Image SEO: How to optimise your alt text and title text
Images can be a great way to make your website stand out and draw attention, but if you’re not optimising them correctly, you could be missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
But before we get started with image SEO, it’s crucial that you understand what SEO is in the first place.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it’s the crafty art of making sure your website ranks on search engines – think Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
It involves a complex web of tactics to boost your website’s visibility, such as keyword research, link-building strategies and technical optimisation.
With more visibility comes more leads and ideally, more conversions – so SEO is a pretty big deal!
The power of image optimisation
An important SEO aspect that is often overlooked is image optimisation.
But what exactly is it?
To put it simply, image optimisation entails reworking your digital images so that they load faster on webpages without compromising the quality of the visuals. This includes techniques such as compressing images, using descriptive file names and alt tags, and even embedding metadata.
When these steps are followed correctly, they can result in significant improvements in website speed, user experience, and overall visibility online.
If you manage to land those coveted spots at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), then you are pretty much guaranteed more website visitors checking out your content.
What is alt text and title text?
If you’re asking yourself, ‘what is an alt tag?’ and ‘what is image alt text?’, you might be surprised to know that they are actually the same thing.
Alt text is an alternative text description of an image file that acts as another representation if the graphic or image fails to display correctly on the page. This is mainly done to help search engines understand what your page is all about.
While we’re at it, it’s worth mentioning another piece of the puzzle – title text.
Title text allows users to see details or other information related to an image when they hover their mouse over it – think of it as providing additional context for human readers rather than search engines.
Both alt and title texts are necessary additions to webpages, ensuring that everyone (or every thing) viewing the page has access to all its information. Keep in mind however, that alt text and title text don’t replace the image caption and name.
How alt text and title text impact SEO
Many business owners are surprised at how sometimes seemingly small elements such as alt text can play an influential role in their website’s ranking, as well as improve website accessibility.
For example, alt text allows people who use screen readers to better understand the purpose of both the image and the web page with ease.
The alt attribute is an essential part of how webpages are accessed, interpreted, and ultimately understood. For instance, alt text allows people who use screen readers to better understand the purpose of both the image and the web page with ease.
Not only does the alt attribute increase accessibility, but it can also help engines like Google better index images so they can be easily found with relevant search terms. Embracing the best practice of adding an alt attribute to each image can make your website more popular and accessible to all!
When to use alt text and title text
You should add alt attributes to all images on your web page unless they are purely decorative images. For example, you wouldn’t need alt text for your website’s background graphics, as they don’t service a purpose beyond aesthetic reasons.
On the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to use title text for every image. A title tag is only needed for images that may require further information or context.
Tips on how to write alt text and title text
If you’re wondering ‘what should alt text be?,’ or ‘how should I improve my title text’, we’ve made things easier with a do’s and don’ts list.
When it comes to title text and writing alt text for images, there are certain best practices that should be followed.
- Ensure that the alt photo text accurately describes the image/icon/graphic
- The best examples of alt text contain accurate descriptions of the image’s content such as “black cat with pink bowtie playing with yarn ball” so that a reader not viewing the image can still get an idea of what it looks like.
- Your alt tag text should be brief (no more than 25 words) while also offering enough context to give the reader an understanding of what is being shown. A poor alt text example would be something superficial like “image of cat” which is missing vital information about the subject matter.
- Avoid stuffing too many keywords into the alt tag. Search engines like Google are always becoming smarter and more advanced. Therefore, they are likely to identify keyword stuffing as a black-hat SEO practice and penalise your site accordingly.
- Don’t start your alt text with ‘image of [x]’ or ‘picture of [x]’. You’d just be wasting your words on the obvious! Instead, you could be more specific (where applicable) such as ‘graph of [x]’ or ‘headshot of [x].’
- Avoid missing alt text, as this can make navigating a website or app more difficult for screen reader users.
Following these optimisation guidelines will make all the difference in helping improve your website visibility and boost your leads and traffic.
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We’ve been in the business for 10 years and in that time, have done everything in our power to learn the best methods for SEO – from text SEO and image SEO, to technical SEO and local SEO.
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If you’re ready to see mind-blowing SEO results for your website, contact us now to schedule a consultation with our specialists. Our SEO services will deploy a series of strategies to ensure your website is structured effectively.