Image Alt Text SEO: How Images Attribute Can Be a Game-Changer

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Many facets constitute an on-page SEO strategy.

On-page SEO, as one of the pillars of Search Engine Optimisation, can make a significant impact on your website’s optimisation campaign. We know you are familiar with meta descriptions, title tags, headers, and image alt-text. 

Meta descriptions and title tags are becoming an increasing priority to webmasters or SEO agency optimising their content for SEO, but it’s the image alt text that don’t usually get the attention it deserves and gets disregarded. 

Image alt texts are one of the elements that you often disregard or overlook when you perform your SEO implementations. As part of our SEO series, we will be introducing these different factors that affect your SEO performance

Here are some points you need to remember when you come across image alt-text. 

What is Image Alt Text 

Image alt text seo

An image alt-text is an HTML code that illustrates the image of your webpage. It helps your audiences understand the image present on your page if it fails to load or take too long to show the content. 

This is a great aid to walk through your visually impaired readers to understand your content.

Another thing is that image alt text serves as a guide to users who choose to turn off images in their web browser application. 

Image tags usually look like this:

<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>

The Difference Between Image Alt Text and Image Title

Image alt text and image title

Image alt text and image title are two unique species and carry a different purpose in your on-page campaign. 

Image Alt Text is an alternative text you use to show the copy that illustrates an image to an alternative source. One of its goals is to make visually impaired users who use screen readers have a better context of your content. 

It makes the web more accessible to them, and it answers to the guidelines set by WCAG. 

Image Title Text is an attribute that you use to provide an in-depth description or information about the image you uploaded on your website. These titles are not part of the factors that search engines use to rank your site, so there’s no need to optimise them. 

Why is Image Alt Text Important 

Image alt text is another factor you must consider optimising, just like your title tags and meta descriptions

Small details can greatly impact your quest for successful SEO performance, so you need to craft a good image alt text to achieve the following on your site. 

  1. Accessibility
inspect element of alt text

Web Content Accessibility guidelines 1.0 clearly explain to make the content as accessible as possible for users with disabilities. One of the guidelines states to “Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content.”

The main goal of these guidelines is to provide a space for everyone to learn and enjoy regardless of their physical inability.

  1. Better user experience

Image alt text is for all. 

Though it is an advantage to have it on your website to cater for online users with disabilities, it is a plus if you don’t single out only or intend it to be that way alone.

You will have visitors who have a low-bandwidth connection and might have trouble loading the images on your page and have to settle with a broken image.  

Provide overall wellness to your website, regardless of who will visit. 

  1. Image traffic

Images that appear on Google can attract new visitors. And it can give you favourable organic visitors if you turn your images into hyperlink search results.

Your images can appear in different search engines as image packs – a series of images that Google displays in the search results.

Optimising your image alt text can increase your content as well. 

How Does Alt Text Affect SEO 

Alt text gives a logical meaning to the images you have on your website. 

Search engines use these descriptions to return search results as it gives them a better understanding of your content, not just what you have written but as well as the images you incorporate into it. 

The more direct and thorough you describe all of your images to users and search engines, the easier it is for crawlers to run through your content. This is how you benefit from a well-put image alt text in on-page SEO. 

Best Practice on Alt Text SEO 

Optimising your image alt text can be arduous work for you right now, but we are sure you want to learn how to craft a solid alt text that will favour your SEO campaign. 

Here are some of the best practices you want to bookmark:

  1. Be specific.

Accurately describing your images can help a wider audience consume and spread your content. Refrain from using words that are too hard to picture out for your readers. 

Imagine being in their shoes. It is not that you are underestimating their capacity to understand a certain language but having the capability to present your content online opens the opportunity for non-English speaking audiences to stumble upon it. 

If you want to reach more readers, make your alt text-specific, detailed, and accurate to convey the right meaning of your images. 

  1. Use your keywords, but don’t overdo

Having an alternative text is another opportunity to include your target keywords. 

Using your focus keywords on your image alt texts helps Google to know that your content is relevant for a particular search query. The same rule applies still – no keyword stuffing. 

It will make your website pain in the eyes – for both readers and search engines crawlers – because you have overdone your keywords.

  1. Keep it short.

Keyword stuffing makes your content messy and unreliable. It also pushes you to include irrelevant words to fit your description. 

Making your image alt text short and simple benefits your readers. You know how search engines work. They validate the information and relevancy on your website. Once they notice you have too much irrelevant content, you will have a hard time ranking your page. 

Always have in mind to target the right words to write. Be clear and concise. 

  1. Drop the traditional. 

Be creative. Drop the traditional way of writing your image alt text. 

Refrain from using “an image of,” “a picture of,” in your alt text. People get fed up with that. 

Go straight to the point because your readers understand that alt texts are there to describe a certain image or picture of something – no need to elaborate on it. 

Example of Good Alt Text 

What does a good alt text look like? Here are some examples for you.

example of good alt text 1
example of good alt text 2
example of good alt text 3

Alt Text SEO on WordPress

how to add alt attribute in wordpress

Uploading an image on your WordPress account is very convenient as it allows you as well to put an alt text and a title. 

By default, WordPress uses the image filename as the title attribute and alt attribute if you don’t have one. If you don’t write your own this practice will benefit you, but you know it is not a favourable practice to depend on. 

Ensure that you have crafted distinct and unique alt texts for all of your images before uploading them to your WordPress account. 

How to add alt attribute in WordPress 

  1. Login to your WordPress account; See your ‘Dashboard.’
  2. Go to the post or page you want to edit
  3. Look for the ‘Image block’ to open the ‘image settings’ in the sidebar.
  4. You may add your alt text and your content’s title attribute on the image block tab.
  5. Click ‘update’ found on the upper right corner to ensure it reflects your changes.

Alt Text SEO on Shopify 

For Shopify, adding alt texts is convenient as well. 

Adding alt attributes to your Shopify store can help your store become more accessible and open for all clients online. Your online stores can be full of images, and you must provide each with the exact and unique texts for your customers to understand. 

How to add alt attribute according to Shopify:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Products.
  2. Click the name of the product that you want to edit.
  3. From the product details page, click a product media item to see the Preview media page.
  4. Click Add ALT text.
  5. Enter your alt text, and then click Save ALT text.
  6. Click the X to exit the preview page.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to optimise your website if you are open to understanding that each element that is present in it is vital to the success of your campaign. 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) consists of various components that make it more sustainable to practice. You need to explore your strengths and weaknesses in the on-page, off-page, and technical aspects of SEO 

Image alt text optimisation can be one of your least priorities now, but as how the web works, everything connects and links together – a never-ending process. 

Remember to think of the user first. Your website must prioritise the user at all times, crawlers second to it. Spending time to add alternative texts to your website is a 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Alt Text?

An alt text or alternative attribute is a text that accurately describes the images that you integrated on your website. This helps your readers and the search engines to understand your content more thoroughly. 

Why is Alt Text Important?

One main goal of SEO is accessibility. Building a web design-friendly website for your target market is a golden rule you must follow. 
Alt texts are important to your on-page SEO campaign because they serve as your guide to your readers to understand and access your content better.
It helps your visitors digest your content faster, especially if they are visually impaired or lacks a stable or low bandwidth connection to load your page. 

How to Add Image Alt Text?

For WordPress users: 
1. Login to your WordPress account; See your ‘Dashboard.’
2. Go to the post or page you want to edit
3. Look for the ‘Image block’ to open the ‘image settings’ in the sidebar.
4. You may add your alt text and your content’s title attribute on the image block tab.
5. Click ‘update’ found on the upper right corner to ensure it reflects your changes. 

For Shopify account holders: 
1. From your Shopify admin, go to Products.
2. Click the name of the product that you want to edit.
3. From the product details page, click a product media item to see the Preview media page.
4. Click Add ALT text.
5. Enter your alt text, and then click Save ALT text.
6. Click the X to exit the preview page.

Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital agency.
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