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Q&A #15: font sizes, ALT tags & geo-tagging for SEO, Google Search Console and more

I’m answering your questions about photography websites, business, marketing, SEO and more.

You can ask me anything. I’ll try to answer within 24 hours, and the most useful questions get featured here on the newsletter too. Need any help with your website? Don’t hesitate to write, I’m all ears.

Thanks to Michelle, Donna, Dan, Yogesh & Joanna for these topics.

Check out my answers below, and jump in with your own thoughts by sending me a message or leaving a comment below.



“Would there be any advantage to viewing Google Search Console reports vs reports in Google Analytics?”

Absolutely, you should definitely be using both GA and GSC.

In Google Analytics, when you look at Acquisition reports for “Organic traffic” (so for people reaching your site from Google searcher), you get “(not provided)” for the keyword being used. Whereas in GSC, in the Performance report, you get all that useful info!

Plus, the “Index coverage” report in GSC shows you if/when Google is having any trouble indexing your site, which is not something you can learn from GA.

Here’s more detailed look at what Google Search Console has to offer: New Google Search Console design and user interface: here’s what changed and which reports are most useful



“What font sizes do you recommend for body text/headings etc.?”

Here are a few recommendations:

  • I usually like seeing body font sizes at 15 – 17 px (depending on the font face, they vary slightly in apparent size). I’ve used 17px on my site.
  • Heading (H1) font size = body font size x 2
  • H2, H3, H4 are slightly smaller, in descending order
  • Line height = body font size x 1.5 (or sometimes more, like x 1.7)
  • Do not justify text, keep it left-aligned
  • Don’t use uppercase in body text or long sentences (because that reduces readability)
  • Do not underline any text that is not a link (you can use italics instead)

And some typography inspiration sites:



“How can we install Google’s rich results features?

You can add it yourself using the plugin described in this great article:

The plugin does some of the things automatically, and to add more custom stuff to the homepage (like the logo and corporate contact), you just use a free online generator like this, you take the code and you manually put it in those pages using the first plugin.



“Can google crawl images inside slideshows with proper Alt tags ? Should I really avoid slideshows ?”

Yes, Google can indeed crawl ALT tags inside slideshow images.

In fact, having a slideshow or having all those images separately one below the other on the page is all the same to Google.

So you’re fine to keeping using slideshows IF you make sure that they do include image ALT tags.

As for what’s better for user experience, that’s a whole other topic :-), see here: Homepage slideshows are dead – 4 better ways to design the top of your website front page



“Is geo-data a factor for local businesses? In the past, the image location was visible in Google Maps, especially around tourist areas and parks.”

I remember when Google Maps did that, but that was 2011-ish, I doubt that’s a feature anymore. I tried now, and I can still explore photos for local searches on Google Maps, and I can see the author name, but I didn’t find a way to navigate to their website or anything like that. So no “conversions” possible there.

Aside from this, Google has stated in the past that they don’t look at geo-tags too often. This video is old, but maybe it’s still relevant:

However they are still articles like this out there that ecourage geo-tagging for various reasons, take a look: Why Geo-Tagging Your Images for Local SEO Hasn’t Disappeared



“What’s better for SEO? A slideshow or separate photos?”

Full question: “When blogging a wedding what’s better for SEO: a slideshow (more time spent on a website) or pictures (alt text)? I guess slideshows are more emotional to watch for couples and their families but if pictures are better for SEO I might put both into a blog post or write two separate ones.”

Let me quickly argue against some of the issues you mentioned, to try to deconstruct things.

First of all, a slideshow sometimes causes users to spend less time on the page. People have less and less patience these days to sit through a slideshow, and much rather prefer quickly skimming through thumbnails to enlarge just the one they’re interested in. That being said, the audience of a wedding photography blog might indeed be more willing to spend more time on the site, researching the photographer more thoroughly.

The only way to know is to do more advanced A/B testing, comparing the slideshow vs separate images. I prefer seeing separate images, but I browse websites in different ways than your target audience.

Secondly, the slideshow can also have ALT tags if built right. Technically, a slideshow just takes a list of images and rotates them into view using Javascript code. But the images themselves can still have their ALT tags in the source code. It depends on how your website works. If your slideshows don’t have ALT tags, that’s a good reason to stick to separate images.

And finally, don’t forget that you can have the best of both worlds: a grid of thumbnails (with ALT tags). And when you click on an image, it turned into a lightbox slideshow (which also allows using keyboard arrows), example:



Your turn: ask me anything. I’d love for this to become a valuable “repository” of answers from the entire community of photographers.

You can help with that by getting involved:
1. Ask questions. Send them to me via email or on Twitter (@foreground).
2. Answer questions yourself. If you have anything to add to any of my answers (or can answer from a different perspective), jump right in! I’ll share relevant notes with other photographers so everyone can benefit.

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