What is image ALT text and why is so important for SEO optimalization?

Last updated December 6th, 2023 06:06

Image ALT text (also known as alt tags or alt attributes) is a brief description that is added to an image in the HTML code of a webpage. This text is used to describe the content of an image to search engines and website visitors who are visually impaired or have a slow internet connection and cannot load the images.

The ALT text provides context for an image, and it should be written with both search engines and users in mind. It should accurately describe the image, be concise, and include relevant keywords. By providing clear and concise ALT text, you can help search engines understand what your image is about and how it relates to the rest of your content.

There are several reasons why ALT text is important for SEO optimization:

  1. Accessibility: One of the most important reasons to use ALT text is to make your website more accessible for people with visual impairments. Screen readers and other assistive technologies rely on the ALT text to describe images to users who cannot see them.

  2. SEO: Adding ALT text to your images can also help improve your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google use ALT text to understand the content of an image, and they use this information to determine the relevance of your content to a particular search query. The more accurately you describe your images with ALT text, the better your chances of ranking higher in search results.

  3. User experience: Using descriptive ALT text can also improve the user experience on your website. When users hover over an image, the ALT text will appear as a tooltip, providing additional information about the image. This can be helpful for users who want to learn more about the image or are unable to see it.

Here are some tips for writing effective ALT text:

  1. Be descriptive: Describe the content of the image in a concise and accurate way. Avoid using generic phrases like “image” or “picture.”

  2. Use relevant keywords: Include relevant keywords in your ALT text, but don’t stuff it with too many keywords. Use them in a natural and organic way.

  3. Keep it short: Your ALT text should be short and to the point. Aim for around 125 characters or less.

  4. Don’t include non-descriptive information: Avoid including information in your ALT text that is not relevant to the content of the image. For example, if you’re using an image of a person, don’t include their name in the ALT text unless it is relevant to the image.

  5. Don’t use ALT text as a caption: ALT text should be used to describe the content of an image, not to provide a caption or additional information. If you want to include a caption, use the caption tag or add text below the image.

In conclusion, ALT text is an essential part of SEO optimization and website accessibility. By providing accurate and descriptive ALT text, you can help search engines understand the content of your images and improve your website’s visibility in search results. Additionally, ALT text can make your website more accessible to users with visual impairments and improve their overall user experience.

Here’s how you can add alt text in WordPress:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the post or page where you want to add the image.
  2. Click on the Add Media button to insert an image into your post or page.
  3. Select the image you want to add alt text to and click on the Edit button on the right-hand side.
  4. In the Image Details window that pops up, scroll down to the bottom and look for the Alt Text field.
  5. Enter a description of the image in the Alt Text field. The description should be concise and describe the content and function of the image.
  6. Click the Update button to save your changes.

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