Alt text (also known as alt attributes or alt tags) is one of those terms we throw around in the SEO industry a lot without explaining it. While having image alt text on your web pages is just one small part of the search engine optimization process, our team at Big Red SEO in Omaha thinks it’s worth spending some time to talk about.
If you run a business website and aren’t sure what alt text is or why it’s important to have, this article will answer all your questions! If you already use alt text but aren’t sure about best practices, our SEO Omaha team will tell you how you can use image alt text to improve your SEO rankings.
Alt Text Describes Your Images
When you upload an image file to your website, alt text describes that image so that people (or search engines) who can’t see the image can still understand it. There are many instances where having alt text attached to your images can be very helpful to user experience, such as when a user is visually impaired and using a screen reader to view your site. Rather than having your images remain invisible in this case, alt text describes the image to them and aids their understanding of your page.
Image alt text also helps describe images when a user’s web browser doesn’t allow the image on the page to be displayed. If for any reason your page images don’t show in a user’s browser, if you’ve assigned alt text to the image it will appear in place of the images and give needed context to users.
Placing Your Images in Image Search Results
Besides being great for user experience, using image alt text also allows your images to be “read” by the search engines and ranked in image search results. Since search engines can’t read the graphic data of an image, they rely on image alt text to tell them what an image is and whether it’s relevant to a user’s image search query. In other words, the only way for your images to show up in image search results is to use alt text!
Keywords and Alt Text
Using your web page’s focus keywords in images that appear on that page is a great way to increase your online visibility as well as your SEO rankings, but it’s easy to hurt your SEO in Omaha as well if you go about it the wrong way. For instance, assigning keywords to images that aren’t relevant just to squeeze more keywords into your page isn’t a good idea.
If you have a picture of a cat on your page, say, you wouldn’t want to assign it alt text that says “expert SEO marketing services in Omaha,” because that text doesn’t have anything to do with the picture it supposedly describes. The search engine may not pick up on this and may display your picture in search results for those keywords, but this isn’t good for user experience. In fact, it’s a deceptive practice that tries to force your content in front of people who aren’t looking for it, and that will always be bad for your SEO Omaha efforts in the long run.
The Best Ways to Use Image Alt Text for SEO Omaha
Creating effective image alt text can be easy if you follow a few simple tips. First, you want to master the art of saying as much as you can in as few words as possible. Alt text for any single image should be no more than a short phrase, so it’s best to describe the image as well as you can within the space of a few choice keywords.
You should also consider the context of your images on the page. Placing images with descriptive alt text alongside body text that’s relevant to the image goes a long way to creating a cohesive web experience for your potential customers.
Contact Big Red SEO in Omaha at (402) 522-6468!
Our search engine marketing team at Big Red SEO hopes that this article gives you a good idea of the importance of image alt text—this text gives you the opportunity to expand the amount of text on your pages that’s readable by search engines, which can only help your SEO if you do it right! If you have questions about image alt text and want to know how we can help your company increase its online presence through white hat SEO practices, give us a call today at (402) 522-6468! We look forward to working with you.