Suppose you spend time optimizing your blog or website’s content. Also, headers, subheaders, and meta descriptions for search engines.
The following image should concern you:
The image above shows the search engine results page (SERP). That was produced by Google for the search query “best Bluetooth motorcycle helmet.”
See how Google brings a huge pack of relevant images to the top of the main results page before any organic text results appear.
Nowadays, images appear in almost 38 per cent of Google’s SERPs, which is expected to rise.
That means, regardless of your best SEO efforts, you may be overlooking another source of organic traffic. That’s because of your website’s images. How can you get your hands on some of this traffic? Using image alt text.
- What is Image Alt Text?
- Why Image Alt Text is Important?
- How to Add Alt Text to Images on Your Website Page?
- How to Write Alt Text that Works/Image Alt Text Best Practices
- How Alt Text Affects SEO
- When to Use Image Alt Text on Your Website
What is Image Alt Text?
You’re likely aware of alt text for images web accessibility. Alt text (alternative text), also known as alt tags and alt descriptions. Alt-text is the textual content that appears on a webpage in place of an image.
It is used within HTML code to describe the function and appearance of an image on a page. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually challenged users. And allows search engines to crawl and rank your site more effectively way.
Whether you do SEO for your website, optimizing your website’s image alt text offers a better user experience for your visitors, despite how they discovered you.
Why Image Alt Text is Important?
Image alt text is important as ease of access, user experience, and image traffic. Knowing these reasons would thus enable you to write the definitive alt text for your images. We’ll focus on the main reasons image alt text is important in more detail below.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 in 1999. To explain making content more accessible to users with disabilities. One of these guidelines stated that “similar alternatives to audio and visual content should be provided.”
It means any web pages that include images. Such (or movies, sounds, applets, and so on) should include info equal to the visual and audio content.
Consider a web page that includes an image is on an upward arrow that refers to a table of contents. A text equal might be, “Go to the table of contents.
It would help a reader or another assistive technology user recognize the image’s aim without seeing it.
In simple words, alt text ensures that all users, including those with visual impairments, can access your visual content.
Adding alt text to your images can improve the user experience. At the same time, it is also providing explicit and implicit SEO benefits. Also, following best practices for image title and file naming, using alt text may help image SEO.
As image recognition technology in search engines has improved over the years. Considering search crawlers can’t “see” images on a website page as humans can, and it’s not a great way to put the interpretation in their hands.
If they don’t comprehend or get it incorrect. You might end up ranking for undesirable keywords or missing out completely.
In short, alt text provides you with an extra opportunity to use your target keyword, with on-page keyword usage continuing to be a search ranking factor. It’s to your greatest advantage to write alt text which both describes the image. And, if applicable, includes a keyword or keyword phrase you’re aiming for.
Alt text not only improves the user experience for a person with disabilities. But it also improves the user experience for all. Suppose a visitor has low-bandwidth connectivity, and your website’s images aren’t loading.
They will see the alt text beside the broken link icon, and the user will be able to know what the image was intended to convey as a result of this.
Let’s say. A user might also be able to see the image on the left, for example. Unless they can’t — due to a disability, a bandwidth issue, or any reason — the alt text on the right will be heard or seen. It will improve the user experience compared to not having alt text.
Image alt text can convert your images into hyperlinks for the search engine results in Google Images. Image alt text is one of the most important things you can do with it.
Image bundles are unique results that appear as a row of image links at any organic placement. It includes the top rank on a SERP, as shown in the intro example.
Images that feature in Google Image search. Or image packs give another opportunity for organic search traffic, leading to thousands of more visitors.
How to Add Alt Text to Images on Your Website Page?
Now that we know what alt text is and why alt text is so important for image SEO. Moreover, we need to understand where to find the alt attribute options in your CMS.
Although most website platforms have the required functionalities already put in place.
In most content management systems (CMS), when you click an image in the body of a blog post. It displays an image optimization text module from which you can create or edit the image’s alt text.
You may read this guide on Image SEO and alt tags attribute if want to learn how to add alt text to images on WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and Wix.
How Do I Add Alt Text in WordPress?
When you click on an image in WordPress, it will display the Block tab in the sidebar. In the “Image Settings” section, write the alt text in the empty field.
When you’re done, go to the top of your screen and click the Update button in the toolbar.
What is an essential rule for alt text? Be specific and descriptive. Although, remember that if your alt text does not recognize the image’s context. Then, it will lose its effectiveness.
How to Write Alt Text that Works/Image Alt Text Best Practices
Image alt text must be specific while also representing the topic of the webpage it is promoting. Have you gotten the gist of what I’m saying so far? Here are a few key points to remember when creating effective image alt text:
- Be specific in your description of the image. Use the subject and context of the image to guide you.
- Include detail that is relevant to the page’s topic. If the image does not describe a well-known place or person, put it in context based on the page’s content.
For example, the alt text for an image of a person typing on a desktop might be “Women optimizing WordPress for SEO”. It might also be “Women looking for free blogging sites.”
It depends on the topic of the web page.
- Keep your alt text to a limit of 125 characters. In most cases, screen-reading software will stop reading alt text. And it is cutting off lengthy alt text at particular moments when it conveys this description for the visually impaired.
- Don’t begin your alt text with “picture of…” or “image of…” Enter the image’s description. Screen-reading software and Google will recognize it as an image based on the HTML source code of the article.
- Make use of your keywords sparingly. Include your article’s target keyword only if it can be convenient way included in the alt text. If not, think about semantic keywords or the most important terms in a longtail keyword.
Let’s imagine the main keyword in your content is “how to get leads.” Then, you can use “lead generation” in your alt text. Because “how to” could be challenging to include the organic way in the image alt text.
- Don’t stuff your keyword into the alt text of every single image. Include your keyword in at least one of the body images in your blog post if it contains a series of them. Choose the image that you believe best represents your topic and make it your keyword.
- Check for spelling mistakes. Spelling mistakes in image alt text can distract people from the user experience and confuse search engines crawling your site. It would help if you went over alt text as you would any other piece of content on the page.
- Don’t include alt text for every image. Most images on a webpage should have alt text for SEO, user experience, and ease of access, even though there are some exceptions. Images that are aesthetic or are described in the textual content.
For example, it should have an unfilled alt attribute. Check out this decision tree for a more detailed breakdown of when to add alt text and when not to.
How Alt Text Affects SEO
According to Google, alt text is often used to understand the subject matter of images in isolation or combination with computer vision algorithms and page content.
As a result, alt text assists Google in better understanding. Not only what the images are about and what the webpage itself is, and it can help your images appear more in image search results.
Consider how your readers may often prefer to find answers to questions about a topic when creating content on that topic.
In so many cases, Google searchers prefer the image itself, and that is embedded within your website page. Rather than the traditional blue, hyperlinked search result.
A visitor looking at how to submit a sitemap to Google might prefer a screenshot so they can understand how to complete the task with an image example.
In this case, the Google search results will display the image that used the longtail keyword term “how to submit a sitemap to Google” as it has optimized alt text.
This article appears in search results for the same search term. And visitors may look at the blog post from these different channels.
When to Use Image Alt Text on Your Website
So, where and how do you start when creating alt text for blog posts and webpages?
Consider running a simple audit of your existing content. To discover where alt text might be added to before untagged images. Keep an eye on how your organic traffic changes on the pages where you’ve included new alt tags.
The more images you optimize, the more effective your SEO strategy will be in the future.
Alt Text Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few often asked questions about alt tags:
How do I find an Alt Tag on a web page?
Point your cursor wherever on the page, right-click, and select “Inspect” from the menu. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see the page’s source code.
Tap on the first icon on the left of the HTML code window. Then find and click on the image on the page whose alt tag you want to see.
The HTML code for that element will be shown, along with all the image’s attributes.
How do I see image alt text in the Html code?
When you’ve hit “Inspect,” look for the relevant HTML tag in the window displaying the page’s source code. The alt text is followed by the tag “alt=,” preceded by the alt text description.
How can I know if an image has Alt text or not?
When analyzing an image in a page’s source code. If the alt tag following “alt=” only shows two quotation marks with no text between them. Then, the alt attribute is blank, meaning that no alt text is available.
How can I include Alt text in any image file?
Right-click on the image in Microsoft Word and choose “Edit alt text” from the menu. Fill in the image description in the input box and press “OK.”
Keep in mind to check your text for grammar and spelling, as text fields will not have spell-check.
Can commas and periods be used in Alt text?
Yes, and it’s something you should do. Screen readers can offer a better user experience with the help of including proper punctuation in the alt text.
Additionally, it displayed the alt text when an image failed to load. The high-quality text delivers a better user experience.
What should the length of Alt tags be?
Most screen readers recommend the best alt text length is 125 characters.