Getting Images To Appear In Google

April 1, 2008

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a multi-tentacled beast. Just when you think that you have traffic coming to your site through natural search and pay-per-click campaigns, you realize that you are missing out on a ton of traffic from Google — Images.

Google’s robots can’t do a heck of a lot with images so in order for them to show up in Google’s Image Search, you need to take care to do the following items correctly:

  • Always, always, always use alt tags
    • Not only is this a requirement to make your site accessible and ADA compliant, but it gives Google something to read and relate to on your site. If I were to promote a technical coaching offering, I might have a photo of a football coach on my site (to be clever and all). It would be a compelling photo with great content surrounding it that extolled the benefits of our offering. However, Google wouldn’t know what to do with the image because it can only see my image as an image — not the brilliant marketing concept that it really is. If I added an alt tag with the phrase “Hinutech Digital Coaching Offers You Technical Assistance and Strategy for Your Small Business”, Google would have something to latch onto and would index this image with a link back to my site/page.
  • Put the image name in the title attribute
    • Similar to the alt tag, the title attribute can be a very useful way to further describe your content to search engines. It can be added to virtually any element that you have on your page, and it will be read by search engines as regular page content. The title attribute is much more flexible than the alt tag and when used properly, can result in huge gains for your index-ability within search engines.
  • Don’t use underscores in your image names.
    • Google sees these as one word. For example, an image named Hinutech_Web_Content_Management_System_CMS.jpg would be read by Google as HinutechWebContentManagementSystemCMS which is pretty ineffective for SEO. Instead, you should use hyphens in your image names to serve as word separators. If I called the previous example Hinutech-Web-Content-Management-System-CMS.jpg, then Google would read it as Hinutech Web Content Management System CMS. For SEO purposes, this is ideal. I get the name of my company, a product offering (Hinutech Web), and a solution that people would commonly search for (Content Management System or CMS).

If you utilize these three tips, not only will you enhance the experience for your visitors with disabilities, but you will also increase your site’s relevancy for keywords and get images in Google’s Image Search. Not a bad deal, eh?

SEO is tough, and often times you will need to go back and refactor a good portion of your site to put these principles in use. This can be intimidating, but it must be done to increase the effectiveness of your site. Moving forward, though, keep these tips for dealing with images in mind as you create and update content.

Note: SEO is a WIP. If you go to Hinutech.com, you’ll notice that we have a great deal of work to do there to get this correct. Do as I say, not as I do!

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RSS Feeds: The Full Post Vs. The Summary

March 28, 2008

Making the RSS feed for your blog a full post as opposed to only a summary is the way to go. Bill Seaver from Microexplosion.com explains why. The gist of it all is that you need to make it as convenient as possible for people to read and interact with your blog.



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Hinutech Book Club

March 27, 2008

As a service to my customers and readers, I am starting an online book club where we will read an eBook about technology, SEO, creativity, entrepreneurial pursuits, leadership or marketing and discuss it here and via the message boards at Hinutech.com. I have currently collected Seth Godin’s redistributable eBooks (and a few more) and would like to establish a virtual library for everyone to use to download, read and improve themselves.If you have written an eBook that falls into this category, drop me an email at bookclub@hinutech.com. If you know of someone who would like to distribute their works to an eager audience, please send them my way.

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Attributes of Success

March 25, 2008

Who is the most successful person you can think of? It could be anyone — a family member, a neighbor, a celebrity, a politician, a business person. What attributes make them successful? Don’t immediately go to money. There are many rich people whose lives are in shambles. Don’t go to fame either. Although talent goes a long way, luck plays a huge role in the process of becoming a celebrity.

The most successful person that I know is my neighbor. He has grown children who genuinely want to be around him. He and his wife are very much in love. He is respected by our community. He is generous and kind. He has plenty of money but doesn’t use it in a way that makes those around him feel lesser.

Below is my list of attributes of what I think makes someone successful. Note that none of my measures are things that the U.S. educational system has on any syllabus. Perhaps educators need to re-think their curriculum if their goal is to create successful individuals.

  • Honest
  • Love of self
  • Love of others
  • Generosity
  • Creative
  • Leader
  • Do-er
  • Comfortably wealthy
  • Giving
  • Compassionate
  • Role model
  • Enthusiastic
  • Genuine
  • Purposeful
  • Driven

Please add to my list and discuss your own measure of success.

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An Effective Use of CRM

March 24, 2008

In an earlier post, I wrote about the importance of keeping in touch with your customers after the sale is made. Shortly after publishing it, I received an email from Hotel La Meridiana in Sorrento, Italy doing nothing but wishing me a happy Easter. My wife and I stayed there for one night last summer during our holiday. The hotel was nice (nothing fancy), and upon our departure, we decided that we might stay there again if we ever return. I can’t say that this email changed our perception of the hotel, but it has changed our perception of the type of people who run the place. Making the effort to stay in touch with a couple from Cincinnati, Ohio who stayed there for a single night because it was cheap and had a vacancy means something to me.

What does this mean for your business? Clearly, staying in touch with people matters. How do you do that? Make a minimal investment of time and expense in a Customer Relationship Management system. You can sign up for an account with any software as a service CRM package today. Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and Hinutech CRM (shameless self promotion, I know) are best of breed and can help you quickly keep track of all of your customer interactions. You can track important dates, create marketing campaigns, capture support issues and establish sales pipelines that help you guide your contacts to prospects to customers. Moving to a CRM solution takes some effort on your part, but when done properly, a system like this can really help you make an impact on your customers and allow you to be an excellent resource for them.

Who knows? Some random person might even link to you in their blog some day because of a thoughtful email you sent them through your system.

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SEO Your Blog the Right Way

March 24, 2008

With all of the fluff pieces out there about driving traffic to your blog via SEO techniques, David Skul has put together a very informative 5 minute video detailing some approaches. The gist of it all, however, is to have fresh, relevant, well-done content that your readers/customers find valuable. Just like David’s blog….

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Google As A Destination

March 24, 2008

There is a great discussion at Gigaom about Google’s transformation from a search engine to an internet destination with very insightful comments from the blog readers. From day 1, Google’s mission has been to catalog the world’s data, and each of their add-on services seeks to improve on that mission. Think about the usefulness of GMail, Google Apps, Blogger, Feedburner, Analytics (and on, and on), and each of these services seeks to enhance the world’s access to and definition of data. I don’t feel that Google is spreading themselves to thin….rather I see them as effectively executing their mission.

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Keep In Touch

March 23, 2008

So, there is a great way to get repeat sales from customers — keeping in touch after a sale is made. Most businesses fall short in this department, and subsequently, miss out on the opportunity to truly wow their customers. Getting the first sale can be easy. The difficult part comes when you maintain a relationship with a customers, work to resolve issues with them and be an on-going resource for them. It’s hard work. The good news is that once you have a few people who know and trust you, then your sales process becomes much easier because you now have them selling you to their colleagues.

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Three Signs of a Miserable Job: Irrelevance

March 19, 2008

In an earlier post, I introduced the concept of Anonymity as it relates to job misery. This time around, I would like to focus on Irrelevance. Patrick Lencioni has the following to say about irrelevance:

“Everyone needs to know that their job matters, to someone. Anyone. Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply will not find lasting fulfillment. Even the most cynical employees need to know that their work matters to someone, even if it’s just the boss.”

Think about it. How would you feel about your job if what you did had absolutely no measurable impact on anyone? What if the thing you poured your heart into mattered to no one? That would be absolutely horrible. The good news is that your job does matter to people. If you are an administrative assistant, doing good work has a positive impact on your boss. If you are a leader, then everything you say and do matters to the people who choose to work for you. If you are a programmer, your quality development matters to your co-workers, boss, customers, technical support engineers….

You get the picture. So, how can you overcome feelings of irrelevance in the workplace? If you are a leader, it’s pretty easy: let your people know that what they do matters to you — that if they do a good job, it makes your life better. Acknowledging that your people draw satisfaction from doing things that make your day isn’t egotistical. It is honest. More importantly, though, is helping your people understand how their work impacts others (customers, co-workers, etc.). As a leader, it is your responsibility to help your people grow and feel fulfillment in their jobs. They will do better work if they feel accountable to someone other than themselves.

If you’re not a leader, then finding relevance where you feel there is none might be a bit tougher. I encourage you to have an open, honest discussion with your boss about your feelings. Have them help you identify to whom the work you do really matters. You also need to do some soul searching. Think long and hard about who you impact on a daily basis. Make it tangible. If you have customer interaction on a daily basis, clearly, that is a marker of relevance. If you don’t have direct customer interaction but, say, develop a product that ships to customers, think harder. You can’t derive relevance from an abstract. You need something tangible to see that your work matters. Think about who’s life would be made more difficult if you didn’t do an excellent job. Who’s day is harder if you don’t show up for work? These are the people to whom you matter.

Remember, there are people that care about the work you do. If you’re a leader, acknowledge those people and help those around you see the relevance in their jobs. If you’re not a leader, figure this out quickly, and you’ll soon be leading others.

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Paying Attention Is Hard

March 19, 2008

I frequently post about the value of focus, and how we, as marketers and business owners, need to get away from interrupting people in favor of delivering value.

This video perfectly captures why I keep beating that drum.

Thanks to Seth Godin for pointing this out.

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