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SEO and the Importance of Alt Text

What is Alt Text

Alternative text (alt text) is copy within the HTML code of a web page and is not usually visible to the website’s users. Alt text helps search engines and other bots by allowing them to crawl through your pages to interpret and better rank your content. These tags also improve the functionality of your site when a sight impaired user is reading the site with a screen reader. This expands organic impressions and improves overall user experience.

Why alt tags matter

Using descriptive text to describe images on your webpage makes your content more digestible for people who are visually impaired. An image without alt tags may be skipped over by a screen reader, or annoyingly, read out long incomprehensible filenames. These tags can also be beneficial when put on form buttons so that all users interact with every feature in the way your site intends them to. Google will have an easier time categorizing your content if the alt text reveals important information that they might not have been able to decipher otherwise. Traffic does not only come from typical search links, there is always the opportunity to drive traffic from Google Images. Having useful information labeled on your graphics could land you some alternative traffic.

How to utilize it

Ultimately, image alt text needs to be concise and representative to the topic. Using your keywords sparingly to get your point across without getting lengthy. Quality over quantity is key to maximize its impact. This part of optimization on your page is important but should not be a priority over other SEO deliverables. Meta descriptions, titles and link building will be far more effective on pages that are light on images.
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