It’s quite a while – actually more than three years – that I posted a list of FREE photo sites on the internet. To keep you updated, here are more websites added, which offer free, professionally taken and Photoshop-enhanced images, together with everyday shots. Carefully choose the resolution that you need, especially if the the image is for print of a high-quality book cover. Some of these photo sites require registration (free), but it’s more than worth it. Each stock site will give you the guidelines when you search for an image as to how you can use that image.
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Improve SEO Through Your Photos
There is more to it, than just placing attractive photos on your blog or website. Here are some tips how you can optimize your photos to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and to get more traffic to your website or blog.
Reduce the File Size of Your Photos
NOT the dimensions of the image, but the pixel size. When you re-size a photo manually in WordPress (for example) you only change the dimensions, and the amount of pixel stays almost the same. A file size of 1.8 MB can be easily reduced to 300 Kb without compromising the quality for the viewer. Adobe Photoshop or Adobe “Lightroom” software can be used to re-size the photo’s pixels – not the dimension! Important: Make a copy of your original photo BEFORE you re-size. Otherwise it would be lost forever and you would keep only the lower pixel version. There is no way back!
Name your Photos
File593730.jpg or DSC_8405037.jpg is not helpful for Search Engine Optimization and is totally meaningless to search engines. Keywords in the photos name should be separated by hyphens, NOT underscores, and shouldn’t be squeezed into a single word, e.g. Antique-Leica-Camera.jpg.
Always Use ALT Tags
Wordpress makes it easy for you when adding photos to your text. The fields for Title, Description, ALT and caption are build-in, so you can fill them out easily. Search engines can’t “see” photos, but “read” keywords, that describes your image. Keywords that you use on your web page should work together with the keywords you use for your images.
Royalty-Free Image Sites
Sometimes you just can’t find what you want at the free image sites, so it’s always a good idea to play-it-safe and pick up an image from one of these Royalty-Free image sites. It will save you a lot of hassle with copyright infringement down the road.
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Social tagging: Always Use Alt Tags > Free images > New Royalty-free photos > Photo SEO > Photosharing sites