How Image Alt Text Will Help SEO

Updated: May 19, 2020

In this work life integration blog post we will be discussing image alt text. Adding image alt text is a simple tactic to help increase SEO. When you search something on Google, it's not only giving you results in text.

image alt text SEO in google SERP

The above screenshot is from a simple search, but notice that Google's Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) show me images and text-based results. So is image alt text important? Yes.

What is Alt Text? Why is image alt text important?

Alt text (alternative text), also known as "alt tags", "alt attributes", and "alt descriptions," is the text that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user's screen. This text is used within HTML code. This text helps with accessibility, allowing screen-reading tools describe images to the visually impaired. It also helps search engine crawlers better index an image and rank your website higher. Using alt text on your images has SEO benefits, but it won't significantly affect your google ranking, unless your website is image heavy like a photographer.

What should image alt text say?

Be specific and descriptive with your alt text. You don't want to stuff keywords in there as "fluff". That will not help with SEO. Image alt text can include your article's keywords, but only if it makes sense.

Here is an example:

A mural of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in Downtown LA

Bad Alt Text: Mural of a basketball player on the side of a building.

Good Alt Text: A mural of Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in Downtown LA

You want to describe the context of the picture and be specific. Make sure to keep your alt text short - fewer than 125 characters. For this reason, don't start alt text with something like "image of...". Get right into it.

How to add alt text to your images?

I use Wix for my website so it's as simple as right clicking an image and clicking settings. Then you will see a place to add a title if you'd like, in addition to adding your image atl text.

So give your website an audit. Check all your pictures to make sure they contain alt text. Don't forget buttons too. For example, a submit button that contains an image can contain alt text like "submit" or "apply now". Adding alt text will help with SEO and your website page with rank higher, in addition to improving accessibility and user experience (UX).

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