Images play an important role in online content. However, search engines such as Google can only understand the text on a website, and cannot interpret images unless they are properly described. This is where Alt tags come in.
Alt tags, also known as alternative text or alt attributes, are descriptions of images that are used by search engines to understand what an image is about. Alt tags serve a dual purpose: they help improve accessibility for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers, and they help search engines understand the content of images.
The Importance of Alt Tags for SEO
Alt tags are an important factor in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines use alt tags to determine the relevance of images to the content of a website. Proper use of alt tags can help improve the search engine rankings of a website, as well as increase the visibility of images in search results.
Additionally, alt tags can help to avoid image duplication issues. When you upload images to your website, it’s important to make sure that each image has a unique filename and alt tag. This helps search engines understand that the images are distinct and not duplicates of each other, which can negatively impact your search engine rankings.
How to Properly Give an Image an Alt Tag
Properly giving an image an alt tag involves a few simple steps:
Describe the Image: Your alt tag should describe the image in a concise and accurate manner. Keep in mind that this description is primarily intended for search engines, so it should be clear and relevant.
Example: “Ice Castles at Lake Louise”
Use Relevant Keywords: Including relevant keywords in your alt tag can help improve the search engine rankings of your website. However, it’s important not to overuse keywords, as this can be seen as spammy by search engines.
In the above photo, the appropriate keywords are “Ice Castles” and “Lake Louise”.
Be Concise: Alt tags should be concise and to the point. Ideally, they should be no more than a few words or a short phrase.
Using the photo above as an example, you could get really granular and say “Overlooking the ice castles on the Lake Shore at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.” If you choose to do that, though, it’s essentially clogging up the Alt Tag. You want to be concise. “Ice castles at Lake Louise” says the exact same thing and is easier for Search Engines to comprehend.
Avoid Duplications: As mentioned earlier, it’s important to avoid duplications of alt tags. Make sure that each image on your website has a unique alt tag that accurately describes the content of the image.
Perhaps you have two, or three photos of the Ice Castles at Lake Louise that you want to share. It’s important to note that you don’t want to give all of them the same alt tag. This is where you want to differentiate with ‘Front of Ice Castles at Lake Louise” or “Jenny at Ice Castles at Lake Louise’, etc. This is because the photos, while taken in the same place, aren’t of the same photo, and you need to signal that to search engines.
I Suck At Conclusions
If you’re really working on your SEO, Alt tags are an important part. They also improve your website’s accessibility.
By following the steps outlined in this post, you can give your images effective alt tags that are optimized for search engines and help to improve your website’s ranking online. People may also have an easier time finding your blog when they’re searching for the keywords associated with your content & photos, because you’ve taken the time to teach search engines your content is most relevant for the associate keywords.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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