Alt Text: What Is It?

What is Alt Text?

Alt text also known as the alt attribute or the alt tag is simply a piece of text that describes the image in the HTML code.  Alt text is helpful in many reasons whether that is for SEO purposes or for accessibility.

What Is It Used For?

The first function of alt text is to simply to describe an image that could not be loaded.  This was a very handy back when the internet was not as fast as it is today.  Images would be too much at times for the browser to load them.  However, today that is not the case it is rare for images not to load.  Most recently alt texts have also played a role for both SEO and people using screen readers.

  • Alt text helps users with disabilities:  Users with screen readers are able to learn about the image’s content.
  • Alt text also helps search engine bots: Alt text can provide information on the images content and context for bots while the crawl your site.

Of course, just like every element of SEO alt text is often misused.  In some cases alt texts are abused and are stuffed with keywords that do not have anything to do with the context of the image.

Why Alt Text Is Important

Alt text is an important role for on-page SEO optimization.  Proper alt text optimization makes your website stand a better chance of ranking in Google image search.  Depending on your website’s niche Google image search may be a big factor in the overall success for your site.   For example, ecommerce sites users often will start their searches out with a product name.  This can be a prime spot for theses sites to get their images ranked to drive traffic back to their site.

Why Alt Text Is Important For Accessibility

In recent years there has been more of a focus and emphasis on accessibility to everyone.  Alt text of your image can make the difference for those with disabilities.  Imagine your image has proper alt text and it is not keyword stuffed allowing someone who can not see the image to know the content of your entire webpage.  When it comes down to alt text they do not require too much detail just a quick sentence or two to describe the image properly.

Lets go over some tips on how to write alt text correctly.

Writing Tips

  • Do not keyword stuff: It will not help your website rank better for the stuffed keywords.
  • Describe the image in detail, but do not write a novel: One sentence with detail is ideal.
  • Use your target keyword naturally: If your keyword can fit naturally into the description of the image then use it, but do not force it.
  • Do not write “this is an image of”: Google and the user know it is an image just describe it.
  • Make sure the image is able to be visualized: you should be able to just read the alt text and have a good idea of what the image looks like.
Contact Boston Web Marketing

If you are looking to utilize alt text to get your images to rank better or want to learn more about it contact our team of SEO professionals today! We work with businesses of all industries. Boston Web Marketing provides website design, search engine optimization, social media, social media and many more services.  Call us today at 857-526-0096, or fill out our contact form for more information.  


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