The Role of Alt Text in Image SEO

The Role of Alt Text in Image SEO

Alt text (or alternative text) is the descriptive copy that’s added to an image on a webpage. It’s often used to explain an image to visitors who are unable to see it, such as those with visual impairments or screen readers, and is a key tenet of accessible web design. It’s also important to search engines, as it provides textual context for the page and helps search engines better understand an image’s subject matter.

The first and most obvious reason why alt text is important is that it improves accessibility for people who use assistive technologies. For instance, people with a vision loss or other impairment use the Internet to manage their finances, find healthcare services, navigate towns and cities, shop, and many other day-to-day tasks. Without proper alt tags, these users would be unable to interact with your website. By adding alt text to your images, you ensure that this entire audience can access and enjoy your content.

Another reason why alt text is important is that it allows your images to rank higher in image search results. Google’s Image Recognition feature uses alt text to identify an image and add it to search results, making it even more important to have accurate, relevant alt text on your images.

How to Optimize Your Image Alt Text

When creating an alt text description, start by describing the image as if you were explaining it to someone who couldn’t see it. It’s also helpful to include your target keyword in the alt text, but only if it naturally fits into the description and doesn’t sound awkward or forced. In addition, you should always avoid over-optimization and keyword stuffing, as this can hurt your SEO score.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that alt text should be unique for each image on a page. So, if you have multiple similar images on a page, make sure each one has a different, unique alt text.

Lastly, it’s important to update your image alt text when you change the image’s appearance or purpose. This will help search engines understand your site’s changes and rank them accordingly.