Search engines are continuously evolving, and many major search engines such as Google now show image results for a search query in addition to text. Images are highly relevant when it comes to content—users expect to see high-quality images with your text, and webpages and articles that contain images typically rank higher than those that don’t.
Your images could be another important factor in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for getting traffic to your site, and the way to do this is with image alt text, sometimes called alt tag or alt descriptions. But what is alt text, and how can it boost search visibility for your website images?
What Exactly Is Alt Text?
Alt text is a written description used in HTML code. These words describe your images and will appear in the event that your graphics won’t load for your visitors. Alt text is essential for visually impaired readers, and can be read by screen-readers to describe photos to those who may not be able to see them.
However, alt text also gives your images context, which allows search engines to better index and rank your site. When it comes to your graphics, alt text plays an essential role both in accessibility and ranking factors for your website.
Why Alt Text Is Important for Your Images
By creating an inclusive, accessible web design for visually impaired web users, alt text creates a better user experience. Even if your website is having trouble loading particular images for readers that aren’t visually impaired, your visitors can still grasp what the pictures are thanks to alt text.
Providing a written description of the graphics also gives proper context to search engines that crawl your site, allowing them to accurately index and rank your webpages.
You can even include keywords within your alt descriptions, which can play an important factor when ranking for image results on the front page of search engines. All of your pictures should have alt text to support accessibility, rankings, and indexing for your web presence!
How You Can Create Proper Alt Descriptions
To create proper alt descriptions for your images, you should be descriptive without making them too long. Here are some tips to help you create the best alt text for your website’s photos:
- Be specific. You should accurately describe your image instead of sticking solely to generic words. For example, if you have a picture of a man running, it’s easy enough to say “man running”, but including specifics such as “young man in red shirt running on road” is much more helpful to your readers and your SEO strategy.
- Use keywords. It’s important to include keywords, but be mindful of your keyword use, as you don’t want to use too many. You can create an alt description with keywords without using too many keywords or phrases.
- Keep it short. Be descriptive and include keywords without creating a long, drawn-out alt tag. Ideally, you want your description to be about 125 characters. You don’t need to start your description with “picture of”, this is unnecessary and will eat up your character count!
Good alt descriptions are brief, specific, and include keywords to support your site’s ranking and indexing by search engines. Don’t be afraid to get descriptive when labeling your images!
Need Help Ranking Better for Images? Get in Touch With Us!
Including alt text for every graphic on your site can get overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to utilize keywords as part of your SEO strategy. When you want to rank better for images, get in touch with our team at Gazz Consulting. We specialize in digital marketing to help companies just like yours reach their goals with a strategic approach!