I was going to do part 2 of a 4-part series related to Iwriter today.
However, I have just learned something that I believe will be critical to every person wanting to break into affiliate marketing.
It involves images and accessibility.
Not having this in place can cause your rankings on Google to be negatively affected.
Where It All Began
I was participating in a discussion on Wealthy Affiliate today. Per my experience I have never found anything as powerful as this program for learning affiliate marketing no matter if you are a beginner or well advanced in your career.
Yes, I said career because that is exactly what affiliate marketing can be if you do it right.
Anyway, I got into a discussion with another member from someone else’s question about handling images correctly. There were 2 answers, mine and the other individuals.
I’m willing to admit here and now that my approach was wrong. See, I’m learning too.
The Issue That Changed My Mind
Seems that someone wanted to take text from another page and present it on another page of theirs in-order to expand upon it.
The other thought process included using block text for doing this if it wasn’t to extensive.
I suggested an alternative idea of creating an image out of the text in-order to escape duplicate content issues.
Here is an awesome article related to duplicate content that I would recommend reading.
What I didn’t account for is that this would create accessibility issues?
What is that?
Optimizing Your Site for Accessibility
There are people with disabilities who use the Web such as the blind.
If your site isn’t optimized for these individuals, then the result can be serious as it relates to your success in affiliate marketing. Especially since Google will penalize you for not accounting for them.
One of the areas where people neglect to optimize for accessibility with their affiliate marketing sites is as it relates to images.
I have 2 problems taking place here.
First, I’m using a plugin for social growth that obscures my ALT text details within images.
Second, I have opted not to put in a description for images on my site.
Both of those together leave me without accessibility as it relates to my images from my affiliate marketing business.
How to Correct Image Accessibility Issues with WordPress
After logging into your WordPress site go to the media library and select any given image.
You will find a screen like the following but with an entirely different image. Yours.
To the right of the image you will have the following options:
- Alt Text
- Uploaded By
- Uploaded To
For our purposes if providing accessible images, you are interested in the items in bold above.
Note: While title is important I have always seen that this gets carried over automatically from the details in the file name.
Dealing with File Names and Alt Text
Before uploading your image, you can change the file name which I highly recommend doing. At least 1 image should carry the exact keyword phrase that you are after. The others would be close proximities.
For example, you are optimizing a page for the keyword of: Apple Pie Recipe
It would only make sense to have an image of an apple pie on the page.
Instead of calling it 123.jpg given that this was the name it was when you received the image you would want to call it Apple-Pie-Recipe.jpg.
If you have 3 or 4 images on a single page, then you would not want to call them all the same name. If they related with your target of “apple pie recipe” the following are examples of what the other images could be called.
- Recipe for Apple Pie
- Making Your Apple Pie
- Apple Pies Made from Scratch
Whatever the file name is of that image the ALT text can be the same.
Of Captions and Descriptions
Captions appear below your image while descriptions simply tell about your images. For something to be truly accessible in the eyes of Google you need to pay attention to both areas.
Here you can briefly explain what the purpose of the image was.
I would not use the exact same wording for each of these areas because it starts to look like spam that way.
My Mission Moving Forward
Now you know.
Now I know.
And now it is time for me to get to work in making sure my own images are fully setup for accessibility.
I recommend that you do the same with your own affiliate marketing pursuits. The more we comply with what Google wants the more we will be rewarded positively in the end.
Important 11/25/2016 Update
Update: Once I dug into fixing my own images it became apparent that I missed a step. While you can indeed update all the images in the library the live copy remains without the updates. Two choices are available. First, you could go through each image on each page and update the information there too. Or second, you could log into each page and replace the images as you work your way through all the files. I chose the 2nd option and recommend it for you too.
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