Alt tags represent the code within HTML used to describe the appearance of an image. The use of effective alt tags can help your SEO. The more descriptive your tags are the more the potential for your images and content to be found.
Here’s 5 tips and tricks to create the best alt tags:
Describe the image as specifically as possible. For example, imagine the image is of a man walking down an escalator. An example of okay alt text would be “a man on escalator”, an example of excellent alt text would be “a man walking down the escalator with a black bag”. It's key that you describe the image clearly and in plain english.
Keep alt text (relatively) short. It is recommended that text should be kept to less than 125 characters to ensure that you are not keyword loading. This is also to prevent Google from punishing you and lowering you in the ranks of searches for “cheating the system”.
Do not include “image of” or “picture of” in alt text. It's already assumed that you are talking about a photo so you do not need to state this. This is wasting space for more effective words.
Avoid keyword stuffing. As mentioned above you'll be in trouble with the monster of search engines - Google if you use alt text to squeeze keywords in. To optimise your alt text write a descriptive sentence based on the context of the image.
Don't be afraid of adding alt text to form buttons. If you have a form on your website and use an image for its “submit” button, don’t neglect it, give it some alt text! Even with something as simple as “search”, or “apply now”.
Alt tags are the unsung hero of search engine optimisation and it's important that you're utilising this small feature. Make sure you are taking notes of how to construct effective alt tags - you never know, this could reach that extra visitor that you've been looking for!
If you close your eyes and have someone read your alt text to you, would you be able to imagine the exact image? If so - keep doing what you're doing because it's perfect, and if not, you might want to look at exploring some of these tips!
Until next time - Emma!