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SEO Tips- Images and Other 3rd Party Content

Posted December 22nd 2012 News Search Engine Optimization

SEO-friendly“But I found it on Google; it’s free to use!”

This is the exclamation of many ignorant website and blog owners who use content they find online without permission and without proper sourcing. This is just one problem that comes from using third party content. You must ensure you know what rights you have to use the content and that you post the owner’s details and credit if it is required.

3rd party content can be good for your site- search engines like it when it’s done correctly and so does the human visitor. But all too often, website owners mess this up. They take content without permission or they post unrelated content or misuse tags and other coding. Most people do this because they just don’t know any better but it can lead to some big problems with your website.

There are three basic rules to remember when using 3rd party content on your site:

  1. Control your images,
  2. make your site accessible and
  3. always give credit where credit is due

With that in mind, let’s look into a little more detail of how it’s done.

Make Your Images SEO Friendly

First, when using images that you own or that you obtained permission to use, it’s important to make them both SEO-friendly and accessible. You need to alter your file sizes (not the image dimensions) to be smaller. The smaller, the better in general but don’t sacrifice view ability for this. There’s no point in having an image no one can see.

The average monitor can only display 72DPI so there is no point in having more than that. It just makes your image take longer to load and to cache.

Next, you also need to use alt tags for your images. But make sure they are relevant and don’t use keywords that are not related to the image just to try to bring in more search results. These tags make your site more accessible and it also helps your site show up in image searches.

Optimize Your Other Content

Finally, when using other content like videos, PDFs, Flash and more, you should do all that you can to optimize it correctly for the Web. Keywords, clean code and proper formatting go a long way to making sure your content is found and indexed properly. As always, you should not use any other content that you did not create yourself or have permission to use.

Just because you find it in Google image search or on YouTube does not mean you have permission to use it on your own site. Rights should be listed with most content or on the rules of the site you find the content on. If you’re unable to find permission or rights listed, play it safe and just don’t use that content.

Images and 3rd party content can really spice up a website or a blog post and add great value to your existing content. However, doing so incorrectly will hurt you much more than it will help you. So take your time, do your research and get it done correctly. You’ll be thankful you put the extra effort in.