If you’re running an online business or are a content creator, knowing the ins and outs of image alts is critical. Skipping this crucial step may be the reason organic traffic is passing you by. The proper and consistent use of image alts could make or break your products and pages’ searchable success. Let’s take a look at what image alts are and how they affect your SEO.
What are Image Alts?
Also referred to as alt tags, or alt text, image alts are the written text that describes your images, should they fail to load on your webpage. Image alts perform several functions, including providing information that supports screen-reading tools for the visually impaired. Image alts help search engines understand your images as they crawl and rank your website.
How Do Image Alts Impact SEO?
Images and image alts can significantly boost your on-page SEO. The use of image alts increases your chances of appearing in image searches while boosting your opportunities for higher rankings. By understanding what your image is about, its importance, and its relation to your content, search engines can rank them in image searches, further bolstering your chances of being discovered organically.
Image Alts vs. Image Titles
While your title should complement your image alts, image titles will not help boost your SEO, as they are not a part of search rankings. Unfortunately, a common mistake is to supply an image title while neglecting the image alt. This vital step is where many businesses leave money on the table.
Creating Effective Image Alts
Creating image alts isn’t about keyword stuffing. In fact, doing so will result in penalizing your site in the long run. Be purposeful in your image descriptions and focus on context. Create your tags in a way that would help you visualize your image in your mind, should it not load on the screen. Search engines want to “see” what you’re displaying on your site. Using “the front door to our shop” is much different than “a large white door to a storefront with a red welcome sign in the center.” Create imagery that provides search engines with enough detail to “see” your images accurately.
Image Alt Best Practice to Boost SEO
Get your site seen by more organic traffic with these image alt and SEO best practices:
- Be specific and descriptive, allowing crawlers to gain a clear understanding of your image and how it relates to your page’s content.
- Avoid fluff words such as “this is an image of…” and jump into the heart of your image descriptions. You want to keep your tags under one hundred twenty-five characters, so use them wisely.
- Avoid keyword stuffing. While you want to use keywords occasionally, do so with purpose and keep them relevant.
- Take advantage of your site’s logos and images you use as click-thru buttons. If it’s an image, it needs an image alt!
- Include image alts in slideshows and galleries throughout your site. Remember, search engines can’t see them and do not know you are displaying various product angles unless you use image tags.