Alternate Text: What it is and How it helps your SEO
The Marketing department’s most often asked question is “What is this alternate text on my bill? What are you folks doing? Is this really necessary for my Website?”
- Yes, it really is necessary for your Website’s Marketing to work.
- There will be times you will see this because we are not receiving any information from our clients regarding: Testimonials, New Projects, Before and After pictures or just plain content.
- What is Alternate Text? Well I just went over to 3 of the largest training sites and pulled down their information regarding Alternate Text and I will share it with you here so that you can understand what it is and why we use Alternate Text.
We use Alternate Text to improve your Search Engine Optimization. This practice has been shown, especially now, to help bring people to your site and to increase your ranking with Google.
As you will find out below, Images are more important now than ever. In addition to finding your website, it also works with the ADA in helping you to communicate with people who are visually impaired or completely blind. Your ADA plug in can read the alternate text to them allowing them to “see” the pictures and understand their place in the site and their significance.
I ask that you read below and find out exactly what Alternate Text is so that your understanding of our work will be better. Also, if you have any questions, you can always contact us and we will be more than happy to explain to you. Just to let you know even if we are sent new pictures and testimonials, we will still be using Alternate Text.
The following is from Moz:
“Why is Alt Text Important?
Alt text is a tenet of accessible web design. Its original (and still primary) purpose is to describe images to visitors who are unable to see them. This includes screen readers and browsers that block images, but it also includes users who are sight-impaired or otherwise unable to visually identify an image. Including alt text with your images ensures all users, regardless of visual ability, can appreciate the content on your site.
Using alt text on your images can make for a better user experience, but it may also help earn you both explicit and implicit SEO benefits. Along with implementing image title and file naming best practices, including alt text may also contribute to image SEO.
While search engine image recognition technology has vastly improved over the years, search crawlers still can’t “see” the images on a website page like we can, so it’s not wise to leave the interpretation solely in their hands. If they don’t understand, or get it wrong, it’s possible you could either rank for unintended keywords or miss out on ranking altogether.”
Meanwhile HubSpot’s take on this is just as important: “See Image Below
Today, Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) deliver just as many image results as they do text-based results. The screenshot above is the first SERP Google produces for the search term, “email newsletter design.” Notice how, in addition to the “Images” tab at the top, Google pulls in a substantial pack of clickable images to the beginning of the main results page — before any organic text results are even visible.
Despite your best SEO efforts, you could still be missing out on another source of organic traffic: your website’s images. How do you get in on this traffic source? Image alt text.”
Yoast is also a great resource that we use on everyone’s WordPress Website. Their SEO product helps us move in the right direction, especially regarding readability and SEO. They are amazing and innovative, working and adapting to make certain they work in sync with Google so that the sites using their product can show up as well as they can. The following information is from an article from Yoast:
“Image SEO alt tag and title tag optimization
Adding images to your articles encourages people to read them, and well-chosen images can also back up your message and get you a good ranking in image search results. But you should always remember to give your images good alt attributes: alt text strengthens the message of your articles with search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website. This article explains all about alt and title attributes and why you should optimize them.
Alt Text and SEO
Google’s article about images has a heading “Use descriptive alt text”. This is no coincidence because Google places a relatively high value on alt text to determine not only what is on the image but also how it relates to the surrounding text. This is why, in our Yoast SEO content analysis, we have a feature that specifically checks that you have at least one image with an alt tag that contains your focus key phrase.
Image Alt Attributes Assessment
Yoast SEO checks for images and their alt text in your posts: We’re definitely not saying you should spam your focus key phrase into every alt tag. You need good, high quality, related images for your posts, where it makes sense to have the focus keyword in the alt text. Here’s Google’s advice on choosing a good alt text:
When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page. Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.
If your image is of a specific product, include both the full product name and the product ID in the alt tag so that it can be more easily found. In general: if a key phrase could be useful for finding something that is on the image, include it in the alt tag if you can. Also, don’t forget to change the image file name to be something actually describing what’s on it.”
Where We are Using Alt Text
Much of this will be done in your Media Library, we can update the Alternate Text on the pictures and by doing so, it updates the picture wherever it may show up, whether in a blog or on a page itself. You will not see the work being done, but even by changing your Alternate Text monthly makes the Google Bot or Spider believe that there is always new content on your site, as opposed to changing the pictures and writing new content.
If you have new content, or things that you want us to point out as a special, please send it to us. When we work in Alternate Text, we will be doing it in in your Website Medial Library as well as the Google My Business that we have set up for your business.
In fact, we just did a Google Seminar, pushed by Google itself for SCORE regarding the importance of the Google My Business Profile.
You may not see us, but we are there and are working hard to make your site as visible as possible.