Using Alt Tags to Improve SEO

If your website uses images, then adding alt tags to these images is vital for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes.

Images used in websites are not picked up and indexed by search engine crawlers, so if your website uses a lot of images, it could suffer in the search engine rankings simply because they can’t understand much of your content. The best solution to this problem is to add alt tags to all of your images.

Alt tags

‘Alt tags’ are also known as ‘alt text’. The common name for ‘alternative’ text, alt tags provide a text based equivalent to the images, allowing the crawlers to register and index the information provided by the pictures. They also allow any visitors who cannot see your images, for example customers with sight problems who use screen reader technology, to access your content. Making sure these alt tags are added to your site correctly should greatly improve your chances of good search engine optimisation for your website.

Adding alt tags to  your images

An alt tag is the information which appears when hovering the mouse over an image. This tag is a very good place to add keywords which are relevant to that page and that image. They should be kept short and snappy and should contain enough information to convey the picture’s purpose but should not be overly long and complicated. A two or three word keyword phrase should usually suffice, perhaps including a place name if your target audience has a specific locality. The alt tags not only allow the page content to be indexed and ranked, but they also allow the images themselves to be added in the same way, and returned through image searches. It is important to remember that although alt tags are not seen when looking at the page, they are customer-facing should that customer pause their mouse over the image, and are also read by search engines, and so should be clear, understandable and correctly spelt.