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FAQ: How Do I Make My Alt Text SEO-Friendly?

on March 8, 2018

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Just like everything else on your website, you should make sure your images (and their alt text) are SEO friendly. Overall, you should make sure you are constantly improving your SEO

Faceted NavigationMake Your Alt Text SEO Friendly

Alt text is short or alternative text. It’s the small bit of text that appears in the source code of your website as a line of HTML code (some people call it the alt attribute). Google Bots can’t see your pictures, but they can read your code to find out what’s on your photos (and their context on your site). The more accurate your alt text, the more efficient your site indexing.

The better your site indexing, the better your SEO. Plus alt-text makes your images easier for screen readers to interpret web content. That lets site visitors with visual disabilities enjoy your content, too.

Behind any alt text, what you write should be a clear goal. If your content shows an HQ image of a hamburger, your alt text is going to depend on what your overall business goals are, which differ according to your type of business.

For example:

  • If you’re a restaurant owner, it’s probably your featured burger, and you’d want to describe all the tasty ingredients.
  • You’re a food critic, you’d want your text to include where people can find the burger.
  • As a fitness instructor, you may be using the burger as an example of foods your clients should only enjoy as an occasional treat.

In general, brainstorm as many possible options as you can, then narrow it down based on your goals.

Real quick, here’s how to add alt text to a single image:

  1. Click the image
  2. Click settings
  3. Under ‘What’s in the image? Tell Google’, type your description.

Here’s what to do next!

  • Add relevant keywords: Just like the rest of your web content, using relevant keywords in your alt text will boost your SEO. Do some keyword research—put yourself in your target customer’s shoes—and you should end up on the right track.
  • Include an accurate description. Keep it clear and simple. As one expert put it, imagine you were describing something to a friend on the phone (who couldn’t see it). Again, use search terms as a guide: be straightforward, and avoid jargon and “three-dollar words” unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep it short and sweet. The recommended length for alt text is 125 characters so that it’s “read’ completely by search engine bots.

You should be off to a great start toward optimizing your images for SEO. Don’t forget to keep your images high-quality, brand them whenever possible, and credit your sources where credit’s due.


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