Using Google Image Search To Create Massive Traffic

Want to know how to use Google Image Search to send traffic back to your site? To do this you need to understand how Google indexes images. Once you optimize your images for Google, they’ll appear in search results and ultimately lead traffic to your site. Here’s how to do it.

Want to know how to use Google Image Search to send traffic back to your site? To do this you need to understand how Google indexes images. Once you optimize your images for Google, they’ll appear in search results and ultimately lead traffic to your site. Here’s how to do it.

Why Use Google Image Search?

It’s all about traffic. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ your site is, if you don’t get traffic your sunk. Over 8% of the traffic to my site comes from optimizing the images on my site. That’s a lot of free visitors for very little work

  • Google Images bring your site a lot of visitors
  • Google Images will drive extra traffic is your images rank page 1
  • Google Images will drive extra traffic is they are heavily searched, so you want to think in terms of going for specific keywords.

Some sites get more traffic from Google Image search than regular search.

Understand Alt Text

The W3C says you should use Alt text on images to help visually impaired users browse your website. Remember, Google cannot see your site – it reads code.
So, you need to write the code so Google can read/see your site in the correct way, right?

Google Image Bot

This bot crawls the web, indexes images like the regular Googlebot does and looks for keywords.
These are two different bots. However the Google Image bot is very slow and doesn’t visit a site with the frequency of the regular Google search bot.

How To Optimize Images for Google

As Google can’t “see” images, it uses different ways to analyze every graphic.
Here are some of the things it looks for:

  • Alt Text
  • File Name
  • Surrounding Text
  • Page Title
  • Links

My testing shows that Alt Text followed by the File Name are biggest factors in determining how Google Image indexes each image.

What is Alt Text?

This is the ‘alternative’ text you see when you hover over an image.
To include Alt Text in your code, do this:
<img src=”filename.gif” alt=”Enter Alternative Description Here”>
Use real words that will sense to humans and includes the right keywords – don’t over do it or Google will punish you for keyword stuffing.
Use words you would search for if looking for that image.
Avoid filler words such as like, the, and, or, we, are, for, etc.
Right: PayPal logo for ecommerce site
Wrong: this is a logo of PayPal for an ecommerce site
Keep is short and remember that Google prioritizes keywords from left to right.
So, write the most important keywords first.

Image File Name

This is also very important. How you name the image is as important, if not more, than the ALT text.
Instead of calling it pic1234.jpg
use descriptive text such as:
PayPal-logo-ecommerce-site
Also:

  • Make the File Name the same, or very similar to the Alt Text.
  • Don’t try and rank the same image for multiple terms by stuffing different keywords in to the Alt and File Names
  • This will confuse the Googlebot
  • Be consistent

Image File Structure

Use a consistent, and keyword rich, file structure for your images, for instance:

website.com/images/logos/paypal-ecommercec.jpg

Is much better than:

website.com/whatever/imgs/ppal23.jpg

Does It Work?

You can see if it works when you start seeing images.google.com in your server logs. These will also appear in your Google Webmaster and Analytics stats.
I get a consistent amount of traffic from specific keywords this way. It doesn’t take very long to do and once you create images with Google in mind, your traffic will begin to move up.
Let me know how you get on.

Double Your Web Traffic By Optimizing your Permalinks Settings in WordPress

One of the simplest ways to increase your web traffic is to fine-tune your Permalinks Settings in Wordpress. By default WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and numbers in them. For SEO purposes, these are not very helpful as search engines cannot understand what these mean. You can however change the default settings and create your own Permalinks Settings.

One of the simplest ways to increase your web traffic is to fine-tune your Permalinks Settings in WordPress. By default WordPress uses web URLs which have question marks and numbers in them. For SEO purposes, these are not very helpful as search engines cannot understand what these mean. You can however change the default settings and create your own Permalinks Settings.

WordPress Default Permalinks Settings

WordPress lets you the ability to create a custom URL structure for your permalinks and archives. This helps improve the readability of your links both for your human readers and for search engines.
Double Your Web Traffic By Optimizing your Permalinks Settings in WordPress
Why Change the Default Permalinks Settings?
Let’s say you have a website, for example, shoes.com. You create a new blog post about the summer sales and publish it.
The default WordPress permalinks settings may look something like this: www.shoes.com/?123.php
When Google, Bing and other search engines read this page, one of the ways it indexes the page (i.e. interprets its meaning) is by analyzing the link structure.
When search engines see ?123.php, they don’t know how to interpret it.
A better way would be to change ?123.php to something like shoe-summer-sale.php.
Now, the search engine knows that this page is about shoes and summer sales. It can use this information, with the title tags, description and the content to get index it more accurately.
Which means…
When people type in shoes summer sales into the search engine, your page will appear that little bit higher.

Different Permalinks Settings

You can setup different Permalinks Settings in WordPress and see which works best. Testing is the only way to determine what’s best for you.
Here are some combinations you can use:

  • Year, Month, Date and Title
  • Date and Title
  • Title
  • Category and Title

Each of these is worth exploring. For example, if you run a news site, the Date and Title may be best. Google News requires that you include the Date when submitting articles to its index, for example.

Front-load keywords

Title by itself also works if you have a critical mass of fans/readers and want to front-load the keywords.
What does front-load keywords mean?
It means that you prioritize your keywords so that the most important keyword appears first in the string and then the second and so on.
For example,
www.shoes.com/discount-ladies-shoes
means that you want to prioritize the word discount more than ladies or shoes (which already appears in the url anyway).

Best Permalinks Settings for Blogs

I’ve looked into this and found that, for me, the best structure is:
/%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/
This works very well as you’re adding the:

  • Category
  • Postname and
  • Post_id

to the url.
For example, www.shoes.com/sale/discount-ladies-shoes
Therefore, when Google reads this strong it has three types of metadata (information) to use to index the page.
Note that by adding Category to the string, I’m including specific keywords to the url. Again, this helps Google et al to categorize the page and ensure that it gets indexed correctly.
What settings do you use?
PS: another reason to use Categories is that it forces you to structure your site more intentionally. Ideally, you should have a small number of focussed categories so your content concentrates on the same topic (niche). By having too many categories, your content loses its impact as you dilute the site’s value. In other words, Google and other search engines cannot really tell what the sites about. My aim is to get this site down to ten categories. Right now, it’s about eighteen.

Google Webmaster Tutorial: How to Get Your Site Verified

video of google webmaster tools Google Webmaster Tools is one of the hidden secrets on Google. Use this to add your site directly to its index, verify that Google sees your site (and sub-domains), and also fix the errors it has identified. Split testing has shown me that sites indexed this way perform better than sites that rely on xml sitemaps. FYI you can also add sitemaps here.

video of google webmaster tools Google Webmaster Tools is one of the hidden secrets on Google. Use this to add your site directly to its index, verify that Google sees your site (and sub-domains), and also fix the errors it has identified. Split testing has shown me that sites indexed this way perform better than sites that rely on xml sitemaps. FYI you can also add sitemaps here.

How to Get Your Site Verified By Google

Blogs created in Blogger are automatically verified in Webmaster Tools. However, older blogs, WordPress and Typepad blogs are not automatically verified, and should be verified using the meta tag method.

To verify your Blogger / WordPress blog:
1.    On the Webmaster Tools home page, click Add a site.
2.    Enter your blog’s URL e.g. and click Continue.
3.    On the Verification page, select the Meta tag verification method and copy the meta tag provided into your text editor.
4.    Sign in to Blogger.com (or WordPress).
For Blogger, open the Dashboard, click the Layout link for the blog you are verifying.
5.    On the Layout tab, click Edit HTML.
6.    Paste the meta tag  after the <head> element in the template HTML and click Save template.
7.    On the Manage Verification page in Webmaster Tools, confirm that Meta tag is selected as the verification method, and then click the Verify
For WordPress and TypePad blogs:
8.    Save the Google code to a HTML file.
9.    FTP it to the root directory.
10.    On the Manage Verification page in Webmaster Tools, confirm that Meta tag is selected as the verification method, and then click the Verify.
11.    If successful, a message appears. Woohoo!

Where is Google Webmaster Tools

It’s here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
Did this work for you? Let me know if you have any problems.

Why Your About Us Page is the Second Most Important Page on Your Site?

You find a blog you really like. You want to learn more. You’re thinking of buying from them. What do you do? Click About Us, right? Most people do. Now, pretend you’ve never visited your own site. Remember, you know nothing about you. Nothing. Look at your About Us page? Be honest, what’s the one thing that’s wrong with it?

You find a blog you really like. You want to learn more. You’re thinking of buying from them. What do you do? Click About Us, right? Most people do. Now, pretend you’ve never visited your own site. Remember, you know nothing about you. Nothing. Look at your About Us page? Be honest, what’s the one thing that’s wrong with it? Continue reading “Why Your About Us Page is the Second Most Important Page on Your Site?”

How to import a WordPress blog into another WordPress blog

I decided to merge several small WordPress blogs into a single WordPress blog recently. I did this for several reasons, mostly as I wanted to concentrate the content in one site and also to reduce the time and effort of maintaining multiple blogs. Here are the steps to do this with screenshots. Continue reading “How to import a WordPress blog into another WordPress blog”

WordPress Twitter Tool

Twitter Tools lets you integrates your blog with Twitter, so that every time you publish an article, it is automatically sent to Twitter. Even better, it can setup a daily and weekly blog post listing all the tweets you sent. One small thing is that the default setting for the blog posts is “New Blog Post”. Luckily, you can change this. Here’s how.
Continue reading “WordPress Twitter Tool”

How to Install WordPress on your own Computer In 5 Minutes

Digital Inspiration explains how to install WordPress on your own local computer. It comes with some great screenshots and tips on how to optimize Wordpress after you have installed it.

How to Install WordPress on your own Computer In 5 MinutesDigital Inspiration explains how to install WordPress on your own local computer. It comes with some great screenshots and tips on how to optimize WordPress after you have installed it. Continue reading “How to Install WordPress on your own Computer In 5 Minutes”

How to Create Virtual Directories on GoDaddy Sites

I decided last week to create a new site about Paypal, offering tips and tricks on how it works. This usually means registering a new domain name and getting web hosting. However, you don’t need to do this. Instead I decided to create a virtual directory on the main site and setup the new website as a sub-folder.
This saved me the usual setup fees and allowed me to keep this sub-site under the umbrella of the main site. I host with GoDaddy. Here’s how to create a Virtual Directory.

What is a Virtual Directory?

A virtual directory points to a physical folder on your website (or on your PC if you run the site locally).
A sub domain (virtual directory) is an easy way to create a web address for various areas of your site. For example, you could create a sub domain for news on your site called “News.” Anybody that comes to your Web site would type “news.yourdomainname.com” instead of “www.yourdomainname.com/news.”
For example:
www.ivanwalsh.com – main site
virtual.ivanwalsh.com – virtual directory
technicalwriter.ivanwalsh.com – virtual directory
This means that you access the virtual directory name instead of a physical folder name.
You could, of course, create a subfolder called Paypal, e.g.  www.ivanwalsh.com/paypal/ but people might think this is part of the www.ivanwalsh.com site, which is what I want to avoid.

Google and Virtual Directories

Google also seems to like virtual directories in that sites I have setup in this way seem to get more traffic than sub-folders, e.g.
I think virtual.ivanwalsh.com (virtual directory) will get more traffic than www.ivanwalsh.com/virtual.
Warning: Microsoft FrontPage manages all of the directory and subdirectory permissions on your Web site. If you created custom directories on your Web site, or you are using another tool to build and or manage your Web site, switching to FrontPage may cause some problems. It can overwrite all of your directory permissions and make your site unusable.

To Create a Virtual Directory

So, let’s get started.
Log into GoDaddy.
This opens the Hosting Control Center, from where you can create, edit, and customize permissions for virtual directories on your Web site.
1. Log in to your Account Manager.
2. In the My Products section, select Hosting.

GoDaddy Account Manager

This may take a few second. Be patient. Think nice thoughts.
3. Select the checkbox next to the hosting account you want to modify and then click the Manage Account.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 2

This open a new web browser. It takes a few seconds to load.
For Linux
4. In the Settings section, click the Sub Domains icon.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 4

The next screen shows your current Sub Domains. This is probably blank if you’re starting out.
5. Click Add Sub Domain to set up a new sub domain on your hosting account.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 5

6. To add a Sub Domain, type a sub domain name in the field and click Continue.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 6

7.  Review your sub domain information.
If you need to make any changes, click Edit.
If everything looks OK, click Submit to add the sub domain to your hosting account.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 7

8. You’re finished.

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 8

Add another sub-domain while you there, if you want.
You can now close this browser window or check if the new virtual directory is ready yet. Probably not, give it 10 min or so.
For Windows
Note that there are two Content options on this page. Bit confusing, isn’t it!
4. Click Content and then click the IIS Settings icon. (Not shown here as I use Linux)

GoDaddy Account Manager - Step 3

5. To create a new directory, select the parent directory and click Create.
6. Enter the directory name. To create multiple directories, enter a comma-delimited list.
7. Select directory permissions, and then click OK.
You’re finished.

Next

Note that it might take a little while (15-30 min) for these things to really kick in on your site.
So, if you’re planning to add a blog or FTP to the site, go have a coffee first ,and then come back. All will be ready.
If things aren’t working after an hour, email GoDaddy. Be nice, they’re human too. I’ve found them very helpful and moved most all my sites to their servers.
Next week, I’ll show you how to setup a WordPress blog.

When I cut and paste from Notepad I get these _mcePaste div tags. Why?

When I cut and paste from Notepad I get these odd div tags. This never happened before. Usually when I cut/paste from NotePad it remove alls divs tags and what not from the Word docs I was writing in.

I write all my posts in Word, cut/paste into Notepad to remove Word’s tags, and then into WordPress. This morning I noticed that it (Notepad) is adding this line of code to the article.
Continue reading “When I cut and paste from Notepad I get these _mcePaste div tags. Why?”

How to import Blogger posts into WordPress

How to import Blogger posts into Wordpress

If you’ve decided to leave Blogger, or just want to consolidate all your blog activity, then the simplest approach is to import all the posts, including comments and images into your WordPress blog. I have to admit I put this off as I expected it to be painful and bound to collapse half way through. Well, it didn’t. Continue reading “How to import Blogger posts into WordPress”