SEO for images and the CONCATENATE function in Excel. It can help you!

SEO for images and the CONCATENATE function in Excel. It can help you!

Community User Blog | Posted by Pedro Arango - June 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Don’t be scared. This won’t be difficult I swear.


When you upload images to your website you should make them SEO friendly so Google can read them which will help you with your ranking.

The simplest way is to have keywords on the Title and Alt Txt (alternate text) fields of each image. Alt Txt is what you see pop up when your mouse hovers over an image online. It is also what shows up on screen when the browser does not display the images themselves (for whatever reason).

This can be a chore and a half if you have a lot of images because you will have to come up with too many combinations, and type each accurately on the Title and Alt Txt boxes that WordPress displays for every single image. An error is a certainty. This works the same with other webpage design apps such as Joomla.

I will assume that you already have some basic knowledge of Excel -copy, paste, moving around, selecting multiple cells. You know, simple stuff. Also that you have Excel 2007.

Let’s say that you are in the landscaping business and have three categories of key words of interest to you SEO wise. For example:

Activities: Landscape, Landscaping, Gardening, Garden, Gardener, Flowers, Lawn Mowing

Location:  Restaurant, Home, Patio, Backyard, Front yard, Balcony

Flowers:   Gardenias, Roses, Tulip, Flowers

Cities:      Toronto, GTA, Mississauga, North York

It would help your page ranking (certainly image search) if you could come up with lines like these:

  • Landscape Restaurant Gardenias Toronto
  • Landscaping Home Roses Mississauga

...and so on until you have as many combinations as needed –one per image. If you have tried doing this manually before you’d know that your mind soon becomes confused. It is difficult to keep track of which keywords you have already used and which one is next, etc.


You’d be better off letting Excel come up with all the combinations needed. You will certainly save a lot of time and your keywords will all be properly spelled and combined. Peachy. After, you just copy and paste each cell containing a combination result on the Title and Alt Txt boxes on your WordPress.

Sure, you still have to do some work but at least not nearly as much as otherwise. Let's do it.

Say you have thirty images to better SEO-wise. This is what you should do:

1)      Open an excel file and save it.

2)      On cell A1 type Landscape, on A2 Landscaping, A3 Gardening, ...,A7 Lawn Mowing, as per the  list above for Activities.

Now let’s make the contents of cells A1 to A7 into a Custom List so we can extend it down with the “Fill Handle” and easily fill up the next 23 cells down.

1)      Select cells A1 to A7

2)      Click on the Office Bottom and then on Excel Options. FIG 1. 

3)      The Excel Options dialogue box opens (FIG 2), click on Edit Custom Lists...

4)      The Custom Lists dialogue box opens (FIG 3). Click on Import and then on OK. The dialogue box disappears and the Excel Options dialogue box comes up again. Close the Excel Options box by clicking OK again. Your first list is done!


Now we will extend this list to cover up to cell A30 (for 30 images).

1)      If you followed the instructions above then cells A1 to A7 must be already selected. If that is not the case go back and repeat the four steps above.

2)      You will find what is called the Fill Handle (FIG 4 ) as a small square at the bottom right corner of the selection covering A1 to A7.

3)      Welcome to beautiful Excel! Click (left click of the mouse) and without releasing it drag this fill handle (a cross-hair symbol without arrows) until the selection includes cell A30, and release. Voila! People in the know (like me, and now you too) have used this facility to repeat lists of items they use over and over again instead of retyping.

Now let’s do the same with the items from list Location but this time place them on column B starting with the keyword Restaurant on B1. Then repeat the two series of steps above but when selecting the cells, select from B1 until B6 (Step 1 of second list of steps) and continue with all steps until you have cells B1 to B30 filled up.

Once this is done, repeat for lists Flowers (on column C) and City (on column D).

At this point you should have a block of data four columns wide by 30 rows deep. Congratulations. Have you saved your file lately?

Now say hello to the Concatenate Function. It won’t be your BFF but it’ll do this trick.

Select cell E1 and type every character within the square brackets that follow but not including the square brackets themselves: [=Concatenate(A1,” “,B1,” “,C1,” “,D1)]. Press Enter. What do you see? Nothing less than your first combination, namely, Landscape Restaurant Gardenias Toronto sitting pretty on cell E1.

Select cell E1 again. Notice that it too has a Fill Handle on the right bottom corner. Well, just as you did before, click on it and drag it down until you reach cell E30, and release the mouse. All your thirty keyword combinations are done :)

Now you have to copy them onto the boxes WordPress provides for Title and Alt Txt. I trust your basic knowledge of Excel (copy and paste) will allow doing this with relative ease. I would suggest placing an X on the cell to the right (Column F) of each combination already processed, to remind you of that fact. Also, since you will be jumping back and forth between WordPress and Excel many times use the keyboard shortcut key combination alt+tab. It'll save you tons of time.

The Extra Mile. Google likes the most to see keywords right on the URL of the images themselves, not just as alt txt and title. To do this one would have to alter the images’ original names on the folder in your computer where they reside before they are actually uploaded to WordPress Media.

This would be a bit more involved than the steps above but once you understand how to do it, you will find it a breeze. If you have questions regarding the above instructions or want to go the extra mile, just reply to this blog and I most likely will do something to help you :)

I hope this above will help you strengthen your SEO effort. Everything counts :)

Pedro Arango

Tags: efficiency, images, mindfulness, fortune

Sean Walberg
July 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Be careful about doing this. It's keyword stuffing which went out of style ages ago and now can be seen as a signal of poor quality. Using alt + title tags is good. Stuffing keywords is bad.

Google's Panda updates mention keyword stuffing explicitly:

Pedro Arango
July 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm

The post was meant to show an efficient way of placing relevant information on title and alt txt when there are too many images involved leveraging Excel. But your point is well taken. Absolutedly. Stuffing keywords is not a good idea. But images'Title and alt txt should not be left empty; the right amount of keywords is acceptable. One city name in one image is good but five consecutive city names on the same image is keyword stuffing for sure. Also the image should not be named as a city alone but can include one choice of  two or three distinct categories. Distinct being the keyword, no pun intended lol. 

Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context

Thanks for your comment Sean

Featured Members
Clare McDowall
Socially Good
Randy A Eckert
Saferway Driver Training School…
See All   ► Recent Activity Recent Activity
Dustin Boehm joined YouInc
parth solanki joined YouInc
Home Appliances Plus joined YouInc
shagunsweet joined YouInc
teenachris35 joined YouInc
bruceshogans joined YouInc
saqibkhan joined YouInc
Insight Health Apps joined YouInc