When a client contracts with my business to do the search engine optimization (SEO) on their website, we discuss several aspects: titles, title tags and meta-descriptions. But there is one part that is a definite factor if I am to do my job as an SEO Specialist: adding alt tags (also known as “alt text”) to their photos in the website.
Alt tags are taken for granted and sometimes even skipped over by some SEO types. However, if your website is going to be truly “optimized”, then assuring that your images are tagged, is as important as copy and titles.
But, before we continue, let’s explain what an “alt tag” is: It is alternative text tagged to an image as a brief text-only description. It is usually applied to all the images embedded in a website.
Alt tags usually look like this: “chocolate blizzard Shake Shop Bethesda”.
Tags are very simply a brief description of what is seen in the photo (image). It does not need to be verbose or overly technical.
So, alt tags are simple search engine optimization techniques, yet they are crucial for any small business website for the following reasons:
- Alt tags are used by search engines to generate results. Those results may include photos which are tagged with the client’s business name on it. Google Images may include those tagged images at the top of its results.
- Alt tagged images that are linked are treated the same by most search engines the same way they treat anchor text. They are considered relevant content.
- Alt tags are an efficient way to use your website keywords, such as identifying products and services offered by your business. Your tagged images will appear in the search engine results with your company name on it.
- Gives you a leg up on your competitors who may not have tagged their images.
Now you know the benefits, here is how you need to use them properly:
- Use accurate keywords for the photo.
- Make them short. No keyword stuffing.
- Describe the photo first before tagging it with your company name.
- Don’t tag photos that are generic or that have no real value on your website such as question mark graphics or others that can be seen on any website. Tag images that are relevant from your website.
If you’re not sure about how to add the alt text, consult a search engine specialist. They can do an audit of your website and determine the best tags to use for each image.
Alt tags are crucial and should be a part of any website search engine optimization.
For more information on how you can optimize your website, contact us. Loebig Ink specializes in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), copy writing and web design.