What are alt tags, increase site ranking

What are Alt Tags? How to Increase Website Traffic with Image SEO

To ensure the success of your website, one of the most important things you can do is to optimize it for search engines.

There are many ways to achieve this goal, regardless of scale.

A smaller but still important task is to optimize your image replacement text.

“alt tags”, sometimes called “alt text”, is an important consideration for accessibility, but it can also have a positive impact on the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website.

Even if most of your readers will never see this “hidden” information, the alt text in the image will provide sites like Google with valuable data about your content so that it can be presented to the appropriate search engines.

When talking about image search engine optimization, the first thing that usually comes to mind is to optimize alt tags, but you should include more content when optimizing images.

In fact, it’s safe to say that image optimization is one of the most overlooked areas in SEO; but it doesn’t have to be that way.

It is not uncommon to find that the images of a site have huge file sizes, ambiguous file names, and the display size of these images on the site is much smaller than the original images.

The common problem is that the beginner’s guide to SEO only covers the basics, which means that optimizing alt tags is almost everything mentioned.

But let’s not forget that image search itself is a big deal and can bring a lot of traffic to your website.

Let’s face it, who didn’t use it to search for pictures of cats?

Well,

What is alt text?

Alternative text, also known as the technically incorrect “alt attribute,” “alt description,” or “alt tag,” is used to describe the appearance and function of images on a page in HTML code.

The alt tag is used by screen readers, which are browsers used by the blind and visually impaired. These screen readers tell them what is in the image by reading the alt tag.

When you hover over the element, the title attribute is displayed as a tooltip.

Therefore, for image buttons, the image title can contain additional calls to action. However, this is not the best practice.

Each image must have an alternative text. Not just for SEO purposes, but also because blind and visually impaired people don’t know what the image is about.

The title attribute is not required.

Also, it doesn’t make sense to add it most of the time. They are only available to users of the mouse (or another pointing device), and the only situation where the caption attribute is required for access is on  <iframe> and <frame> tags.

If the information conveyed by the title attribute is relevant, please consider providing it in plain text elsewhere. If it is not relevant, please consider deleting the title attribute altogether.

Alt text usage:

  1. Adding alternative text to photos is the primary principle of network accessibility. Visually impaired users using screen readers will read the alt attribute to better understand the images on the page.
  2. If the image file cannot be loaded, the alternate text will be displayed instead of the image.
  3. Alternative text provides better image description/context for search engine crawlers to help them index images correctly.
Alt text example

The highlighted text displays the alternative text (alt attribute) of the image on the left.

Alt text example

<img src="catdrinkparty.gif" alt="kittens drinking">

Best alt text format

The best format of the alternative text is sufficiently descriptive but does not include any spam keyword filling attempts.

If you can close your eyes, ask someone to read the alt text to you, and imagine a fairly accurate version of the image, you are on the right track.

Let’s take a look at some examples of alternative text for this stack of books picture

Okay:<img src="books.png" alt="books">

This alt text is only “okay” because it’s not very descriptive. Yes, this is an image of a stack of books.

But, there’s more to be said about this image.

Good: 

<img src="books.png" alt="stacks of books with different colors">

How to add and optimize image alt text in Popular Website Creators

WordPress

In fact, adding image alternative text in WordPress couldn’t be easier.

In fact, the hardest part is just remembering to do it. If possible, you want it to be part of your daily life.

For example, it can be helpful to review each page or post after you finish writing and assign each image one alternate text at a time.

To do this, click on the image on the page or post and select the “edit” icon:

Below the title, you will see a field marked as optional text. You can enter image alt text here.

Just enter it and click update!

You can also do this immediately when uploading the image to the media library, using the same fields:

However, as with most SEO-related tasks, simply adding alternate text to images is not enough.

You also need to optimize it to ensure it is effective.

Shopify

If you are using Shopify, you can add alt text to theme images and product images.

To optimize the alt text in the product image, go to Products> All Products and then click the list of products you want to edit.

On the product detail page, click to enter a media item and find the media preview page.

Now you can click to add alternative text.

Showing how to add alt text in Shopify

To add alternate text to the theme image, go to Online Store> Theme, and click to customize your store theme.

You will see a partial menu on the left side of the page, in which you can click on an image block, and then click on a single image.

You will see a text box where you can add alternate text.

Showing how to add alt text to a Shopify theme.

Wix

Not long ago, you couldn’t add alt text to images on the Wix store.

But the platform has invested resources in recent years to solve common SEO problems and you can now perform alternative text editing.

You can add alternative text to the image in the edit window by clicking on the image to which you want to add alternative text and opening the configuration options.

From here, you will see the option “What’s in the picture?”, Where you can add alternative text.

Wix settings for alt text.

Magento

It’s really easy to add alt text to images on the Magento store.

To do this, click Catalog> Products, select the product you want to add alt text to and scroll down to the image and video section.

Click the image to edit the replacement text.

Alt text option in Magento.

Here are some best practices to follow when creating alternate text

  • Use complete sentences, not words or phrases. This provides more information for human and robotic visitors.
  • Be as descriptive as possible and clearly explain what the image contains.
  • Include keywords in your alt tag. Keywords are essential to any powerful SEO strategy, and this is another place to integrate them. If your content has a main keyword, then you’ll want to use it in the alt text where appropriate. Especially for product images, including the item name and product identification is also a good idea.

If you keep these tips in mind, you will find yourself immediately creating effective image replacement text!

Broken Internal and External Images

Broken images can lead to a bad user experience; you should fix undisplayed images first.

Conclusion

Adding alternate text to an image seems like a trivial matter. However, if you want your website to rank as high as possible in search engines (and attract the most traffic), it’s worth paying attention to.

This feature is also important for visually impaired visitors and can be used as a preventive measure when images are not loaded on your page.

Fortunately, adding and optimizing alternate text couldn’t be easier. In WordPress, you can do this through the image editing screen in the media library and individual posts and pages.

Don’t forget to optimize your alt text. You will want to use complete sentences that are very descriptive and contain a lot of keywords.

Many SEOs ignore image optimization, but with the arrival of the Google page experience update next year now is the best time to prioritize this. Update

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