Alt text is contained within the HTML code of a website and is used to describe images on the site. Alt text will appear on a users screen if an image fails to load for them. It is also referred to as "alt descriptions", "alt tags", and "alt attributes".
Why Is Alt Text Important For SEO?
Before I explain why alt text is essential for SEO, it's also worth noting that it is vital for other reasons as well. For example, when a blind or visually impaired person is using a screen reader, the alt text will be read out. This makes your website more accessible to more users and will provide a better user experience.
When it comes to SEO, alt text is important for several reasons. For starters, alt text gives search engines a description of what is contained within an image, which also provides the context of your content. This helps search engines to accurately index your images, which will result in your images showing in search results under the 'images' tab in Google.
When implemented correctly, having optimised alt text for your images can help improve your websites SEO.
Alt Text Tips
Here are 3 tips to help you optimise the alt text for the images on your website:
#1 Be Specific When Describing The Image
The first tip is to make sure that you are as specific as possible when describing the image.
Let's look at an image as an example:
For the above image, a poor alt text may look something like this:
"Rocket taking off".
This isn't the best alt text since it is not very specific. A better alt text is:
"White rocket taking off from SpaceX with rockets firing during the daytime".
Remember to be specific when describing your images in the alt text.
#2 Use Your Keyword... When It Makes Sense!
Some people will fall into the trap of cramming the keyword into the alt text of every image on their website (I've fallen into this trap in the past). However, this isn't the best approach. Remembering tip #1, you need to be specific. If it makes sense to use your target keyword, while being specific, then go ahead.
Don't jam the keyword into every image alt text... unless it makes sense.
#3 Add Alt Text To Every Image
If you're reading this blog after having had your website for a while, then there is a chance that you are either missing alt text or have poorly optimised alt text. Schedule in some time to go back over every image in your site and optimise your alt text. Use this as an excuse to go back and start updating old content.
For every new image, make sure you include an optimised alt text.
How To Add Alt Text To Images
Most content management systems (CMS) will have the ability to add alt text to an image. For example, in Wordpress, you can click an image in the 'media' section where you can add or update the alt text of an image.
Similarly, HubSpot CMS also offers the ability to add and update alt text for any images that have been uploaded into the CMS.