I’ll start by stating the obvious: when we use a search engine, such as Google, we type target words into the search bar; we don’t draw a picture or show Google a photograph. Ok, so I’m being facetious, but the point I’m trying to convey is that if we want our site to do well with a search engine we have to acknowledge that search engines don’t read images; the read words.
If we want to be picked up by search engines for particular words, we need those important words to be included in original, quality, readable text, upon the page. The higher the volume of quality text and the more relevant it is to the search terms, the higher it is likely to rank within the search results. The higher the position (especially first page) the greater the amount of visits to the site by search engine users. This is what we all want. This is good Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
Search engine’s can’t read images, so even if we create a great site, full of stunning images which users love, but search engine’s want be able to pick up on it, and a greater number of potential users may never find the site in the first place. Thankfully, there are solutions.
Keep all of the fantastic images that you have on your site, but include a caption with each and while making this caption informative, ensure that it is healthily weighted with the relevant keywords that you are hoping to target. Think of it like the caption that might accompany a newspaper image. You’re qualifying the relevance of the image, while providing plenty of juicy keywords for the search engines to pick up on.
Some people worry that large volume text affects the aesthetic value of their site, but unless you have such worldwide commercial pulling power that you don’t rely on non brand search results, a happy medium must always be sought between a site that the users enjoy and one that is optimised for search.