The Secrets Behind Writing Image Alt Text that Boosts SEO

Home > Blog

The Secrets Behind Writing Image Alt Text That Boosts SEO

In your quest to improve SEO, don’t forget one of your most powerful players on the board: image alt text. These short, descriptive snippets of text can open new doors in boosting your search ranking for the very keywords you’re trying to target.

Learn what tips and tricks other business owners and marketers are using to create powerful alt text that helps their business website be more readily discovered online. In other words, let’s create your own recipe for success for writing alt text that will only add to your current SEO efforts.

What Exactly is Alt Text?

When we refer to image alt text we’re talking about the written text that describes an image. It’s the copy that will stand in an image’s place on a page if the picture doesn’t load properly. Image alt text is sometimes referred to as alt descriptions or alt tags and can be found under the image’s settings. Alt text is also inputted to tools for visually impaired users so they might know what an image is about.

When it comes to SEO, search engines and web crawlers indexing your site will also read alt text to impact your search engine ranking. It becomes a part of your site’s HTML code and an integral element for showing search engines that your site matters to customers.

What Does Alt Text Do?

Notice the image results that pop up when you search for something on Google? Those results are there because their alt text is optimized for that particular search.

Many customers prefer these visual searches, especially when browsing for various products. They want to see what’s being offered, not just read a description of the product. Plus, most of the time, image results appear higher than most of the website organic search results.

Alt text that’s optimized for the right keywords gets your product and website images in front of those qualified customers looking to buy, even above competing sites. They can click on your image and be taken directly to a product page and your contact information.

So how can you harness that power of alt text and get more customers to find you in their searches?

Best Practices for Optimizing Alt Text and Driving Traffic to Your Site

It starts by implementing some of these best practices:

Get down to the nitty-gritty.

Be as specific as you can about the images without coming across as robotic or inauthentic. Tell viewers and search engines what the image is actually about. For example, if you have an image of a rodent trap you use for your residential pest control services, give us the specifics! Describe what kind of trap is being shown and in what context.

Make the text relevant.

Make sure that while you stay specific about the image’s detail, you also stay on topic for that particular webpage. This can be tricky with stock photos where the image is fairly generic to be more applicable for a wide audience. Bring back the description to your page’s topic. For instance, if your homepage for water treatment solutions has a stock photo of a family drinking water around a dinner table, specifically tell your audience something about the family drinking filtered or clean water.

Use longtail keywords.

Research what keywords customers are using in their online searches, including longtail keywords. These are longer phrases or questions, rather than just a few scattered keywords, that more closely resemble specific search searches (especially voice searches). Think about how you search for items online. Customers who are ready to buy usually don’t search for just “dresses” and hope they’ll find something. They know what they want and use those longtail keywords like, “summer dresses with pockets.” Use real sentences and longtail phrases in your alt text instead of a string of keywords.

Use related keywords (without keyword stuffing).

Find and use keywords that matter to your customers, but don’t keyword stuff alt text. If one of your target keywords doesn’t go with an image, don’t try to force it. Choose the best two or three images that relate to your target keyword and optimize their alt text. Google won’t rank your site higher for alt text like, “dentist dentistry local dentist dentist services,” but they will take notice of alt text like, “Pediatric dentist examines and cleans child’s teeth.” Be natural in your writing. The right keywords should inherently work well with your chosen images.

Keep it to the point.

Alt text doesn’t need to be a dissertation; in fact, it shouldn’t be. You only have 125 characters or less to use, so every word counts. With a limited character length, there’s no need to say, “Image of,” or “Picture of,” before the actual description. Just jump right in!

Why Alt Text is Important for Your SEO

Optimized alt text may not increase your site’s organic ranking to the first spot overnight. But over time, search engines will notice just how relevant your business is for customer searches from the visible website copy to each image’s coded alt text. And that relevancy will make a world of a difference for your site’s SEO.

For more help and tips on how to improve your alt text and overall SEO, contact Skoshe today. Ask for an audit of how well your business website fares compared to the competition. Let’s find those areas seen and unseen that could use a little tweaking for a whole lot of improved results and rankings.