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What Is Alt Text and Why Should You Use It?

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What Is Alt Text and Why Should You Use It?

Today, Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) offer many image results as text-based results.

What Is Alt Text and Why Should You Use It?

The screenshot above is the first SERP that Google produces for the term “email newsletter design.” Notice how, in addition to the “Images” tab at the top, Google pulls an image package to the top of the clickable home page even before the organic text results are visible.

Today, Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) offer many image results as text-based results. The screenshot above is the first SERP that Google produces for the term “email newsletter design.”

Notice how, in addition to the “Images” tab at the top, Google pulls an image package to the top of the clickable home page even before the organic text results are visible.

Despite your SEO efforts, you may be missing out on another source of organic traffic: the images on your website. How do you optimize them? With alt text.

More and more, companies and publishers require images to accompany their words. If you’re writing about photography, for example, examples are crucial to the reader’s experience. When explaining the use of software, screenshots are the best way to reinforce knowledge.

If you create content on a topic that requires visual support, think about how your audience wants to be informed.

In many cases, Google users are not looking for the classic hyperlinked result but for the explanatory image itself.

One of the essential things that image alt text can do for you converts your images into search results, giving you another means of receiving organic visitors.

What is alt text or alt attribute?

Also called “alt tag,” alt text is an HTML attribute that describes an image. It allows search engines to crawl and rank your website, plus it helps reading software describe ideas for visually impaired readers.

Whether you implement SEO strategies for your business or not yet, optimizing alt text on your website is your opportunity to create a better experience for users, regardless of how they first arrived.

What is the alt attribute in HTML form?

Some of the advantages of the alt attribute are that:

  1. It gives search engines an easy way to understand the content of an image.
  2. It helps organic positioning through the use of keywords.
  3. Provides information to reading software used by visually impaired users.
  4. Provides a description of the image when a page does not load correctly.

How to add alternative text to your images

In most Content Management Systems (CMS), if you click on an image, you can optimize it, or a rich text module will appear, where you can create and change the alternative text.

 2 Examples of image alt text

  1. Keyword vs. detail

The orange mural says ship it on a wall at HubSpot’s Singapore office.

Orange mural that says 'ship it's on a wall at HubSpot's Singapore office

Incorrect alt text.

alt=” HubSpot Singapore office wall inbound marketing workplace orange mural ship it.”

What’s wrong with this alt text line? It contains too many references to HubSpot.

Using alt text to fill in keywords in fragmented sentences adds too much trivia and not enough context. Those keywords may be necessary to the publisher, but not to Google.

The above alt text makes it difficult for Google to understand how the image relates to the rest of the website or the article it is published in, which prevents the image from ranking for related long-tail keywords that are more interesting.

Successful alt text.

A better alt text for this image might be:

alt=”Orange mural that says ‘ship it’s on a wall at HubSpot’s Singapore office.”

2. Detail vs. specificity.

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox batting from the plate at Fenway ParkImage by Winslow Townson.

David Ortiz of the Red Sox at Fenway Park scoring over the right field

Incorrect alternative text.

alt=”Baseball player hitting a ball on a baseball field.”

This alt text follows the first rule, as it is descriptive but not in the correct way.

Although the image above shows a baseball field and a baseball player, it is rather David Ortiz of the Red Sox at Fenway Park scoring over the right field.

These are essential details that Google would need to correctly index the image if it is in, for example, a publication about Boston sports activity.

 

More information about SEO HERE.

 

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Jose Limardo

Jose Limardo

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