Is Alt Text On Images Important For SEO?

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Is Alt Text On Images Important For SEO?

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Are Your Images Optimised Correctly On Your Web Pages? 

Is Alt Text important for SEO?

These days it is imagery and design that is going to grab attention on your website or landing pages but we always need to be aware of the balance between good content and descriptive image heavy pages.

When Google bots scan a page, there are several areas it will look let’s say for clues as to what the page means and this will increase your trust factor. Often, websites that have been prepared SEO ready when new images loaded onto new posts and pages or replacing others will frequently not be optimised correctly. This is often just an oversight, but it can and will affect your page rankings.

So, are we in trouble if we don’t optimise them and who cares? Well it affects your page ability to rank correctly, and that could mean quite simply a few minutes of TLC each time will prevent your competition let’s say getting an advantage on you. Applying correct procedure to your website imagery can also put you miles ahead of the competition. All these little tweaks do make the difference.

So, what is Alt Text and how do I apply it? Firstly, don’t panic but do apply this mantra to your images on your media library when you are uploading and choose what scale of priority is applicable, correct sizes affect load times on pages:

  • If you’re loading new images, absolutely include alt attributes as part of the upload process and optimise by correct sizing;
  • If image search is a priority for your site, alt attributes are somewhat more important;
  • If improving alt attributes is part of a larger initiative to improve accessibility.

Elements of strategy come into good SEO, so it’s important you work with professionals to place your site and pages in good standing to start with and worry about alt text on imagery last, see this as a responsible user- if you upload yourself then stick to the practice. Optimize title tags and meta descriptions, optimize templates to give prominence to the optimal text fields, optimize navigational and cross-linking elements, and clean up duplicate content. These are all elements we plan when building or re strategizing a website and these are guidelines for working with us. When your site is perfect and only alt attributes are left, push on with alt text if it is yourself that is undertaking SEO.

So –What is it Alt Text?

To be exact, alt text is properly named “alternative attributes of an image tag.” The alt attribute is a modifier that gives descriptive information about the image called in an individual image tag within a page of HTML code. The alt attribute’s descriptive information is useful to assist visually impaired customers and search engine crawlers as they navigate the site.

If that helps explain alt text, keep your edit in simple terms and don’t stuff keywords, Google disapproves heavily.

Let’s say what it says on the tin. You have an image of a box of chocolates, titled delicious box of chocolates, described as ‘delicious box of chocolates from the chocolate shop’. Your alt text is therefore ‘box of chocolates’. Does that sound simple? Hope so, now go check your media library for your last image uploads.

To summarize, images aren’t text and they aren’t the crucial element – there is no substitute for good content written strategically about your business and carefully placed around your sites and good SEO. See alt text as the icing on top.

For further information on content strategy, SEO and keyword planning for marketing campaigns please contact projects@icaruscommunications.co.uk or visit www.icaruscommunications.co.uk to look at some of our ongoing client projects.

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