How To: Why do you need Alt Text on your images?

Alt Text is an often overlooked component of a complete SEO strategy, but it shouldn’t be. Imagine trying to find a piece of content without a single keyword in the copy you’re searching for, now apply this to images online you can begin to imagine the realm of image search. Billions of photographs and pictures, all with indecipherable names, no descriptions and as a result, very little chance of someone searching for an image and actually finding the right one.

That, among other factors we’ll discuss, will help you understand Alt Text as good practice. So besides the obvious sorting, searching and finding, how else can Alt Text benefit sites and their SEO strategies?

Firstly, we’ve all been there, images don’t always load online, and the only identifier available in that situation will be your Alt Text. This reassures visitors that the image they are looking for exists and they’re in the right place, it is just temporarily unavailable.

As a second point, you should consider Alt Text if for no other reason that search engines and their crawlers. Crawl bots can read text easily, but images are more complex. Although image searching technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, good old fashion Alt Text still acts as the best way for you to tell search engines what your images are depicting. Describe the images as detailed as possible, but remember, it’s crucial that your descriptions are accurate. It’s also a good idea to use your main keywords appear in your Alt Text.

Third, and finally, here are 3 tips to ensure your Alt Text is as good and effective as possible.

  1. Write concise, descriptive text
  2. Describe the images as if you’re describing them to people, in other words, give context to the images. As a result, search engines will also be able to index and serve the image more accurately.
  3. Never use keywords that aren’t relevant to the image. This could do more harm than good, so as a general rule, simply avoid doing it.

Alt Text is undeniably important and useful to both search engines and humans. Take the time to create good, descriptive and accurate Alt Text that will ensure your images, and subsequently, your site, will be found for relevant terms and searches.

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