What is Alt Text & How to use Alt Text in 2020

what is alt text

Google Search algorithms play around with many aspects of content within a website or a webpage to render the most relevant results as per the search terms entered by the users. While it is very evident that every digital marketing expert relies on the SEO keywords and content to rank their websites higher on the search results page, however, images also play a vital role in attracting completely organic traffic to the website and even rank it higher in search results. It is the ‘Alt Text’ that is used to create the right tags or descriptions for the images to appear in the searches.

Google these days renders a lot of search results based on images as equal to the text results, giving the users option to click on several photos to reach the page directly. On a standard Google search page, even on top of the text search results, Google displays a chunk of clickable images apart from the Images tab. This shows the significance of pictures in driving the right traffic. 

After all, the content that needs visuals and images to make it more effective can boost the SEO ranking if the alt description is used carefully. As per HubSpot, Google searchers prefer seeing pictures in the search results than the simple text links.

The Power of Image SEO

Image SEO is all about creating organic traction for the websites and webpages through the images used on the page by providing the right keywords and descriptions in the text associated with the photos. The visual appeal of the webpages increases multifold with illustrations and images that bot only talks about the content and augment it. At the same time, SEO experts and web designers pay a considerable amount of time and effort in creating the most impactful and feasible design and content for the websites so that they drive a high volume of traffic and generate profits.

Image SEO is often an area not fully leveraged. Using the alt text, properly indexing the images, and providing the right image title and file name, one can ensure that the image appears in searches. The crawlers get to the webpages where the photos are used. 

Images are returned for 22.6% of search queries on Google.

Image SEO plays a pivotal role in the current digital market space as more and more people are using visual elements to increase the webpage value. Images are returned for 22.6% of search queries on Google.  By understanding what is alt text and how it can be used, one can optimize the images on their websites for organically driving traffic. Altogether, search engine image recognition has considerably grown smarter, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, most crawlers would still bypass images no matter how impactful and illustrative if they are not indexed properly and used correctly on the web page. By providing right and relevant descriptions and adopting the Alt Text best practices, you can increase the overall image Seok impact of your website. Great content complemented with high-value images properly indexed and collated with right alt text can do wonders for your site ranking.

  1. Let us understand what Alt Text is?

    Alt-text is an abbreviation for Alternate Text. Alt Text and descriptions are that are written at various places wherever the image is not loaded correctly due to some issues. The alt description is also essential for the visual readers and tools for the visually impaired users who cannot read the screens. The Alt text of prime importance helps the search algorithms and crawlers track the content through images and place the website higher in the search results.

  2. Why is Alt text important for SEO?

    Alt Text is beneficial as it provides accessibility and visibility to the images to create additional SEO attribution. We have often discussed the increasing efficiency of search algorithms in various blogs posted by us. As search engines grow smarter, it is essential to cognitively assign more and more visual elements to your webpages to gain traction.
    –         The search algorithms may still not understand and identify all the relevant images associated with a search term of content; thus, it is essential to guide the search engine using the right words to help find the associated images. Let us understand with an example; for example, someone is searching for content associated with the recent IPL match; you may put pictures of the current match in your blog about a scintillating match.
    – However, the search engine may not identify and recognize the images straight away; however, if you put right and understandable Alt Text in your image, it makes it easier for the search engine to pick your image. If a search engine can pick your image using the alt text, you get additional traction and keywords used in the content.
    –         When you properly add Alt text, Google can index in search, and they showcase them at the right search results. Alt Text is an interesting area to explore when you invest your resources in the right SEO techniques. 
    Thus Alt text helps add value to the images and helps the search engine understand your images on the page and then display them in search engine results.

  3. How to add Alt text in Images

    You can add Alt Text to the images easily through the content management system you are using. It is an amazing way to boost your page visibility and use the images which are already present on your webpage to gain organic traction with ease.
    You can add the Alt Text manually on the images, and just in case you do not add any Alt Text, then the image file name is automatically picked as the Alt Text. It is also a great way to increase the website’s reach to the users with visual impairment as the screen readers can read out the Alt text of the images to the users, and they can understand what the article is all about. 
    what is alt text

    – In WordPress, Square Space, and Weebly, when you design your webpage and upload the content, you can add Alt Text by defining the right keyword in the Alt Text field.
    –        However, you can also add the same HTML attribute in the HTML code of the page with ease. Using the tag <img alt=”text”> you can do that with ease. There are some simple guidelines for the same 
    –        If you want to really understand what is alt text and use it to increase page visibility, you must note that it should talk about the image if the image has information.
    –        The text should explain where the link goes if the image is inside an <a> element.
    Use alt=” if the image is only for decoration.

  4. How to optimize Alt text with keywords

    The Alt Text and Title tags for the images help the search engines find the images on your website and use them in the search results. These are not tags, but these are attributes that describe the image with the help of text and tell the purpose of the image on the page it has been used.
    Suppose there is a button on the webpage to search for the new items, then the alt text should say ” Button to Search New Dresses.”
    –       The alt text is very handy if created and optimized for search algorithms. Instead of stuffing, one should use the Alt text and title efficiently. The call to action for the button image should be included in the title of the image. The information contained in the Alt Text helps the users identify your picture and understand its purpose just if the image does not render on the page due to technical glitches.
    –       When you use the right descriptive al text for the photos, then the search algorithm spiders can reach to your website with ease. Instead of just using the crawlers to scan through the SEO keywords, the search spiders can also recognize the images related to a search item and share the pictures of the results. On Word Press and Yoast SEO checking, there is a considerable emphasis on the right alt text.
    – The Yoast SEO check available in site publishing platforms like WordPress, etc., reviews that at least one image on the page has the correct descriptive Alt Text so that the chance of ranking in image search is high.
    what is alt text

  5. How to write good Alt text

    We have already talked about what is alt text and the importance of SEO friendly Alt Text with the images on your webpage. They make the website more accessible and efficient; however, like there are best practices for writing the SEO-friendly content and choosing the right keywords, similarly, there are several things one should keep while writing Alt Text.
    The text should not look compulsive or unrequired; rather, it should be written so that it is accurate and adds value to the website. A poorly written Alt Text serves no purpose and can increase the confusion on the concept or idea you are trying to convey through your webpage or image. The appropriate Alt Text is related to the image and deciphers its purpose, intent, and definition without beating around the bush.
    Even though every individual may interpret an image differently and come up with Alt text descriptions per their understanding, it is always beneficial to follow the best practices.
    ·         Alt text should be similar to the content and the purposes of the image. Ensure that you understand the idea, its source, and the location where it will be used; this helps you come up with the most relevant, understandable, and accurate alt text description.
    ·         As mentioned above, ‘Be Specific’. Again, do not beat around the bush and use text as fillers. There is no need to fluff the content to increase words or write the content which is not relevant. Alt Text should be precise, crisp, and short.
    ·         Don’t Be repetitive: One should keep in mind that if you are going to use redundant content and talk about the same thing in different ways, it is not going to add any value to your image. 
    ·         Don’t Use Self Descriptive terms: This is a master tip when writing alt text. As we discussed that Alt text should be precise, and short writing terms like Image of a Horse or Picture of a white horse would look irrelevant.

  6. Some Examples of What is Alt Text and How to Write it Effectively

    Let us understand the impact of good alt text in an image with a simple example of a floral ladies’ dress. While it is not a great idea to write a picture of the lady’s clothing in the alt text, it is descriptive from the image name itself, and obviously, we are using an image, so using the word picture is not required. 
    Bad: <img src= “Floraldress.png” alt=“picture of ladies dress”>
    Using the alt text as ladies’ dress is okay as it describes the image and helps the screen readers to inform the users what the image is about. 
     
    Okay: <img src= “Floraldress.png” alt=“ladies dress”>
    Good: <img src= “Floraldress.png” alt=“Floral ladies dress”>
    Using a more descriptive text like a floral lady’s dress helps the search engine crawlers to pick the image as the reader is more descriptive yet crisp. 
     
    Best: <img src= “Floraldress.png” alt=“Floral ladies dress with flares”>
    Using the text like Floral lady’s dress with flares adds more details to the image and makes it relevant to the users searching for a dress with that style and design.

  7. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

    When writing Alt Text, make sure that you do not unnecessarily stuff the SEO keywords in the Alt Text. It is ideal to use the keyword in the appropriate density and ensure that it is used logically in the text. Many writers and content creators make a mistake of stuffing the keyword to attain the keyword density goal without ensuring that the word is used logically in the sentence and makes sense to the overall content.
    Be it SEO blogs, articles, or alt description; one should keep in mind that the keywords and search terms should be used logically. One should focus on the quality of the content and provide the context of the image.
    There is no point in using the keyword to write alt text that makes no sense. Search algorithms are now smarter than ever and would not dock all the poorly written alt text images and may not even show them in the search results.
    On the other hand, if your pictures have well-defined, pertinent, and logically written alt text, you have high chances of emerging in search results and garner valuable organic traffic. If you can use the keywords smartly in the alt description, it’s an added advantage.

  8. Finding Images with Missing Alt Text

    If there are images on your website which do not have a clearly defined alt text, then your pictures may lose the purpose and not add much value in the SEO perspective.
    The search crawlers may not catch them, and thus you miss out on a considerably good chance of getting the high organic traffic to your website. Having a title and alt text can help your images rank higher and boost your SEO efforts considerably. 
    It is not an easy task to find the images with missing text within your website or page. You can do that manually; however, it is going to be a very cumbersome job altogether.
    There are several SEO tools available in the market that help find the images with missing alt text, and these tools track the images more extensive than the size of 1 by 1 pixel and suggest you add alt text. You can use the online tools to check the missing text in the images and inure that your pictures are UpToDate.

Conclusion

We have talked about all the essential aspects of alt text, including what is alt text and its importance in adding value to the available images on your web page. Just by providing alt text, you can optimize the images on your websites to generate additional SEO value. If used optimally, image SEO can help drive highly organic traffic to the websites. They need to carefully analyze the right keywords and use them in the alt description intelligently.

Let us know your feedback about the insights shared about alt text and also share with us any alt text best practices that you follow while developing webpages. At Netilly, we strive to bring the topics that are helpful and informative. So, do let us know if you want us to cover any specific topic you want us to cover. For any professional digital marketing services, feel free to contact us

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