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How to help search engines find your WordPress posts and images with SEO

In this article, we are using the following components:

This particular article was written for our client, Susan Aaron-Taylor, who makes wonderful mixed media dream like sculptures. The article is written in a relaxed, 2nd person voice, as if it is a personal email written to Susan Aaron-Taylor, as it is intended.  If you happen to stumble upon this page while searching for help with improving your WordPress SEO and feel you could use more assistance, do not hesitate to contact us here at Purveu if you are interested in hiring us to help you become better in your online endeavors through WordPress.

Search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, all use text to index content, and that content includes the images on each web page.  The search engines have no idea what is contained within the images.  Therefore, each image must have a short description that provides  information to describe that image.  In addition, just as the images on a given page should support the text on the page, the text within that article should also support the images on the page.  In other words, when creating a blog post about a particular sculpture, don’t just put the images of the sculpture in the post, tell the story about that post.  What inspired you to create this sculpture?  What was challenging about creating it?  Write a short story for each sculpture to accompany the images in the post.  Optimally, you should try to write about 300 words per post.  If you don’t have 300 words to say, don’t sweat it too much.  Don’t write just to fill the space of 300 words, as good quality content is better than quantity and filler every time.  Also, be sure to add any links to other pages and posts on your site as well as external links to other sites whenever possible.  If you refer to another sculpture or post on your site, link to the page or post using a keyword within that sentence.  If you refer to a particular topic, Wikipedia is usually a great site to reference as a source for the definition or further information about that topic.  If you mention a gallery, author or other artist, be sure to add links to that individual or gallery.  See the following example.  “power animal” links to a page about “Neoshamonism” where there is a section about what a “power animal” is.  Sure, you summarized it, but pretend you are writing a research paper where you need to cite as many sources as you can.  Wikipedia is the fifth most popular web site on the planet as of this writing, so I encourage you to link to it at every relevant opportunity.  There are two other links in this example.  The author’s name links to her web site, and the title of her book links to the Amazon page where the book can be purchased.  I did this so that Sandra’s site is referenced, and you also provide a link to a really popular site, being Amazon (not to mention it might sell a few books for her).

Write a short story about the images in this post. Add external links to relevant content.
Write a short story about the images in this post. Add external links to relevant content.

Provide descriptions for every image

In addition to writing a short story for each post, each image should have a brief description.  No more than a sentence is necessary.  What you have done for the finished pieces where you give a title, the materials used, and the size of the sculpture is plenty. You can use the same brief description for the image caption, alt text, and description.  Click on any of the images in the Gallery and then click on the pencil that appears at the top of the gallery to edit that gallery, as shown in the following image:

Click on any of the images in the media gallery preview. At the top of the preview area, a pencil and an "X" will appear. Click on the pencil to edit the gallery.
Click on any of the images in the media gallery preview. At the top of the preview area, a pencil and an “X” will appear. Click on the pencil to edit the gallery.

Now, click on the image that you would like to add a description to.  A place to edit the title, caption, alt text and description will appear on the right side of the editor:

In the Image Gallery, select an image to edit the title, caption, alt text, and description on the right. Click "update gallery" when you are done.
In the Image Gallery, select an image to edit the title, caption, alt text, and description on the right. Click “update gallery” when you are done.

The caption is what will be displayed when someone rolls their mouse over an image.

The alt text is what is displayed if a visitor has disabled images, or is using a braille reader to read the web page.

The description is what the search engines use to index your image.

As mentioned earlier, you can enter the same brief description in all three fields.  Once you have added the description for that image, click “Update Gallery” at the bottom, just below where you entered the description.

Customize the search engine listing for SEO

Once you are done writing your content and adding image descriptions, you can use the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” plugin to improve your chances of attracting the search engines to your post, and subsequently, the images within your post.  Scroll down to the bottom of the WordPress editor.  You will find the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” panel directly below.  In the SEO panel, you will see a “snippet preview” which shows you how the search engines may show your link to this page in the search engine results.  Though there is no guarantee that the results will always look exactly like this (the search engines have minds of their own), it is likely that a few weeks after you post, this is what the search engine will try to use.

In order to analyze your content, Yoast needs to know what the topic of the post should be.  Enter a primary keyword, such as Guide for the ‘Guide’ in Progress post.

Enter a unique focus keyword and a meta description for this post.
Enter a unique focus keyword and a meta description for this post.

Note the Focus keyword usage section.  Try to fix as many items in red as possible.  If everything is green, that’s good.

You can customize the SEO Title, which is the link that appears at the beginning of the search engine listing.

To help the search engines properly index your page, you should write a concise description of what your post is about and enter that in the Meta description field.  Be sure to keep an eye on the character count below the field, as then search engines will only use the first 156 characters.  So, if you use Twitter, write this meta description as if it’s a tweet, and that will help you keep description short and to the point.

Analyze and review the page content using WordPress SEO by Yoast

Once you have provided a focus keyword, you can access the Page Analysis tab in the WordPress SEO by Yoast panel.  This will give you ideas on how you can further improve the content on your page to help the search engines index the page.  Do not try to make all of the points green, as that isn’t always possible.  Just use the colored dot in the Publish panel near the top right of the editor, which is above the Update or Publish button.  If the general SEO button is green, you have done enough search engine optimization to ensure proper search engine indexing of your post.  While reviewing the Page Analysis panel, be weary of the occasional false negative.  For example, Yoast is unaware of the many images on the ‘Guide’ In Progress page because they are loaded by the Gallery Bank plugin.  This doesn’t hurt your SEO, because when the actual page is rendered, all of the images within the attached gallery are loaded onto the page.

Try to get as many green dots as you can without creating any filler or irrelevant content.
Try to get as many green dots as you can without creating any filler or irrelevant content.

Once you have made as many changes as you can to ensure good search engine optimization, publish or update the post by clicking the Publish (or Update if the page has already been published) button.

Note the color of the dot to the left of "SEO". Green is good, yellow is OK, orange and red are bad. Try to get as many green dots as possible, but don't invent content and filler just to get to green.
Note the color of the dot to the left of “SEO”. Green is good, yellow is OK, orange and red are bad. Try to get as many green dots as possible, but don’t invent content and filler just to get to green.

 

Franklin Medical Consultants

Franklin Medical Consultants website by Purveu
Franklin Medical Consultants website by Purveu

Like several of Purveu’s clients, Franklin Medical Consultants already had a website. The problem was, the original website designer hired to build the website never finished the project. It turns out, the website had been online for nearly a year, in an unfinished state, though it was impossible to find. It was difficult to find in part due to the domain name recommended by the designer. Poorly chosen domain names can make it more difficult to be found on search engines like Google, but they are not the sole factor. Unfortunately, the original site designer didn’t do much, if anything to ensure the site would be found by the search engines, and it showed. Franklin Medical Consultants didn’t even show up on the first page of the search results for “Franklin Medical Consultants”. Making matters worse, the former designer was charging $200 a month to “guarantee top search engine placement”! This kind of shoddy workmanship and shady business practices are exactly what give web designers a bad name.

The Franklin Medical Consultants Website Employs a Search Engine and Human Friendly Design

A search for "Southfield Medical Doctor" on Google lists franklinmedicalconsultants.com on the top of the local and organic results.
A search for “Southfield Medical Doctor” on Google lists franklinmedicalconsultants.com on the top of the local and organic results.

When Purveu took on the Franklin Medical Consultants website in October of 2013, the mission was simple: create a clean, simple and straightforward website that potential patients can easily find. So, that’s exactly what we did. Knowing that returning customers would likely be looking to make an appointment, we placed the phone number and hours of operation at the top of the page along with the logo. Directions to the clinic are in the footer of every page. New patients can now print out the new patient assessment form directly from the website, saving them and the office staff time on the first visit.

Using a more descriptive domain name, franklinmedicalconsultants.com, along with current search engine optimization standards documented by both Google and Bing, Purveu was able to propel the relaunched Franklin Medical Consultants website from obscurity to the top of the search engine listings for phrases like “Southfield doctor” within the first three months of the relaunch.

Museum of Devotion and Another Cold Wave

museumofdevotion.com
museumofdevotion.com

It’s been chilly here for the past few weeks.  We recently experienced a cold wave where wind chills hit a record -40 degrees Fahrenheit.  Currently, local meteorologists have forecasted yet another cold wave this week.

Here at Purveu, we like a good challenge.  Though we focus primarily on helping small businesses build their online presence to attract their local customer base, we are not afraid to take on a unique project here and there.  In addition, we at Purveu all come from the worlds of art and music.  So, when the 1980’s Coldwave band Museum of Devotion asked if we’d be willing to take on helping them market their first new material in over two decades, we couldn’t resist the opportunity.  Or perhaps we took on this project due to cold waves our area of the world has been experiencing as of late.  Either way, helping Museum of Devotion get reacquainted with their audience has proven to be a great project for Purveu.

About Museum of Devotion

Museum of Devotion in 2014
Pictured: Museum of Devotion. Robert Anderson, left. James Cooper, right. January 1, 2014.

Museum of Devotion is a Coldwave band who between 1988 and 1990 released two albums and an EP which include their 1988 debut, …to the pink period, and the 1990 album, Wants Versus Needs.  Though Museum of Devotion never found mainstream success in the United States, but they did become a fixture in the French and Belgium Coldwave scenes in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  Though the band has been in hiatus for over 20 years, they are still remembered within the French music scene, so much so that the French music press still compares newer acts in the Coldwave genre to Museum of Devotion.  For example, in a quick review of an album by Nerve Exhibit, Premonition magazine compared Nerve Exhibit’s sound to Museum of Devotion, New Order, and Skinny Puppy.

On this project, Purveu not only built the band’s new web site, we worked on creating the band’s official online presence.  For years, Museum of Devotion fans had been sharing the band’s music on sites like YouTube.  Since the band’s music had been out of print for years, we chose to view the bootlegged music as a form of free promotion, and an opportunity to network with fans scattered around the globe.  So, we didn’t issue any takedown requests. Instead, wherever we found Museum of Devotion’s music being shared, we simply invited fans to connect directly with the band’s web site, the Museum of Devotion Facebook Page or the Museum of Devotion YouTube channel.

When the band went into hiatus, it wasn’t initially by choice.  Their label, New Rose records, folded.  At the time, the band was working on their first music video for the single, Slomo.  Using the footage shot for that video, Purveu picked up where New Rose left off by digitizing the original 8mm footage, editing and doing the post production work on the video.  On January 1st, 2014, Museum of Devotion officially released their Slomo music video on YouTube.

Another Cold Wave

Another Cold Wave by Museum of Devotion
Another Cold Wave by Museum of Devotion

With the web site launched, the video available on YouTube, and the the social media presence established, Museum of Devotion are now working on officially reissuing their old material and releasing a new EP entitled Another Cold Wave.  Purveu is assisting with this process by creating the album cover, liner notes, and advising on digital distribution.  Their entire catalog will be available both through digital and physical distribution in 2014.

Blogs at Purveu

Thank you for visiting the Purveu website.  On this website, in addition to general information about the Purveu website development company, you will find blogs about the work we do for our clients, reviews of the products and tools we use at Purveu, and tutorials on how to build and improve your own website, for the DIY crowd.

Client Blogs

Once a client’s site goes live and becomes available on the Internet, we here at Purveu will publish a blog about the work we’ve done for our clients.  This may seem like we are tooting our own horn, so to speak.  The primary reason we write these blog entries is to help promote our client’s new or updated site.  Search engines like Google promote sites in their rankings when they find other sites pointing to them.  Therefore, it’s a little way we give our client’s sites a bit of a head start.  In addition, we hope you find the information on these pages useful if you are searching for a website development company.

Product Review Blogs

We use a lot of tools to build great websites.  Some of these tools are extremely popular and well documented.  Some of our tools may be more obscure.  The intent of these reviews is to explain how we use these tools, in hopes of inspiring other developers to either try new tools or better use the tools they already have.  At Purveu, we like to share.

Tutorials

For the do it yourself crowd, we here at Purveu are publishing a series of tutorials on the topic of web development.  This series is intended for small business owners that want to try to build their websites on their own.  If you know your way around your computer, and you know your way around the Internet and you are somewhat technically inclined, these tutorials are written with you in mind.  If you have no idea what HTML and CSS are, this tutorials may be too advanced.  These tutorials are not meant for experts or website development professionals either, as they are meant for the power user or do it yourself person that likes to get their hands dirty.  Our founder, Brian Gasperosky, is a former college instructor who spent several years teaching classes on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and Adobe Dreamweaver.  Our hope is that you find these tutorials useful.  Also, if you find yourself getting in over your head, our hope is that you’ll consider contacting Purveu to help you build your site if you become overwhelmed.  With this said, these tutorials are simply tutorials.  We are not responsible for anything you do in any way on your own.  We do welcome commentary and feedback on the tutorials themselves though.  So, if you have any constructive criticism, comments, or praise for a particular article, feel free to sign in and post a comment on that article.

Coley Vending

Coley Vending Website in a Browser by Purveu
The 2013 Coley Vending Website Redesign in a Browser by Purveu

Coley Vending, Inc. is one of Purveu’s oldest clients.  In fact, Coley’s first website was created by our founder when he was freelancing several years ago.  The original website was hand coded from scratch.  While the website served its purpose when it was created, the market changed dramatically in a few short years.  The biggest shift is to mobile devices.  Cell phones were rarely used to visit websites when the first Coley Vending site was created.  Tablets were nearly non-existent.  Adobe Flash was a popular medium for creating animation on websites.

The Coley Vending Website has been Updated for a Changing Market

The Coley Vending website on a cell phone by Purveu
The Coley Vending website on a cell phone by Purveu

Today of course, people frequently visit web sites via their cell phones and tablets.  Some people no longer use traditional desktop computers at home.  More than ever, people visit sites with their mobile devices on the go.  Adobe Flash does not work on mobile devices.  Coley also wanted to take control of their content.  They no longer wanted to contact a web developer, even our founder, to make simple changes to their website.  They wanted to create their own content.

In 2013, Coley Vending approached Purveu and asked to have their website rebuilt so that their employees could maintain the site.  Purveu delivered this functionality through WordPress.  Multiple Coley employees have access to create and edit content on the Coley Vending website.  Purveu provided custom online help articles for these employees to access.  Purveu provided training to teach Coley employees how to add and update content.  The website was redesigned to provide a good experience for any visitors to the website.  The original website design was kept intact.  Even the Adobe Flash animation that the owner of Coley Vending is fond of is on the website, but it now only appears when a visitor’s browser has a compatible Adobe Flash plugin for their web browser.  Mobile viewers see a static image instead.

Coley Vending website on a tablet by Purveu
The Coley Vending website on a tablet by Purveu

Why I Started Purveu

Purveu, LLC may be a new company, the people behind Purveu have been active in website development, graphic design and marketing for many years. In fact, I started building websites professionally in 1994. Back then, things were pretty simple. The only common way people accessed the Internet was via a computer.  There was only one web browser, Mosaic.  Things have evolved considerably since then.  In addition to a wide array of web browsers, almost anything with a chip in it is now accessing the Internet.  In addition to computers, devices like tablets, cell phones, thermostats, televisions, and even light bulbs are now connected to the Internet.  Many professionals in all fields are connecting to the Internet on the go.  These people are accessing websites via their cell phones, tablets, and laptops rather than through a desktop computer.  Sadly, many website designers have not kept up with the rapidly evolving market.  These website designers seem content with building beautiful websites that only work well on computers, or in a few remaining extreme cases, some designers insist upon still designing websites for one version of one browser.  The reality is, they are turning away more site visitors than they are embracing.  This is why I founded Purveu.

The Purveu Mission

At Purveu, our mission is simple.  We strive to make great websites for small, service driven businesses.  We focus on this business segment because we feel this segment has been underserved by other website designers.  Many website development firms are to expensive for many small business owners to afford.  Most of our clients are companies of 25 employees or less.  This means they don’t have money for a full time marketing department, nor do they have the money to shell out for a large scale website development project.  At the same time, these small businesses do not want to settle for a poorly designed, unmaintained website built by someone on the cheap.  These companies also do not have the time to learn to build websites themselves.  This is where Purveu comes in.  We keep our operating costs to a minimum.  Purveu doesn’t have a fancy office in some prime commercial real estate district.  Since our product and services are entirely virtual, our designers, developers and marketers all work wherever they want to.  When we meet we our clients, we visit our clients.  This gives us a feel for how our clients’ businesses operate, which helps us better serve them.  Meeting with our clients on their terms, in their businesses is another thing that makes Purveu different.  A small business focus, personal attention to detail, and minimal overhead, all so we can provide great service at a reasonable price.  That’s why I started Purveu.

Sincerely,
Brian Gasperosky
Founder of Purveu, LLC

Website development for small service oriented businesses

At Purveu, we strive to do one thing well, and that is to make the best websites for small, service oriented companies.  We are well aware that your time as a small business owner is valuable.  You don’t have time to waste spelling out every last detail of how your website should look and function.  You just need it to work for you, sooner rather than later.  This is where Purveu comes in.  Our process makes it easy for you to control what is on your website.  You write your content, and we make sure your message gets to your customers in the medium your customers want it in.

Website Development

The OSM Website in a Desktop Web Browser by Purveu

At Purveu, we strive to be the best at what we do.  We don’t take on every project we can.  We seek out the projects our company is best suited to do.  When it comes to website development, we only use the WordPress.org content management system.  Sure, there are many other popular systems out there like Drupal and Joomla! for building websites.  We could also write your website from scratch, but if we did, we’d be spreading ourselves too thin.  By specializing in WordPress website development, we can stay focused on our mission, which is to provide the best websites for small, service oriented companies.

Professional Graphic Design

Many independent website designers believe they can do it all.  In other words, they try to take the graphic design and attempt to handle the software development involved in building a website at the same time.  At Purveu, we don’t believe in unicorns, but we do believe that only unicorns can be both artists and scientists at the same time.  Unlike many website development companies, we have people that focus only on what they are good at.

When we take on a website project at Purveu, once we meet with you and determine exactly what your website requirements are, one of our professional graphic designers will work with you to come up with the exact design elements and graphics you need for your website.

A Custom Website Template

Coley Vending Website in a Browser by Purveu

Once you approve of the design elements, one of our website developers will get to work on turning your website vision into reality.  Our website developers will build a custom template that not only looks good on your computer, the website will look and perform great on any device, whether that device is a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer with a large, high resolution screen.  Our developers also follow WordPress standards to ensure that your website will continue to work properly and seamlessly even as major updates are made to WordPress.

Since we don’t use pre fabricated, purchased stock themes to build your website, we not only build you a website that fits perfectly with your existing company branding, but you don’t need to worry about your website having performance or security issues that could arise if a third party stopped maintaining your theme.

We at Purveu apply a minimalist philosophy when it comes to using third party plugins on your website.  Some WordPress developers rely heavily on plugins to achieve the look and feel of their website.  At Purveu, since we build the design in house, and we only use plugins to add necessary functionality to your website.  If the plugin doesn’t add direct value for you or your customers, we won’t use it.  We are very selective of what plugins we use, and we stick to a core set of well tested, up to date WordPress plugins.  We do this to not only optimize the performance of your website, but to maximize security, as more plugins mean more code, and more code means more opportunities for hackers to exploit.

Website Maintenance

We know you are busy.  We also know that you don’t want to be an expert in Internet security.  Therefore we don’t just build your website and walk away.  The website is only the beginning.  As updates for WordPress are released, we maintain your website by administering the updates and make any required changes to the theme required by those updates.

Online Presence Management

Once your site is online, that’s only the beginning.  The Internet is no longer the Field of Dreams.  Just because we built it, that doesn’t mean that anyone will visit your website.  People only visit websites that have content they want and need.  Even if your website has great content, it needs to be easy to find.  According to WorldWideWebSize.com,  there are 3.94 Billion web pages, as of September 15th, 2013.  With that many web pages available, it is impossible to guarantee that your website will appear at the top of every web search.  Anyone that claims they can do this is lying.  With that said, it is possible to optimize a website to positively influence placement of a website on the major search engines.  At Purveu, we do everything we can to improve your website’s visibility by using the latest proven techniques in search engine optimization without compromising your website’s content.  After all, what will ultimately bring in new quality customers is well written, unique and valuable content.  If your website is built purely to attract search engine placement, humans will be put off by the mechanical content.

Today, search engines are not the only way your site can be found.  In fact, there’s a much better way to attract people that are actual potential customers to your business, and that is social networking.  One of the biggest reasons we use WordPress is that it’s not only great for building a website, it’s actually the biggest and best blogging platform on the planet.  Using WordPress, we can help you to create unique, high quality content about you and your business that will attract your customers.  We build websites for our customers so that they can share content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest about what their company does for their customers.  We also help our customers produce compelling video to be shared on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.  Every time you produce a new video or blog entry on your website, your content is shared on major social networks.  Those impressions  lead visitors to your website, convincing them to become your next customer.

WordPress Editor Training

Okay, you have a website, but now what?  Many website development companies build your website and walk away.  Other website companies nickel and dime you by charging  for even the most mundane of updates.  At Purveu, we’re different.  We truly believe in the idea that if we teach you to fish, you can feed yourself for a lifetime.  In the case of a website, once it is built, we train you or a member of your staff to create new content.  We monitor your progress and help you write great content.  If writing isn’t your strong suit, we have editors with English degrees that can turn your rough drafts into great final copy.

At Purveu, we treat our customers as if we are your personal tailor.  We design a unique online presence that’s perfectly suited for your business.

Purveu, LLC
9591 Tecumseh
Redford, MI 48239
(734)743-1457
info@purveu.net

OSM

The OSM Website in a Desktop Web Browser by Purveu
The OSM Website in a Desktop Web Browser by Purveu

When OSM (On-Site Management) first approached Purveu, they already had a website.  The problem was, they knew the website wasn’t serving them well.  Though the website looked good in a web browser on a computer, it didn’t work on tablets or cell phones.  To make matters worse, there wasn’t any text on any of the pages.  They had content, but the website designer they hired for the original site had simply created images for the entire page and posted those mockups as the final webpages.  This is what happens when a graphic designer without web development experience tries to be a web developer.  It just doesn’t work.

OSM Website reader view by Purveu
OSM Website in reader view by Purveu

The site only looked good at the screen resolution the graphic designer built the site in.  On large high resolution monitors, most of the page was empty.  The images were too big for tablets and cell phones.  If a visitor on a cell phone had enough patience to find the phone number, they couldn’t click on the number to dial it.  They had to write the number down or memorize it.  To make matters worse, without any real content on the page, search engines could not index the OSM website.  As a result, very few people visited the OSM site, because their site did not exist in Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

The new OSM Website is now Mobile and Search Engine Friendly

The OSM Website on a Cell Phone
The OSM Website on a Cell Phone by Purveu

Purveu worked with OSM to rebuild their website to meet their demands.  The website is now very search engine friendly.  Relevant content is being indexed by all of the major search engines.  The website is more visually appealing, because one of Purveu’s graphic designers worked with OSM to fit the website in with their existing branding.  Using WordPress, Purveu translated the graphic designer’s vision into a website that looks great and functions well regardless of what visitors use to access it.  One of the key features OSM needed on the site was a global map displaying the location of each restaurant franchise they have renovated.  Purveu provided this feature via the MapsMarker plugin for WordPress.  The  website content is now maintained by employees at OSM.  Purveu provided OSM with step by step help documentation and hands on training for WordPress.  Purveu continues to meet with OSM to aid  in developing their proficiency in WordPress so they can add content the website.  Purveu also manages the website by installing updates to WordPress.  Purveu regularly backs up the website.  As OSM creates new content, Purveu reviews the content and provides suggestions to improve search engine rankings while focusing on visitor accessibility.  With the ongoing partnership between OSM and Purveu, we are building a website that showcases OSM better than most of the competition in their field.

The OSM Website on a Tablet
The OSM Website on a Tablet by Purveu