What Is Alt Text, And How Does It Impact SEO?

What is alt text and how does it impact SEO?

Alt text is the short written description of an image, and it’s important to have well-written alt text on your website. It can have a huge impact on how search engines and screen readers understand your site, and it’s also crucial for accessibility. 

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The most important thing to remember about alt text is that it should be descriptive, relevant, and specific to the image. You should also make sure that it isn’t stuffed full of keywords, but instead, uses natural language and context. 

This means that if you are writing your alt text for a photo of a stack of pancakes, for example, you should describe what the pancakes look like and how they were made. This will help to give the alt text more meaning and will help it to appear natural to both people using screen readers and Google’s algorithms. 

You can also use the longest attribute to describe images such as maps, charts, and diagrams. However, be aware that browsers treat the longdesc attribute differently than they do for images, so it is best not to use it for complex images. 

Keep the alt text to a minimum.

If you are writing your alt text for a picture of a baseball field, don’t write “Boston” or “Fenway Park.” These things aren’t specific enough for search engines to properly index. 

When writing your alt text, try to think of how you would describe the image if you were talking about it to someone with a disability. This can be difficult, but it can be done. 

Ideally, your alt text should be around 125 characters, though some screen readers will limit this to a fraction of that length, and it’s better to have it slightly longer than that to ensure that it doesn’t get truncated. 

It’s also a good idea to read your alt text aloud, so you can get a feel for how it sounds. This is especially important if you’re trying to avoid keyword stuffing, which is a big no-no and can harm your SEO efforts. 

Don’t overstuff your alt text with keywords.

The biggest mistake people make when they are writing their alt text is to stuff in too many keywords. This is a common tactic that was used in the past to boost rankings, but it can actually have a negative impact on your SEO. 

As an alternative, you can try writing your alt text more naturally and using the same words in each sentence as you do in the other elements of your page. This will help to maintain the flow of your content and keep it consistent across all the pages on your site. 

It’s not always possible to be creative when writing your alt text, but it is essential to make sure that you are being as descriptive as possible. You can do this by reading the alt text out loud and considering what it would sound like if you were explaining it to someone who was hearing impaired.