Alt Attribute and Best Practices for SEO
Use alt tags to make images readable by both the visually impaired and search engines.
Alt attribute means “alternative to the image.” The goal of an alt tag is to bring more clarity to an image. A blog post or webpage should have many photos to enhance the content, making room for many places to add alt attributes!
Some blog visitors use specialty screen readers that filter out images. Using alt attributes lets the screen reader know the content in the image. Another benefit of using the alt attribute is when an image cannot load correctly on a webpage, causing the alt attribute to be displayed.
Additionally, when a visually impaired visitors are looking to a website for information, they will use a program that reads text aloud to understand better what the images add to the blog or webpage content. When an image has an alt tag associated with it, the individual will better know its purpose.
Alt Attribute Structure
When creating an alt tag, it is best practice to make an accurate description into the alt so that relevant information is displayed. For SEO purposes, the alt tag should include the top keywords included in the created content.
Remember, the alt attribute describes the image.
There are some cases where a link should be included in the image for navigation purposes. Adding a link to the alt can be used if you are looking to take the user to another page. If you happen to use a link, remember to include a description and avoid using the word “link,” which can cause a penalty.
Alt tagging for WordPress users
Fortunately for many WordPress users, alt tags are easy to manage and add by using an SEO plugin.
We suggest that all of our clients use Rankmath because we have found that plugin to be the most effective when adding alt tags. If you are a developer, you can use HTML to add your alt tags.
How do Search Engines Read Alt tags
When a search engine crawls a webpage, they will see how relevant the image is to the rest of the text with the information in the alt attribute. For local SEO, we suggest that your alt tags include both keywords and the location.
Be careful not to over-optimize your alt tag. If a search engine finds over-optimized alt tags, there is a strong possibility there will be a penalty.
Three things to remember when creating alt attribute
- Do not start the alt text with “picture/image of.”
Starting text with one of these two phases defeats the purpose of describing the image. The end-user and the search engine crawler are already aware that the alt attribute is an image.
- Write for the user and not solely SEO.
When an alt tag is over-optimized, the risk for a penalty increases.
- Forgetting to write an alt tag all together
Leaving out an alt tag makes the page inaccessible. The whole purpose of a webpage is to be accessible to everyone.
Think of alt tags as the framing of a house; take the time to correctly build the structure. The alt structure will help major search engines quickly crawl a web page and make the internet more accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions on how we can help you create a blog or more compelling content, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking to help businesses with their digital marketing efforts.