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Q&A #17: text on the homepage, pages vs posts, ALT tags & sharing buttons

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 Kathy, Orlando, Zorra & Christian 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.

 

 

“Is it absolutely necessary to include 300 words of text on the home page?”

Most of the times, it helps to have at least a paragraph of text, or a tagline (doesn’t have to be 300 words necessarily), on the homepage.

There are many reasons for it:

  • it lets visitors know what the site is all about (beyond the “story” told by the images/slideshow)
  • it gives Google an understanding of the site topic
  • also gives Google more text to use in dynamic site descriptions (when it decides to ignore the “meta description” field depending on the search query)
  • it doesn’t hurt user-experience in any way, in fact, it can improve it

But if you do decide not to include any text, read this past article of mine to learn how to navigate this compromise.

 


 

“Do pages rank better than posts?”

Full question:

I‘d like to restructure the blog URLs. I use blog posts to highlight some shoots, they are meant to be evergreen but the URL and Avada theme adds meta that doesn’t reflect this.

Currently, the URL structure is:
page https://domain.com/page-slug/ then the actual blog page URL is such as https://domain.com/2019/post-slug/

My regular pages get more traffic than blog posts after some time.

How much harm will I do to links pointing to the blog posts if I 301 them to the new regular page?

Avoiding the Avada theme blog feature, I could use a plugin for the blog archive page… Is all this for little gain? Any advice would be great.

There’s no real reason to re-create posts as pages instead of regular blog posts.

To Google, a page is exactly the same as a post; just the URL structure is different because it has the /YEAR/ in the path.

So instead of all that manual work, why not just change the permalink structure (WP admin > Settings > Permalinks > set it to “Post name”). That way, the URLs for your blog posts will look just like pages, and it will work automatically for all your past posts too (WP adds 301s in the background when you make this permalink change).

But don’t expect it to have too much of an SEO impact.

Pages usually rank better because site owners generally link to them more, so Google considers them more important.

But for many sites, blog posts are often the most high-traffic ones, above other pages.

 


 

“Are sharing buttons affected by image theft protection?”

Full question:

I’ve always coded my own websites through Angelfire and Dreamweaver (no longer exists), I do not care for templates. This is not really an option in today’s world and may of the ‘coding tricks’ I used are no longer supported by many of the free sites. I have started a photography website on Wix (free version) where I have installed a copyright App that claims to include a ‘right click block’ for images. The purpose is to protect my images from being saved. I used to do this with a bit of Javascript that worked fantastic. I do not know yet if this app is working, nor if it applies to all images on all of the pages that the copyright appears. Apps and plugins are a new thing to me.

Since I have installed this app, or if I should add similar coding in the future, how will it impact the use of the Social media share buttons that you suggested we add to our images? Since the image cannot be copied through right-click, will it still be available to share publicly on facebook pages, ect using the Share buttons? I have never used a share feature in this manner before.

Also, regarding the share buttons, do I add it to each photo individually, or may I place it in the side-bar on the gallery page? Thanks for your time and input.

Image theft protection tools should not interfere with sharing plugins, they just usually block right-clicking on images and other more advanced actions sometimes (dragging-and-dropping images to the desktop, opening developer tools, etc.)

Sharing buttons show up overlayed on top of the images, or below them, and act as regular links in your content, so they should work just fine.

As for the placement of the share buttons, it really depends on how your site is structured. If each image has its own individual/unique page, then share buttons could go well there, for each one. If it’s just some sort of slideshow that opens in a lightbox view when you click on thumbnails in a gallery, then there can also be a share button there too.

 


 

“Does every single image need an ALT tag?”

Full question: While I am coding my new webpage I am wondering if only relevant image content receives these alt tags or also every link (even the menu?) and/or every decorative image requires that as well to guide Google through the page.

First of all, if you don’t have time to write unique tags for each image (in a big blog post with tens of images, for example), a reasonable compromise is to pick 5-10 key images, tag them, and leave the rest blank. Adding unique ALT tags to a few images is better than duplicate ALT tags for all of them.

But every single image (even a decorative one) is an opportunity to tell Google something.

Now… don’t abuse it.

If you just have a small separator line/graphic, no need to add an ALT tag to it like “separator line for London stock photographer John Doe”.

That would be fake. You can skip those images.

But think of logo images: add a keyword-rich version of your site name to the ALT tag. Or single photos used on About/Contact/Services pages: describe those in the ALT tag.

 


 

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.

Off-topic or inflammatory comments may be moderated.
Please add VALUE to the web, thanks!
 

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