Everyday SEO Part II: Alt Tags that Rock!

Learn how to optimize your website's images with descriptive Alt Tags. Everyday SEO via Highley Designed.

The images and photos on your blog or website can be helpful or or hurtful to your site’s overall Google ranking. The goal is for them to be helpful! Things to keep in mind include photo size which can effect your site’s load time and whether or not your images are optimized with the appropriate Alt Tags/Text and Titles.

So what are Alt Tags and why are they important? Well, they’re not really tags, they are more like descriptions. According to Yoast, the SEO experts, “Alt tags and title tags strengthen the message towards search engine spiders and improve the accessibility of your website.”

So let’s break it down. This is a complete HTML image tag:

<img src="image.jpg" alt="image description" title="image tooltip"/>

 

If you’re using a visual website builder, HTML is the text “behind the scenes” that tells your server what to display. Most website builders have options for viewing and editing the HTML directly, but to add your Alt Tags and Titles you shouldn’t need to. In fact, if you’re using WordPress, adding your Alt Tags is easy. After uploading your photo simply click “edit” and you’ll see these options.

Learn how to add Alt Tags and Titles that will boost your website's SEO via HighleyDesigned.

If you’re using another platform you will have similar options. I suggest finding your image options or settings where you should be able to add the same things – Captions, Alt Tags/Text and Tool Tips. The Alt Tag/Text is what appears by default when you Pin an image to Pinterest. If you enter something in the Tool Tips field that text will appear when someone hovers over the photo on your website.

Now that you know how it works, let’s talk about what your Alt Text should include. Just like it’s important for your site Title and page Titles to include keywords and phrases, your Alt Tags should do the same. Alt Tags should be a full sentence or phrase that describes what the photo is all about or why it’s on your site. Yoast also recommends that “If your image is an image of a specific product, include both the full product name and the products product ID in the alt tag, so it can be easily found.”

Now that you know how to optimize your images, go back and edit the photos on your site that don’t have custom Alt Text and be sure to add it to any of your new photos and images in the future. SEO is always changing but this is a tried and true method to make your website more Google-friendly.

Stay tuned for more SEO tips and be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in social media marketing and web design.

 

 

Be Insightful, Not Informative

Potential customers want to learn more about the products and services you offer but they don’t want to be bombarded with facts and statistics or overwhelmed by a giant product listing.  Provide them with insight about some of the products and materials you offer and let them decide if it’s the best option for them.

Here’s the most recent blog I’ve written for Re-Bath & More about the beautiful tile and natural stone options they offer.  It’s not overwhelming, but it provides some insight for folks who may be in the market for a bathroom remodel and haven’t given much thought to products or materials.

Upgrade Your Bathroom with Natural Tile and Stone

If you’ve thought about remodeling your bathroom, you probably have a Pinterest page or Houzz profile full of design ideas, but you may not have considered what kind of materials are best for your home.   That bathroom you pinned with the glass panel looking out into the wilderness may not be the best choice if you live in downtown Lancaster, or have nearby neighbors.  And you may not want to install that pond-sized soaker tub you liked on Houzz if you’re trying to save on your water bill.

At Re-Bath & More we work with homeowners to find products and materials that are going to provide the look and feel you’ve always wanted, with both style and function in mind.  Tile and natural stone are beautiful options that can help to create a rich, sophisticated feel in your new bathroom.  Not only do tile and stone look great, but their natural qualities make them perfect for wet areas like the bathroom.

Benefits of Tile and Stone

  • Easy to Maintain.  Tile and stone are easy to maintain as long as you adhere to the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions and they’ll never crack, peel or fade.
  • Design Flexibility.  Tile and stone are available in countless patterns and designs.
  • Application Diversity.  Tile and stone can be used in almost any application – walls, counter tops, back splashes, fire places, wet and dry areas.
  • Cost Effective.  Tile and stone add value to your home and will never need resurfaced, re-glazed, or recoated.
  • Natural and Allergen Free.  Unlike plastics, fiber glass and other man made products, tile and stone are great for individuals with allergies or simply prefer more earth friendly materials.

Depending on what kind of tile you select you may notice it has a slip resistance rating which is measured by its coefficient of friction (COF).  The higher COF, the more slip resistant the tile.  For a bathroom shower or floor that gets wet often, it’s a good idea to select a higher COF tile.  Many manufacturers will also provide ratings for scratch resistance, moisture absorption, chemical resistance and breaking strength.  A Re-Bath design consultant will help you choose a tile or stone that is sure to meet your needs and withstand the everyday wear and tear your bathroom experiences.

Forza Stone Examples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to Consider When Selecting Tile or Stone

  • Identify the space and its application
  • Select the type of tile or stone – ceramic, glass, porcelain, granite, quartz etc.
  • Select the color and shade
  • Select the texture and size – solid sheet, 4×4” squares, 12×12” large squares, the options countless
  • Create your layout and/or decorative pattern
  • Select grout color and type

Tile Examples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We work with Daltile for all of our tile needs and Forza Stone for all of our natural stone projects.  To learn more about natural stone be sure to check out this short video, courtesy Forza Stone Building Solutions.

 

The Importance of Great Copy Writing

You’ve gotten someone to “like” your Facebook page and now they’re on your website but how do you get them to keep clicking?  They key is to make sure your content is interesting and can provide value to your prospective clients or customers.  A simple product listing or section for before and after photos just won’t cut it these days.  People want to know what makes your products or services special.  What kind of work went into the before and after transformation? How much did it cost? What kind of materials were used?  Ultimately, people are thinking, “Why should I pick you?”

Great copy writing can make all the difference for your website.  By presenting information effectively your business can quickly become a resource for potential clients and customers and demonstrate the many reasons why they’d be silly not to pick you.  In addition to telling people about your business and the services you offer, consider adding a section to your website that offers tips, DIY or other resources that demonstrate your expertise within your industry. Meaningful content will keep people clicking and add tremendous value to your website over time.

Since I began working in marketing I’ve had a variety of copy writing opportunities and most recently I wrote an article for ReBath and More about things to consider when choosing a contractor.  The article is a great example of meaningful content.  It doesn’t scream, “buy me” or “we’re the best” but it conveys a message that ReBath and More is a company that 1. Knows what they’re doing, 2. Cares about their customers and wants them to make a smart decision and 3. Has lots of experience.

Read my article below or visit ReBathandMore.com

 

Choosing a Contractor for Your Home Remodeling Project
Posted on: May 19,2014

When you’re planning to remodel – whether it’s your bathroom, kitchen, or any other part of your house – it’s important to choose a qualified contractor.  If it’s your first time remodeling, you may not know what factors to consider when selecting a contractor, so we’ve put together some tips for making sure your remodel is a success!

Do Your Research

Start by asking friends and family of contractors they have used with successful results—or check with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a list of members in your area. Another way to find someone qualified is by talking to a local building inspector—they will know which contractors routinely meet code requirements.

Check Online Reviews

Friends and family are great resources but you should also read some reviews.  Check places like Yelp, Guild Quality, the Better Business Bureau, and Angie’s List where you can find real reviews from people in your area who have used the contractor’s services.

Create a Short List of Contractors

Create a list of potential contractors and make some initial phone calls to get a better idea of the following:

  • Experience. Make sure your potential contractor has plenty of experience and is capable of taking on a job of your size. Check out before and after photos from other projects a contractor has completed and make sure they offer what you’re looking for.  You can even ask for a list of previous clients to call or visit to see the work first-hand.
  • License and Insurance. You want to make sure that they are running a legitimate business and are qualified to do the job, especially if there is plumbing or electrical work involved.  Make sure your potential contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Financial References. Are they willing to provide financial references from banks or suppliers?  Make sure a contractor can provide reliable financing options for your project.
  • Focus on Your Home. How many projects will your contractor have going on at once, while working on your project? You want to make sure your remodel receives adequate attention and is completed in a timely fashion – especially if it’s a bathroom or another space you use every day.
  • Warranties.  Make sure that your contractor works with high quality products that offer lifetime warranties (if possible) to guarantee longevity and safety.

Ask the Right Questions

If you screen potential contractors carefully, the next part is the fun part!

Set up some appointments with your top two to four contractors to go over design options and receive estimates.  Make sure they are professional and thorough during this process.

Find out about the payment schedule for your project.  A reputable contractor will have financing options available and most require only 10 percent down at contract signing. If they ask for half of your total cost up front, this should be a red flag.  It could be a sign of financial problems or fear that you won’t pay the rest after you’ve seen the work.

You should also reconsider the low-bid.  If one of your estimates is noticeably lower than all of the others, chances are the contractor is cutting corners or may be desperate for work.  In the end, it’s better to spend more and go with someone you’re most comfortable with.  You simply can’t put a price tag on peace of mind.

Your Home Remodeling Project

Keep these tips in mind and your remodeling experience is sure to go smoothly. Choosing a reliable contractor doesn’t have to be a headache.  Meeting with a handful of potential contractors is a great way for you to learn more about how the remodeling and construction process works and you may pick up some great ideas along the way.

Web Design Highlight: Keep’em in Stitches

In April, Keep’em in Stitches website went live! It took weeks of photos, pricing and design to achieve the look we wanted, but it was well worth it.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the website and be sure to visit www.keepeminstitchesknitting.com to see the end results!

We used GoDaddy to host the site and all of the graphics, photos and content were created by HighleyDesigned.  Keep’em in Stitches owner, Jean Risser, is my aunt so it’s been lots of fun growing closer with her as we work on developing her business strategy and long term marketing plans.

Keep’em in Stitches was recently invited to join the online initiative, Shop Lancaster, so we are very excited about the added exposure the business will receive.  Stay tuned for more information on where to buy Keep’em in Stitches adorable handmade products and accessories.

 

Homepage Graphic

Homepage Graphic

Delicate Baby Headbands

Delicate Baby Headbands

Criss-Cross Applesauce

Criss-Cross Applesauce