Have you been hearing a lot about Image Alt Text from SEO experts? Are you curious to know how it affects SEO?
Then the first thing that you need to understand that now Search Engines give equal importance to text-based results and image results both. So, adept SEO optimization of your image is one powerful technique of generating organic traffic and adding alt text in the images helps.
We all know that the competition in Search Marketing has gone to the next level and it has become extremely difficult for your webpage to get a decent search engine ranking without implementing all the organic SEO tactics along with powerful and impressive content.
The images and the Alt text attached to them on your webpage also play a major role in deciding your webpage’s search engine ranking. Let us understand this concept deeply –
There is not an iota of doubt that well-written content will boost your web page’s search engine ranking, but with time, Google has started displaying image results in the same frequency, as it displays text-based results.
Hence if you are not focusing on this side of your content, then you are surely missing out an advantage. Let us understand about Alt text…
What is Image Alt Text?
Alt text is nothing but text version of the image uploaded on a webpage.
They are also known as “alt tags” and “alt description.”
In case, if the image on your website fails to load, then this alt text will be displayed in place of the image. This text is used by screen reading tools to detect the image, and this also helps in boosting the SEO of your webpage.
No matter how good you are in webpage’s SEO, if you are missing out on ALT text then surely you are not going to get the search engine rank as per your expectations. This alt text is primarily for visually impaired readers who use screen-reading tools to detect the image.
Hence using alt text becomes a must and crucial for enhancing your webpage’s ranking on the search engine.
How can you add Alt text on your images?
If you are well versed into digital marketing, then you might also be familiar with different content management systems (CMSs). You can use those tools to directly add or edit alt text on your images by clicking on the image in the body.
You get an image optimization module, and from there you can add the Alt text.
After you have added the alt text on your image, you can view that in the page source of your page.
When you look the HTML source of your webpage closely, you will find a separate section of alt text, and there you can see the alt text.
In case your CMS doesn’t allow the easy editable option for the alt text on your image then you can directly edit it from the HTML source of your webpage.
How to optimize Image alt text for better SEO?
Now here comes the crucial point, you need to learn how to optimize the alt text on your image to boost the SEO of your webpage. Many factors come together to decide the efficiency of alt text, let us understand that one by one –
1) Your Image Alt Text should describe your Image
What is the main aim of the alt text on your image?
To help the bots and the visually impaired readers understand the context or subject matter of your image.
Now if the alt text is not written in a detailed form, then it will never be easy for screen-reading tools to detect that and neither readers will be able to understand that.
Being short but able to convey to complete context of your image is a very important part of Image Alt text. So, never consider detailing
2) They should be Simple, Precise, Specific and Short
This is again an obvious factor; unless and until your alt text is easy to understand, specific and short, it’s of no use.
Don’t try to use so many complicated words and don’t ruin the actual meaning of your image while creating the alt text.
It should be detailed and written in simple and easy language which can be understood by everyone. You will witness a better SEO when your alt text on the image is easily comprehensible.
3) Use Keywords Wisely
We all know this, keywords play a major role in deciding your web page’s search engine ranking, and you must use them in alt text on your image as well.
But as there is a proper way of using keywords in your text, there is a proper way of using them in your alt text as well.
Irrelevant keyword stuffing is always bad for SEO. Whatever you are writing in your alt text should look natural, and nothing should be forced for profit.
Avoid using irrelevant keywords in the alt text and also avoid long-tail keywords as they make the alt text hard to understand.
Including your focus keyword as the alt text in images is one important technique that will let search engines understand the context of your image.
4) No Wordplay or Caption Centric Approach with Alt Tags
You have got the whole content to play with your words; do not do that with your alt text. Make it extremely specific and descriptive.
This is not rocket science that you are creating these alt texts to help bots or search engines and visually impaired readers, and you have to provide them with the actual meaning of your image by those texts.
Do not talk of this and that in your alt text rather keep it simple and straight forward. Being creative as you with the image captions is also not suggested here. You have separate sections for such things, but with alt texts, it is important that you involve in any rhetoric or unnecessary creativity.
5) Alt Text focusing on Post or Image Context is Must
While writing the alt text on your image, you must not forget the actual context of your entire content. Relate your alt text with your content, and this will benefit you in achieving the SEO goals.
Suppose your webpage is talking about racing cars then, you need not talk about automobiles in your alt text rather include the word “racing cars” or other relevant words in your alt text.
That is why, we had said earlier to use focus keyword in your Image Alt Text, as key phrases are the most powerful text that can effectively and accurately describe the complete context of the post.
6) Follow the Character Limit –
The character limit of your alt text should be 125 characters.
Do not exceed that as this will be detrimental for the SEO of your webpage. Besides playing with words in your alt text play with them in your entire content.
Reading of Alt text by different screen reading tools stops gets cut-off after this character limit, and that is why it is suggested to follow this limit.
7) Directly Start Image Description
HTML source codes tell Screen Reading tools that it is crawling an image, so you need not use the phrases like ‘Image of..’ or Picture of’ while writing your Image Alt text.
Search engines automatically know that Alt texts are used for images, and you are not required to use that in your text.
8) Do not just concentrate on SEO
Just concentrating on SEO will never serve the purpose, and you need to keep in mind the user. It is important that the alt texts are relevant to the images and not just an SEO trick.
Using the same focus keyword as Alt text for all the images may hurt your Search Engine ranking. So, use them wisely without any stuffing and make them contextual.
So these are few of the basics that you should keep in mind while creating alt text for images on your webpage.
Let us now have a look upon some of the examples of Image Alt Text, so you can understand the right way of writing these tags-
Examples of Image Alt Text
Let us take this post as an example here. So, we are discussing the concepts associated with Image Alt Text and talking about best practices that optimize images for SEO.
Let us have a look upon three different versions of alt text of images for this post-
- Bad use of Alt Text
<img src= “alt.jpg” alt=”Alt text Alt tags Image Alt Image SEO Image Alt tags”/>
- Not so good use
<img src= “alt.jpg” alt=””/>
- Better use of Alt Text
<img src=”alt.jpg” alt=”alt text”/>
- Best use
<img src=”alt.jpg” alt=”Image Alt Text role in SEO”>
Alt text on the image has become compulsory if you want to get a good search engine ranking. Unless and until you are describing the image well in your alt text, Google won’t provide you any benefits in SEO.
Follow the tips mentioned above and create an impeccable alt text to improve your web page’s search engine ranking.
Incorporating the use of image Alt text in your SEO campaigns will, for sure help you in generating more organic traffics, leads, and conversions.