Alt Text: What It Is, How to Write It, and Why It Matters to SEO
Even if you are new to SEO, you would have heard at least one about adding alt text to images is important. Setting an alternative text for images is very important for SEO as it provides context to what an image is displaying.
|What is Alt Text?
Alt text or alt description or alt tag is a written description of an image that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. The original aim of using alt text is for visual impaired readers who can’t see images, but screen readers will read aloud the alt text to them so that they can make sense of the image.
Image Alt Text Best Practices
Writing alt text mainly for SEO purposes is not good. The main objective of alt text is to understand readers what is happening in an image. Here are some best ways to write effective image alt text:
- Describe the image, and be specific.
- Be Descriptive Yet Concise.
- Keep your alt text fewer than 125 characters.
- Don’t start alt text with “picture of…” or “Image of…
- Include a Keyword.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
How Does Alt Text Impact SEO?
Alt text makes images more accessible to people and search engines and it is a key search engine ranking factor.
An image without an alt text may give your visually impaired/ blind customers a bad experience which can eventually harm your brand reputation, traffic, and conversion rate.
Here is an Optimal alt text format
<img src=”icecream.png” alt=”Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate chips”>
Don’t give a short description. Be descriptive of what’s in the image, while remaining concise.
Giving alt text is crucial to image search SEO. Ensuring your images are optimized for search will help image SEO. It also helps search engine crawlers when a page is failed to load an image. Instead crawlers crawl this alt description!
Pro Tip: Make sure you can visualize the image’s content by just reading its alt text.