A Guide to Image Alt Text

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Optimising your Image Alt Text makes your website more accessible and helps you rank higher in Google. But what actually is Image Alt Text? How do you optimise it? And what benefits can it bring to your website?

Read on or watch our short video to find out the answers to all of these questions…

What is Image Alt Text?

Simply put, Image Alt Text is a brief description of the appearance/function of a particular image on a webpage.

It’s usually a short sentence and helps users with visual impairments understand the image within the context of the website. If an image doesn’t load correctly the Image Alt Text will still allow the user to fully understand what the image is.

Every webmaster should be utilising this and incorporating it into every website. It’s also extremely good for SEO, but more on that later.

Best Practices

Your Image Alt Text should be:

  • Short
  • To the point
  • Descriptive

From an SEO perspective it would be beneficial to include a keyword relevant to the page but no keyword stuffing as this will negatively impact your Google Rankings.

Examples of Image Alt Text

Here are some good, mediocre and bad examples of Image Alt Text for the following image:

Oatmeal with a glass of Orange Juice

A bad example would be either no Image Alt Text or ‘Cereal’.

These examples are not descriptive enough and could negatively impact your rankings and how accessible your website is.

A mediocre example would be ‘Cereal bowl with juice’. There’s slightly more description in this example but still not enough.

Now a good example would be ‘Oatmeal with bananas and a glass of orange juice’. This describes what the cereal and juice is and provides the user with plenty of information.

Locating Image Alt Text

We’re going to be using Amazon.co.uk as a great example of Image Alt Text and how you can find it.

Step 1: On Amazon’s home page we firstly scrolled down to the ‘Everyday essentials’ section.

Step 1

Step 2: Right click on the image you want to see the Alt Text for and select Inspect.

Step 2

Step 3: A box will appear on the right-hand side giving you all the details relating to that image.

Step 3

Step 4: Rolling over the image will highlight a certain section in blue. Right in the middle of this section is the Image Alt Text which says ‘Pringles Sour Cream and Onion Crisps, 200 grams, Pack of 6’.

Step 4

 

Image Alt Text and SEO

One question we get asked a lot is “Is Image Alt Text good for SEO?” and the answer is yes, of course it is. You can include your targeted keywords within the description of each image which helps them to rank individually in Google Images. Just make sure that each image is relevant and in context to that page.

It is also good for site audits. A common error/warning that appears on site audits is when your images do not have a description, so by adding Image Alt Text you’re minimising your errors and improving your website.

Click here for a FREE site audit from the marketing people.

Another reason Image Alt Text is great for SEO is because it helps spiders crawl the website better. This means that Google and other search engines can gather a better understanding of your website, making it more likely to rank for relevant search terms.

If you have any questions or need any help with your marketing, then give the marketing people a call on 01543 495752.

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