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Part 3: Increase SEO With Photo Image Caption In Your Posts

August 10, 2018 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby, Writing tagged as , , , , , ,


This is the third installment on using website images to increase and maximize the SEO potential for website pages and posts. In the first part I discussed ALT text, which is text added to the image file background before being placed in a post. The second installment covered specifics on Image File Names and how naming the file BEFORE it’s uploaded to a website will get better results in SEO ranking. In this post, I will discuss Image Caption, why Image Captions are important and how to use them best.

Image Caption are the words shown underneath photos on a website page or post. 


Showing what Image Caption looks like with my one-room old schoolhouse page on Denise M. Colby's Website

Sample of an image with the caption underneath describing the photo.

It is a known fact that readers will scan and read the image caption more than the article itself. Thus, image caption helps to highlight what the article is about and draw readers in. When writing captions, it’s important to not just state what the picture is, but to tell readers something they don’t know from just looking at the photo. Captions can be a few short words or several sentences long.  The decision is personal preference, but whatever is decided, keep consistent for an overall look and feel.

How to write Image Captions to maximize SEO? 

1. Choose a great image. 

An image surrounded by text that is related will rank better in a search, so choosing an image pertinent to the post is crucial.

2. Identify what is going on in the picture besides the obvious.

Save the obvious description for the ALT Text.  See this post for details on writing strong ALT text.

3. Write descriptions without flowery or unnecessary words. 

There’s a small space to communicate the idea so choose words wisely.

4. Provide context to connect the image to the article. 

Make sure to share something the reader wouldn’t know just by looking at the photo.

5. Be informative. 

If a reader isn’t going to read the entire article, what information should they walk away with? If they find the captions helpful, they may read more or reference the information later.

How does this apply to us as writers? 

We want to find readers for our books, right?  Ask—how would someone search (type in words in the search bar) to find a book that has a topic like mine?

Example #1

My working manuscript titled A Man Was Not The Plan is set in 1869. My heroine moves west to become a schoolteacher in a small town. One of the main settings is a one-room schoolhouse. Schoolhouses are a niche, so I might choose to write a post about schoolhouses. So for that post I would choose an image with a schoolhouse and add an image caption such as: 

Sacramento One-Room Schoolhouse offers tours and information from the past Inspired me to write Denise M. Colby

This One-room Schoolhouse in Sacramento, CA was used for inspiration in my latest novel A Man Was Not The Plan.

Example #2

If my book is released or I have the cover done, somewhere in the post I would include a picture of my book cover which I hope to include a schoolhouse—even if it’s in the background. The title itself doesn’t say anything about schoolhouses and I don’t need to mention where to purchase because I can provide a link with the image, so I would want the caption to be more descriptive. 

Sample book cover with one-room schoolhouse teacher desk on it by Denise M. Colby

This one-room schoolhouse seems to wreak havoc on Olivia’s plans in A Man Was Not the Plan by Denise M. Colby

What are other ideas to use for image captions related to our books? 

Animals, clothing, any setting—whether a specific building, ranch or room (a picture of the kitchen table where many discussions in the book take place for example), a map or even a quote from your book. If you did a quote, one idea for an Image Caption would be to state a behind the scenes thought to support that quote, such as:

1869 Diary entry by Olivia Carmichael in A Man Was Not The Plan by Denise M. Colby

Olivia Carmichael had no idea how much she would eat her words.


Book Quote by Luke Taylor in A Man Was Not The Plan by Denise M. Colby

Luke’s heart had other ideas.


Note: You can bold, italicize the words, and alter the phrasing after they are placed in the post. The number of lines for the caption can vary by increasing or decreasing the size of the photo. The one thing I haven’t figure out yet was how to center the text under the photo.  Of course once I hit preview it did center the text. So make sure to look at your preview-it will look different than where you input your post.

As you can see, there are several ways to be creative with the words used in the caption. I hope that this post gets those creative juices flowing. You don’t have to always use captions for every photo, but a few strategic ones here and there can help readers find exactly what they are looking for.



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