What Is Alt Text?
Alt text is the written content that can appear on a webpage in place of an image that fails to load. It can benefit users who are visually impaired and is an additional element that can help websites to rank better.
Why Is Alt Text for Images Important?
There are a number of valid reasons to make sure that you include alt text for images. Consider the following.
- Alt text describes images that website visitors cannot see. There are some browsers and screen readers that block images. Then there are those users who are visually impaired or blind. With alt text, every user can appreciate website content.
- It is useful to include an alt attribute for images that addresses SEO. While search engine capabilities have vastly improved, crawlers still cannot see webpage images. Your goal is to rank for intended keywords. Alt text allows you to add an additional target keyword. Other keywords on the same page will offer an added impact.
Keys to Writing Good Alt Text for Images
If you are going to write alt text, then you should spend time making sure that your image descriptions are spot on. Learn some of the best alt text for images best practices below:
- Describe images in an exact way. If text does not offer a perfect description for users who cannot see them, then the image is only on the page for design purposes. The image should truly live in CSS and not necessarily in HTML.
- Keep the alternative text for images short. It should be no more than 125 characters. Otherwise, screen readers may cut it off.
- Alt text provides an additional opportunity to utilize targeted keywords. This is yet another chance to send a signal to search engines that your page is relevant for its keyword terms.
- As always, avoid stuffing keywords. This should be an automatic impulse, but there are always those marketers who will forget or overlook this on occasion.
- Do not forget to add an alt attribute button to any image button used to get someone to “submit” or “apply now.”
In today’s world, using images to tell a story is popular with businesses and publishers. Be aware that customers prefer answers and search results embedded in a webpage. Hyperlinked search results with the underlying blue line can be replaced with images and alt text that provides a hyperlinked search result. We mentioned that marketers should never stuff keywords in alt text. It is too easy to include other words to convey the same meaning.
Images can fail to load for a number of reasons. It could be due to a faulty connection or a device lacking power. In such instances, the alt text will display onscreen. This lets a user know that an image was supposed to load.
People respond to images. Images help people better understand what an article is all about. Charts and diagrams can help to illustrate complex information, and images can entice people to read social media posts. With every article that you place online, there should be an image that goes along with it. Keep in mind, too, that visual search is increasingly important. There’s lots of industry talk that Google thinks that visual search will dominate the future. In any event, images can increase your traffic in the here and now.
In digital marketing circles, image SEO is going to continue to be a common topic for discussion in the future. A more refined explanation of image SEO is that it refers to the practice of search engine optimization as it relates to image files.
If your network is slow, then your pages along with images will load slowly. Another term for this is “network latency.” Optimizing for images only works if those images download fast.
There is also such a thing as a content delivery network that marketers can use for uploading images. A CDN can deliver an image from a secondary location instead of from a website server. Uploading from a secondary location can load images faster if that location is close to a user.
There is a lot to SEO. Many online business owners only have the knowledge, time, and energy to work on their bottom line. This is where working with web development professionals makes sense.
Advanced Digital Media Services is a reputable SEO company that businesses can depend on to help grow their online presence and secure a better search ranking. If you need help adding alt text for images to your website, fill out the form below to connect with one of our experts.