Alt text, short for alternative text, is a written description of an image that is included in the HTML code of a webpage. It is meant to provide context and information about an image for users who are visually impaired or for those who cannot see the image for any reason, such as when the image fails to load.
Importance in SEO
Alt text is crucial in SEO because it helps search engines understand the content of an image, which can improve the visibility of a webpage in image search results.
Additionally, it provides context that can help search engines better understand the overall content of a webpage, which can contribute to higher search rankings.
For example, if a webpage contains an image of a dog, the alt text might read “Image of a brown and white dog sitting on a grassy field.”
This description not only provides information to screen readers but also tells search engines what the image is about, which can be helpful for indexing.
- Be descriptive: Ensure that alt text accurately describes the content of the image.
- Keep it concise: Alt text should be brief and to the point, usually no more than a few sentences.
- Use relevant keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords into alt text, but avoid keyword stuffing.
- Be accessible: Write alt text with accessibility in mind, ensuring that it provides meaningful information for users with disabilities.
- Using generic alt text: Avoid using generic phrases like “image of,” “graphic of,” or “logo” without further description.
- Leaving alt text blank: Never leave alt text blank; even if an image is purely decorative, it’s best to include “alt=”” to indicate to screen readers that the image is not significant.
- Over-optimizing for SEO: While SEO is important, the alt text should primarily serve the purpose of accessibility, not search rankings.
- Including irrelevant information: Alt text should be relevant to the image and the content of the webpage. Avoid including unnecessary details or information that does not add value to the user’s understanding of the image.