Blog In 4 Easy Steps

by derek on January 15, 2009 · 40 comments

Increase Blog Readers

Whether you are a beginning blogger or a seasoned veteran, one thing stands true – we all enjoy seeing the traffic to our blog increase. We agonize over the content of our posts (are we sending the right message) and regularly examine new plugins that might bring more readers to our blog.
With all of the work that bloggers do to increase traffic, why are so many of them letting more than 400 potential readers slip through the cracks?
Think about that for a moment.
How would you like an extra 400 readers on your blog?
For some people, that might be more readers than currently visit their blog in a week or maybe even a month.
What if I told you that it would only take minutes to accomplish?
Are you interested?
Of course you are, who wouldn’t be?
The secret to adding more readers to your blog – with minimal effort – can be boiled down to three words: Google image search.
That’s right…Google image search is an outstanding source of potential readers that many bloggers simply don’t care (or know how) to leverage. Now to be fair, not all of the visitors from the Google image search results will translate to new readers – as many of them simply come for the image and leave.
However, looking at Google Analytics I see that there have been more than 400 visitors arriving via an image search and they view roughly 1.5 pages per visit. That means some of them are hanging around. Assume that 10% of these visitors hang around to check out the blog – that is 40+ additional readers that may potentially become regular members of the community. Even if only 1% of these visitors convert, that is still a handful of new readers that otherwise would be elsewhere.
Are you ready to learn how to do this on your blog?
Now that we have discussed the magic formula to more comments, we will review the steps that you need to take to optimize your blog for Google image search.
Setting up your blog to leverage the potential of Google image search is extremely easy. You might even be doing a few of these things already, however many people don’t take the time to do this and that means more traffic for you.

How To Optimize For Google Image Search In 4 Easy Steps

When adding an image to a post on your blog, be sure to include all of the following information:

  • Alt Attribute :: The alt attribute will provide the most bang for your buck, delivering the most SEO benefit out of all these steps. With this attribute, you have an opportunity to describe the image using any relevant keywords. Try to be descriptive of what the user will actually see in the image and make it contextual to the content of the post.
  • Title Attribute :: The title attribute may or may not help in terms of how Google indexes your image, but it will improve the reader experience. The text contained in this attribute will display when a reader hovers the mouse over the image.
  • Height and Width :: Again, specifiying a height and width won’t necessarily help you rank better with your images but it is a good practice to follow.
  • Descriptive File Name :: Use the file name of your image to your advantage and name the image with relevant keywords as well. Proper naming of your images is often overlooked but can certainly help people find your images.

So what should your image tag look like when you are done?

Life with Derek

Nice and easy – don’t you think?
In a rush to get posts completed and published, many bloggers simply include the source of the image and nothing more. By taking a few extra moments to include these additional attributes, you’ll quickly see an increase in the number of visitors arriving via Google image search.
How many readers do you think you will add?
Photo courtesy of Hamed Saber

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt@Tees For All January 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

nice post, i agree. using google images could bring a lot more people if your pics have the correct tags. I think you will be able to find pictures easier when things evolve in that respect some more and more people pay attention to the little things.

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derek January 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Thanks Matt, and welcome to the blog! It doesn’t take too much time to do yet the payoff can be quite substantial.

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Steve@trade show displays guru January 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm

hey Derek,
Great points on using images (and being sure to use related images and DESCRIBE them). While these recommendations may seem like little things, the little things add up.
~ Steve, aka the trade show displays guru
PS. I checked for the title tag on your image (increase blog readers). Good job. Just making sure you practice what you preach! 🙂
Steves last blog post..Balance

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derek January 15, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Lol, I had to laugh that you checked the image on this post as I was wondering if anyone would look. It would have been pretty bad if I would have forgot to to do that on this post. 🙂

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Jesse@SoLinkable January 18, 2009 at 10:15 am

hahaha. Nice stuff trade show guru. That would have been sooooo good it Derek had forgotten to tag that one…. I believe if you check your site with the w3c validator, it will warn you if you happen to have forgotten to tag any of your photos. Just a quick tip for anyone wanting to check their sites quickly.

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Andrew@Andrew's Breakfast January 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

That is a really good idea. My blog, however, is a blogger blog, and as far as I know, there isn’t a way to get those tags on the images since it is all a bit automatic with picasa. Even more of a reason for me to get my own domain and use wordpress . . .
Andrews last blog post..Kölsch in North Carolina!

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derek January 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Andrew, welcome to the blog and thanks for jumping into the conversation! I’ve not used blogger so I am not sure how (or if) you can tweak that on your site.
But I do highly recommend getting your own domain and hosting. It doesn’t cost much and there are many benefits. If you do pursue that, let me know as I have been extremely happy with my host and have a discount code for new users.
Btw, I noticed that you just recently moved back from Germany. I’ve got family in various parts of Germany, yet I’ve never made it over to visit. Sounds like you enjoyed your time there.

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Ling@Triphow January 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

First you upload your image. You’ll find a tab on the right which says “Edit HTML”. Just click on that, and you get the code view. Inside code view, you’ll see something like what Derek has above in red color. It’ll have an alt tag, but it’ll be empty, like so – alt=”” . All you have to do is type in whatever you want for the tag, and then go back to your normal typing mode.
Lings last blog post..How To Earn 300,000 Frequent Flyer Miles in 5 Weeks

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Andrew@Andrew's Breakfast January 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Ah ha! Thank you Ling! That is a HUGE help, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! That is actually pretty simple!
@Derek: Thanks for dropping into my blog as well, and if you ever do plan that trip to Germany and need any advice let me know. I have spent a lot of time over there and know a few ins and outs . . .
Thanks to the both of you!
Andrews last blog post..Kölsch in North Carolina!

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derek January 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

This is what I love to see! One reader helping out another with the knowledge that they have.
Thank you so much Ling. 🙂

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Jayson January 15, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Nice tips Derek…we have a site that my partner set up and it gets hundreds of visitors a day; they’re all basically from Google image search. Like you said, they don’t always convert, but images make blog posts better, so why not use them? The way blogs are set up now, getting your images in front of visitors is as simple as filling in fields with descriptive words.
Jaysons last blog post..Thursday’s New Home Community Pick

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derek January 16, 2009 at 10:40 am

Thanks Jayson, that is great to hear that you have been able to leverage the ability of images to draw in visitors. The best part is that it only takes a little extra time to do.

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????? (Jason) January 16, 2009 at 8:26 am

This couldn’t be more true. 20% (or 180+ hits per day) of my traffic comes from Google Images, and 90% of those visitors are coming because of one picture (type in “drought”, and my site is in the first row).
This is a great way to bring visitors, and my RSS numbers have grown steadily because of it. Now if only I could make some money … 🙄
????? (Jason)s last blog post..Defending Online Credibility – A Futile Endeavor?

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derek January 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

Impressive! I took a look and your site is nicely displayed there in the top row out of 754,000 search results.
There are a few terms that bring in the majority of my traffic, which include: “hootie” (#4 out of 86,800), “crown vic” (#5 out of 1,340,000), “ford pi” (#1 out of 442,000), “police interceptor” (#1 out of 73,900).
All of those images rank near the very top without any more effort than simply labeling my images properly and making them relevant to the content.
As for making money, are you pitching any products related to droughts on that post? 🙂

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????? (Jason) January 16, 2009 at 3:09 pm

The post isn’t actually talking about drought, though, just the image 😛
Perhaps it’s time to update some of the older posts with high Google Image juice to take advantage of the traffic….
????? (Jason)s last blog post..Defending Online Credibility – A Futile Endeavor?

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derek January 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Lol, I noticed that after I clicked through to read the actual post. Not a bad idea though to go through older posts and try to optimize with images.

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Nick@romandock dot com January 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Wow that’s pretty good success with that image! Congrats on the great ranking.
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 013

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Nicole Price January 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

Great advise as usual. Thank you.
Nicole Prices last blog post..MP3 Music

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Asher January 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

Oh wow, that’s some good stuff that you’re revealing here 🙂 This is actually the secret of some successful blogs on the internet.
Thanks for sharing this… now take it down before the rest of the world sees it! *evil grin*
Asher
Ashers last blog post..How To Be A Professional Blogger

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Steve@Free iPods January 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Do you think this will work with images on regular sites, not just blogs?

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derek January 17, 2009 at 1:35 am

I’d imagine that it would work there as well. 🙂

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Spot@universal plug adaptor January 17, 2009 at 12:06 am

Great tips.
For WordPress blogs there’s a good plugin called “SEO Friendly Images” that automatically does all of this except for the naming of the photo files.
Spots last blog post..César’s Palace (No, Not That One)

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derek January 17, 2009 at 1:36 am

Cool, I had not heard of that plugin before but it sounds like it might be pretty useful. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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Nick@romandock dot com January 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I might have to check this plugin out as it sounds like it might come in handy 🙂
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 013

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Neil@PS3 January 17, 2009 at 2:27 am

Great post Derek, I have never really looked at the images I put into my posts. I simply use wordpress to upload them and then leave them as they are as long as they are in the correct position and look ok.
I will start doing what you mention and see if it helps. Thanks

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derek January 19, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Let me know how it works out for you.

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myrtle beach apartments January 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm

great post. I think too many of us forget these couple of simple things
myrtle beach apartmentss last blog post..River Landing Apartments

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Dennis January 18, 2009 at 6:58 am

thank’s, derek

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Tina Fountain@Atlanta Real Estate January 18, 2009 at 8:48 am

Such a simple but effective idea, I’ll starting adding the tags to all my images.
Tina Fountains last blog post..Over 8400 Metro Atlanta Foreclosures Set For Auction

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Jesse@SoLinkable January 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

I believe that Wordpress does these things automatically, correct? When you enter the image into your post, it asks you to enter a title, which it also uses as the “alt” tag. The only thing it can’t help you with is the naming of stored file. That’s something that you would need to be proactive on, making sure that they are named properly before uploading them. I think this is how it works, somebody can correct me if I’m wrong…
Jesses last blog post..Five Concept Cars That Shook Detroit

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derek January 19, 2009 at 10:43 pm

When you use WordPress to insert your image, it will apply the “title” attribute but it defaults to whatever you named the image – which in many cases is not all that descriptive or keyword centric. Further, I would guess that most people don’t change the default value and simply upload and insert their image.
“Alt” attribute is only set if you supply a value in the “Caption” field, which then also adds a caption around your image.
In addition, I am sure that a lot of people use the visual editor and never even see the attribute values within the image tag.

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Nick@romandock dot com January 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm

These are some great tips and something that I really need to work on. I don’t know that I’ve ever really followed this method with any of the images I have used on my site, but I can see how it would be a great way to get some additional traffic.
One thing to keep in mind though, even if you use the “height” and “width” tags, it’s a good idea to make sure that the image is the appropriate size. If you use an image that is too small to fit that area, it could get pixilated/distorted. If you use a large-size image (like straight from your digital camera), it will use much more bandwith and take a lot longer for your page to load, especially if you have multiple images on the same page.
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 013

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derek January 19, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Nick, that is a great point about the height and width attributes of an image. While you can use the attributes to force an image to any size, you should ideally have an image that is of the size that you specify.
Don’t forget this Photoshop tip on how to save bandwidth with your images too. 🙂

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Yan@Blogging Tips February 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

Excellent tips, Derek. If there is one thing, in fact it’s the only thing as far as images are concerned, I always take for granted is specifying the “height and width”. I guess it’s a matter of habit.
Yan
Yans last blog post..3 Essential Aspects to Blogging

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Patrick @ pays to live green March 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Another great article as usual. I agree that images can really help bring traffic to a blog. One blog I used to have that fell through for me got most of its traffic from images and a good portion actually stayed to read.

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Neil@Free Wii March 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I have noticed that since following your advice my stat plugin is showing hits from google image searches.
Cheers for this derek

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Veronica Cervera@key biscayne condos August 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

If the image search engine for example sees a jpeg file extension, it’s going to recognize it as a photo, and if it sees a .gif extension it’s going to assume that it is a graphic. This is why it’s very important to label file extensions.

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Kostas@Online Opportunities August 6, 2011 at 3:26 am

That’s a great tip I had never thought about getting traffic from images, I will certainly implement your advices on my images from now on, thanks for sharing

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Lisa Plant September 27, 2011 at 5:08 am

Thanks for sharing the tips on how to optimize blogs for Google image search. These techniques can help blog owners to get more traffic to their blogs. Many bloggers think that optimizing images isn’t that important to get more visitors, but you explained it really well. Glad I found this article!

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