Featured Article SEO for Photographers

SEO for photographs – html guide

taj mahal
Example of an image with alt and title information

How do make your photograph’s Search Engine Optimization friendly on a static website?

What’s a static webpage?

Let’s be clear firstly about a few things. A static page in this instance is a html webpage. It’s not referring to WordPress, blogger or any blogging type of site.

Does everyone agree on these SEO methods?

The second this is that there are many people who say yes and no to somethings within the realm of SEO. And, yes and no to other things. In other words there’s no 100% the same method out there. However, there are some standards that even the search engines say you must do, and, a little more too.

List of SEO requirements for photographs

  • Use both an “alt” tag attribute and a “title” tag attribute to describe the content.

These are two of the most important things you must do with your images. They tell the search engine, what your image is, and describes to the search engine what’s in the image.

What’s the difference between “title” text and “alt” text?

Title text tells the search engine about what’s in the image, the context of the photograph. It should be written just like any other sentence describing what is going on in the photograph. The text also shows up when you mouse-over an image, which can be a nice affect.

Alt text (Alternative text) is used if the image cannot be displayed for some reason. It should be short, and basically name the image.

  • Make sure the image filename describes the content of the photo

I am not a huge believer in this, as I think search engines are smarter than that. That said, is certainly can do no harm.Use hyphens to separate the words describing the photograph in the filename

abedofroses or a-bed-of-roses or a_bed_of_roses? Again, I think search engines treat all of these files names the same. People however, will prefer to associate a name with hyphens in general.

  • Place all photographs in a folder called “images”

Search engines crawl methodically. I think keeping all you photographs in one location makes sense for organizing yourself more than for SEO purposes. For that reason alone, I would keep them all in one folder. That folder can then have many sub folders.

How to write ALT and Title text for Photographs

Here is an example of the HTML source code of an optimized image of the “Taj Mahal” logo photo and how it appears on a web page:

< img src=”taj-mahal.jpg” border=”1″ alt=”taj mahal” title=”taj mahal in black and white ” width=”300″ height=”225″ >

In the next post in this series, we’ll cover Photograph SEO for WordPress

Iran Photography Places

Tower of Silent Death

Towers of Silence in Iran
Tower of Silence in Iran

Towers of Silence are the name given to raised structures used by Zoroastrians for exposing their dead to the elements. In this case, the sun and birds.

Here just outside of Yazd in Iran in one of two ancient Zoroastrian towers of silence. No longer used, you can climb up and inside the tower.

Inside the tower there is pit, where a body would be laid to rest. The sun would aid in its decomposing. At the same time birds would come down and eat away on the body.

A local told be when this ritual was being preformed, it wasn’t unheard of to have the odd human bone drop from the sky!

Hungary Photography Places

Tram in downtown Budapest, Hungary

Tram in downtown Budapest Hungary
Tram in downtown Budapest Hungary

Travel Photography from Hungary:

Trams are popular in many European countries. Budapest boasted an excellent metro underground, plus a very good tram above ground. The many problems are that for a tourist, the systems to use both can be confusing, and they fine if you have not bought the right ticket.

A deep flaw in a tourist capital city. The regulations change frequently, so be advised to check out the rules and regulations before going.

People Philippines Photography

Local children that live on a tiny island in The Philippines

Children on Camiguin The Philippines
Children on Camiguin Island The Philippines

Travel Photography from The Philippines:

Camiguin island is a small volcanic island just of the northern coast of Mindanao. Fabled for it’s many small volcanoes and fresh water springs, the island has a small population.

All round the main island are much smaller island. Here are two children that live on one.

People Photography Tibet

Red Buddha from Tibet

Red Buddha statue in Tibet
Red Buddha statue in Tibet

Travel Photography from Tibet:

Monasteries are everywhere in Tibet. And, in each Monastery you will find room after room of Buddha statues. Each one looking different from the last.

Sadly in Tibet it’s very difficult to get information about each statue beyond the basics. What is important, is to try and record as much as possible before it’s too late.

While Buddhism is still practiced, it’s done so with imported books from China. The old libraries of century old books now house surprisingly new ones. Rewritten with a different version of history.

If you manage a trip to Tibet, bring you’ll be surrounded by statues like this nearly everywhere you go. My advise, photograph them as they too may disappear one day.

Iran Photography Places

Ruins of the Blue Mosque in Iran

Ruins of the Blue mosque in Tabriz Iran
Ruins of the Blue mosque in Tabriz Iran

Travel Photography from Iran

Built in 1465 A.D and flattened to a crumbling heap during an earthquake in 1779. It took until 1973 before restoration finally began on this.

The mosque was built by Jahan Shah the ruler of Kara Koyunlu dynasty which controlled Persia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Tabriz would become the capital of his Kingdom.

If you visit the mosque today, you will see great chunks of broken stone, tile and wall. But they are not scattered. Each one is numbered, and each one has been painstakingly sketched.

Visiting the blue mosque may not wow, you with it’s size nor beauty. But chanced are you will come across many people at work restoring this mosque. From, painters, to masons all the way to sculptures. That in itself is worth the visit.

Featured Article photograpy-articles SEO for Photographers

SEO for Photographers: That dreaded thing call flash … or is it?

Flash on your website
Flash on your website

Flash in layman’s terms is similar to video. I allows you to stitch together a series of photographs, images, text or just about anything into a nice package that can look fantastic on a website.

The downside to flash for photographers:

Ever come across a great photography site that looks fantastic. The images flow wonderfully. The how site is easy to navigate, it’s a great experience.

But why then is it not on the top of any search engine?

Simple, search engines don’t understand flash. It’s like showing a blind person a book, without Braille. They know what it is, but can’t work out the content.

Braille to the search engine comes in the form of text. And, flash has none.

SEO and flash, can they get along?

Not really. Search engine’s simply can’t see Flash, and, probably never will. Trying SEO on a site built on flash is a virtual waste of time.

Should you dump any notion of using flash?

This depends. If your website is entirely made from flash, and nothing else there are two things that will happen. The search engines will glance over it, and all you content will not be recognized. You will give the majority of your users an nice experience.

If all you are doing is putting up a portfolio to show clients, then go for it.

If you are trying to get as much exposure for yourself on the internet, then you will have to give a website created solely on flash another think.

The future of flash?

Html5 is a code that’s is being seen as the end of Flash. Or at least the end of the need for flash. The argument continues on. Html 5 is new, and while it is, and will be adopted by all, there is still life in flash for a long time to come.

Can you have the best of both worlds?

Yes, you can have a portfolio site that’s made from flash, and have a text version of the site as well. There are pro’s and con’s to this. Including more work, but it can deliver the best of both worlds and is worth a consideration.

China People Photography

Balancing Acrobat from Beijing state Circus, China

Acrobat from Beijing State Circus China
Acrobat from Beijing State Circus China

Travel Photography from China:

The Beijing state circus is well worth a visit to in the evening. Try to arrange seats to the front even if the do cost a little more, the show is quite spectacular.

Featuring a cast of incredibly flexible acrobats, you’ll witness people bending their bodies in incredible directions. Jumping through rings of fire. Somersaulting through loops high in the air. And, balancing all manner of things.

In the photograph above the acrobat is balancing empty glasses while spinning around, and then moving into different positions. Later the top glasses will be filled with water, and not a drop will be spilled.

Iran Photography Places

Gates of Persepolis – Iran

Gates of Persepolis, Iran
Gates of Persepolis, Iran

Travel Photography from Iran:

Above the huge great staircase in ancient Persepolis is the  propylon (above). The ruins of Persepolis still stand today in magnificent splendor in Iran.

What’s more, Persepolis is one of the few places in the world you can wander around and enjoy retracing the steps of Alexander the Great, Darius and other formidable legends of the past.

photograpy-articles Workflows

Travel Blog Workflow 7: The Cost

The cost of running a travel blog is not often understood in its entirety

How much does it cost to run a travel blog?

Over the past 6 articles I hope I’ve brought an idea into both the workflow of how I write on The Longest Way Home.

I think the myth of quickly uploading a few photos and scrambling together some content has been dissolved.

Everything here takes time & money. Both of which, like anything in life, are finite. And, as such need to addressed.

The cost behind a single published article:

This is hard to give an exact quote on. For many reasons. Primarily because I do try to get many things done at once.

A trip to a market might result in two articles in a location with free wifi. Whereas a trip to a remote area, might mean one article and having to pay for expensive wifi when I get back.

Not to mention many photographs don’t get used, they get saved so that’s not factored in.

So let me tackle this as an average costing, here we go.

Photography costing workflow:

This is my far the biggest expense.

Taking an average photo session of lets say 2 GB of material after the first edit. It may take 6 hours to process everything including backups to external drives.

I like a quiet environment for this. So normally it occurs in a guesthouse room.

Uploading 2 GB to Zenfolio. For this I need internet. 2GB + average shared upload speed = 14 hours of uploading. (this does not take into account breaks in the connection, which are frequent.)

This also requires a constant electricity supply, and, leaving the laptop unattended for periods time.  So it has to occur in a private room.

Average cost of room (Asia) USD $10 – $15.

The processing happens at the end of the day, as does the uploading. So, it moves into a second day. Thus, equaling two days total. (it does not factor in additional online photo backups)

Total cost $20-30.

I need sleep, so I do most of this at night if possible. However an increasing number of guesthouses turn their wifi off at night. What’s more. Wifi signals often do not reach a room.

So, I am adding in another $12 for a third day if it means sitting in a common room.

Double up the work for content:

Now comes content writing. Here after a nights sleep, and if the wifi is still active I can produce 1-3 articles. Depending on what’s been happening, and content available.

Few people think about the amount of time they spend online that amounts to the running cost of a travel blog

For the purposes of this work flow, I am including only food & water expenses for being stationary during these days.

Let’s throw in $20 there. And, not include internet costing or accommodation.

Promotion and emailing:

Let’s skip sitting in a guesthouse room for a while. And move onto on the road activity. And, it’s again internet related.

Mobile promotion of an article. Based on Philippines mobile internet costs it’s about $5 per week.

This includes quick email replies. Approving comments. Twitter and Facebook promoting.

Eating and working:

Many places offer free internet where you dine. I find this difficult unless it’s unlimited internet. And, it’s not too expensive.

I generally try to find a coffee place that doesn’t limit you on time. But this is an added expense. $2-3 a cup of java.

Moreover in both places there’s not often an electrical socket.

I use both of the above for comment replies, emailing, and content edits. Rarely, for photo uploading.

I do take advantage of free wifi too. But, again, generally speaking you need to buy something at a place.

Total cost x 2-3 times a week $15

Adding up the costing workflow:

If you add up all the above it comes to $75 per week.

This is not an accurate figure though. It’s not taking into account the fact that I am traveling, and might be in a wifi enabled guesthouse anyway.

I am also not including costs on backup’s of backup’s I mentioned in the Photography workflow.

Another thing not taken into account here is a social life. Maybe I meet some people, and head out for the evening. Is this a lost night of uploading?

So with the greatest respect of making an approximation on this number I’m shooting at $60 per week.

This is based on one photo shoot and two articles along with promotional and content workflows.

That’s one big expense.

Breaking down the costing workflow total:

There are however some other factors not being considered here.

Photographs from one day’s shooting can be used in several future articles and not just 2.

Is it fair to label backups, hosting etc  as a travel blog expense? I think it is.

Either way, it’s easy to see that the biggest cost factor in running this travel blog is the photography side of things.

I generally only post between 3 and 4 photos per article of post.

However, in a photo shoot there can be as many as 80-100 photographs.

Do they all get used on the website? No. Do they all need to be backed up and uploaded? Yes.

Alas it’s a catch 22 again based on my predicament of having no base.

Open to suggestions of how you do it, and alternatives?

In the next part of travel blog workflow costings I’ll cover my revenue business workflow? Aka how to recoup some of these expenses, and some rationale behind it all.

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