Images are one of the types of content that can get indexed in Google and show up in search results.
As a result of this your website images must be optimised well enough to help your website content rank better in search engines.
One of the ways to optimise images is to reduce the file size, but there is also the addition of alt tags, which is what we’ll dive into today.
What are alt tags?
Alt tags (or alt text) refers to the information that needs to be entered about an image that describes the image. It is important for SEO as it helps Google and other search engines know what the image is about. That way when someone conducts a search for images of a certain description, it can find matches based on the alt text.
Why alt tags are important
Without alt tags, the current search engine technology doesn’t quite know what’s in the image as it can’t read it. However, I suspect this might change in the near future as Google already uses image reading technology in other applications such as Google photos, which is able to show you images based on your search by just scanning the images.
Alt tags help the blind or visually impaired
For those users who rely on screen readers because they are blind need alt text to be present in order for the screen reader to tell them what’s in a picture.
If an image does not have alt text, what ends up happening is that the screen reader may read the file name to the user, for example “image_23301”, which doesn’t make any sense to the user at all.
The best tips for applying alt tags on your website
When entering the alt text you want to make it as descriptive as possible as this will not only help with SEO but it makes your website more accessible to the visually impaired.
If there’s a picture of a red car navigating a roundabout, don’t just type in “picture of red car”. Instead give more context, e.g. “image of a red jaguar xf driving around a 2 lane roundabout in busy traffic at night”
Where to put alt tags
Alt tags can normally be entered into the html code of a website, however, if you are using a CMS such as WordPress, you will be given a simple box within the media library where you can add it to each image you upload.
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