The Impact of Alt Text on Your Website’s SEO

Looking for free ways to improve your search engine rankings?

Consider adding alt text to your images.

What Is Alt Text?

Also referred to as “alternative text,” “alt attribute” or “alt description,” alt text is an attribute applied to a tag in HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a web page.

Alt text is commonly used:

  • To improve web accessibility and provide a better user experience for the visually impaired, by explaining images with words that assistive technology (i.e., screen readers) can read aloud.
  • As a replacement or placeholder if an image doesn’t load properly.
  • To provide more complete image context to search engine crawlers, thereby helping them properly index each image – and serve them up in relevant user searches.

Here’s what this powerful bit of code looks like in HTML:

<img src=”pediatrician3.jpg” alt=”Pediatrician_immunizing_infant”>

Used correctly, alt text can turn your website’s digital images into hyperlinked search results – improving SEO and bringing even more visitors to your site. Here’s how to put them to work for you:

How to Use Alt Text to Improve SEO

  1. Use alt text to clearly describe the image and provide proper context. In the example above, you get a complete mental picture of what’s going on in the image.
  2. If using alt text for an image used as a button, describe the function of the button on that page.
  3. Keep text brief. Provide enough functional information for people to understand your image (and search engines to index it), without being spammy.
  4. Do not keyword-stuff; Google will penalize you. If you have designated a focus key phrase for a page on your site, however, try to include at least one image with alt text that incorporates that phrase.
  5. Leave out extraneous words like “picture of” or “image of”; search engine crawlers typically stop “reading” your alt text after 125 characters.
  6. Keep visually impaired site visitors in mind. Screen readers will read every alt text description you include on a page. So, leave them blank for purely decorative images, borders, backgrounds, etc. that add little value.

More ideas to improve your SEO:

Want to boost your search engine rankings – and drive more targeted traffic to your website?

Search engine optimization is a continually evolving and highly technical process – and it helps to have an expert in your corner. BARQAR’s team uses a strategic, 6-step approach to ongoing SEO to maximize your rankings and ensure the right potential customers find you online.

What can our SEO experts do for you? Request a free SEO strategy audit today!

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