An alt tag is a type of HTML text that contains information telling users and crawlers that there is an image present on the web page, and information about that image.
Alt tags are important for a range of reasons.
Alt tags can help users that are visually impaired and using voice readers to discover and understand the images that are embedded within web page content.
It can also ensure that mobile users can understand a web page’s content if a website isn’t optimised for mobile usage.
If a page doesn’t load correctly for whatever reason, end users will still be able to understand there is an image accompanying the content and the alt text will provide context for this.
There are a few things to consider when optimising your alt tags for search engines.
When writing your alt tag, go into as much detail as possible. Remember, if an individual has accessibility issues, and can’t see the image, writing just ‘shoe’ for example doesn’t give them that much insight over ‘shiny brown brogue shoe on a white background’.
Instead, deliver context and descriptive words in order to provide the best experience.
Alt text is a great chance for you to integrate your target keyword. This establishes your page as a relevant source, and this is always good for increasing ranking in SERPs.
This is important. Be sure to keep your alt text relatively short, around 125 characters is good. This is because screen readers may cut off text that extends beyond this point.
If you have form buttons, make sure to attach an alt tag to them, in order to explain their function.
You may think it’s necessary to include phrases like ‘image of’ at the beginning of your description however this is superfluous and already assumed.
For more complex images, use longdesc="". Which will allow you to write longer descriptions without being cut off.
Images and alt tags can have a huge impact on your page’s performance and level of accessibility, therefore it’s important to watch out for some common mistakes.
Just realised that you’ve not used alt tags on any of your website? Does the job seem way too overwhelming?
We can help - contact us today and we’ll put you in touch with a team that will be able to check out all your meta tags and optimise them.