Why You Should Always Add Alt Text to Your Images?

by | Published on Aug 27, 2019 | Social Media Optimization

Website on-page optimization has so many aspects to it, but an easily overlooked factor is alt text. Incorporating the appropriate alt texts for a page’s images has many advantages. Experienced healthcare content writing services realize the importance of alt text, which is perhaps not given much thought by webmasters.

Google has itself, through a video hangout featuring John Mueller, stated that while you link images they need to have some kind of alt text. This would give Google that link’s anchor text. Now that’s a key point because that wasn’t something webmasters normally thought of. Google has always been advocating putting alt text on the images, but here is Google saying that the image alt text can function as anchor text. Then it functions like the normal hyperlinks. Google has mentioned that anchor text and image alt text help it to understand the context.  

Alt Text in the Context of SEO

Going back to the basics of SEO, adding alt text (or alternative text) to images helps in better web accessibility. If your image does not get loaded on the user’s device, alt tags are displayed in their place. They help the search engine crawlers to get more appropriate image descriptions or contexts. That enables them to properly index an image. And if you have visually impaired users checking your site through screen readers, those readers will read the alt attribute to help the users understand the on-page image.      

Advantages for Image Search & User Experience

And let’s not forget, image search is a very popular form of search. People don’t just search for text results, but want something they can connect to instantly. They want to know, “that’s what it is” or “that’s how it looks like”. Rather than reading through textual content, one look at an image gives them the idea. And for search engines to track your image and put it in the appropriate image search results, their crawlers need the alt text. It gives you SEO benefits because people can get to your website by clicking your images that come in the image search. We’ve seen that images also sometimes come up in the main search, particularly in product searches since Google understands the importance of visual impact.

If you don’t have alt text for your images, search engine crawlers could wrongly or inappropriately interpret the images in your site. That means your images would not get ranked, or they could even rank for keywords you never intended. So the SEO benefits of having accurate alt text are really great, since you can also add your target keyword to the alt text. That may not always be possible, but you can try to include a keyword or even a keyword phrase.And the added advantage of all this is that alt tags also contribute to better user experience.

What to Remember While Writing Alt Text

What to Remember While Writing Alt Text
Writing Alt Text

So let’s check out how to write good alt text. The example above shows the image in the web page and its alt text below that accurately describes the image.

  • Keywords are important, but ensure that you don’t stuff keywords. The text should describe the image with ideally a keyword. There is a great way to figure out if your alt text is good. Read it aloud, close your eyes and see if you’re getting the picture. If so, it’s a good alt text example. Otherwise you would have to do a better job. 
  • The alt text must describe the image in as specific a manner as possible, so that even users unable to see the images must be able to get the picture when the screen reader reads out to them. It is also important that you keep it reasonably short. 125 characters should be the acceptable limit since that’s where screen readers usually cut off the alt text.
  • You can gain SEO advantage by including the page’s target keyword to the image. That can indicate to the search engines that your page is really relevant to the search query. But ensure the image is appropriate and relevant too. If you could include the keywords in at least one of the alt texts for the page’s images, it could be beneficial.  

So when you’ve carried out all aspects of your page’s SEO, make sure you’ve not left out the alt text. An experienced SEO company in Long Island NY would ensure that even the alt text is optimized for user-friendliness and SEO advantages. 

Related Blogs

Share This