Many business owners neglect to provide alt tags because they’re not immediately visible on their website. In fact, if their website loads correctly and the visitor doesn’t use a text reader, they won’t know that the alt tags exist at all.
However, alt tags aren’t just another piece of code that advanced SEO companies write as a placeholder. They’re an essential part of accessibility and SEO marketing–and once you’ve learned the answer to “What is an alt tag?”, you’ll talk to an SEO company about adding them to your site.
What is an Alt Tag?
An alt tag is a short description of an image on your page. If you’ve ever visited a website and saw text in place of an image that didn’t load, you saw the alt tag. The alt text is different from the title, which appears as a tooltip when the user hovers over the image with a mouse. An Internet marketing company may add both the title and alt text to each image’s HTML code.
Why Are Alt Tags Important?
Alt tags boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), which increases your site’s search engine rankings. Alt tags give search engines a description of the image on the page. They use this information to retrieve data about your website and compile the best search results. Alt tags also give you an opportunity to add an SEO keyword, further boosting your rankings.
Additionally, text readers use alt tags to give people who are blind or have trouble seeing a description of the image. Alt text improves accessibility, allowing more people to visit your site and see what your business offers. Plus, you’ll build a reputation as a business that cares about accessibility.
How Do You Optimize Your Alt Tags?
As any advanced SEO business will tell you, your alt text needs a balance of text and keywords. Overstuffing your alt text won’t grab more visitors–if anything, you’ll put people off when they see “Amazing sunset photography captured by an available photographer in Illinois accepting clients.” Instead of keyword stuffing, focus on one or two relevant keywords, then naturally incorporate these into the alt text.
When you have multiple images on your website, you can give each image a different keyword. For example, one image’s alt text could be “Professional photography of a sunset over an Illinois farm,” while another image offers “Photographer for hire captures farmland before a storm.” Each SEO keyword reaches a different audience.
However, unless you’re selling photography services, don’t include the words “image” or “photograph.” The visitor already knows that they’re looking at an image. Instead, save yourself space and get right to the point. For example, if you own a coffee shop, your alt text might be “Hot cappuccino with foamed milk at a local coffee shop.”
On another note, don’t assume that alt text doesn’t need correct spelling or grammar. While not every viewer sees the alt text, the ones that do might leave your website if they see “local shop hot coffee espresso” instead of a complete phrase. Additionally, text readers need a complete phrase to describe the image accurately.
The image’s file name becomes the alt tag on some platforms, like Squarespace, if you don’t write one separately. If you have a descriptive file name, this serves its purpose, like “cute tabby cat wearing a blue bandana.” However, if you have a generic file name like “09901a,” the alt text becomes meaningless. Always give your images descriptive file names if you forget to include the alt tag or want to save yourself an extra step. This makes it easier to locate files on the cloud or your hard drive.
How Do I Edit Alt Tags in WordPress?
If your images don’t have alt tags, you can add them to your website in seconds. Follow these steps to edit alt tags in WordPress:
- Go to your dashboard.
- Visit the page that you want to edit.
- Open the image settings.
- Type your text into the “Alt text” box.
- Save your changes.
To get the most out of your alt text, you utilize best practices, like incorporating an SEO keyword into your tag.
Can I Edit Alt Tags on Other Platforms?
Other platforms, like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace, allow you to edit alt tags to bring more customers to your site or online store. While each site has a different method, you’ll generally access your images, add your alt text and update the site. Talk to an SEO company like Send It Rising to learn more about optimizing your store’s alt tags.
Reach Out to an Internet Marketing Company
Now that you’ve learned the answer to “What is an alt tag?”, talk to Send It Rising about optimizing your entire website, including titles, alt tags, web content, and metadata. Start with a free web audit, then use this information as a starting point for expanding your reach.