Alt text is a crucial aspect of SEO that should not be overlooked. Google has confirmed that alt text is a ranking factor, and as visual search continues to gain popularity, effectively describing your images for web crawlers becomes even more important. However, simply providing a brief description of the image is not enough. Alt text, like any other SEO element, requires a strategic approach to maximize its effectiveness and save you time on other higher-level areas.
So, how can you improve your alt text? One method is to ensure that your alt text is aligned with your keywords. This means incorporating your target keywords into your alt text, as well as in your content, backlinks, and other technical on-page elements. Thankfully, there are tools available, such as AltText.ai, that can automatically generate alt text infused with your keywords using artificial intelligence (AI).
What Is Alt Text?
Alt text, also known as alternative text, is HTML code that describes the content of an image. It is primarily used by screen readers to assist users with vision impairments. Additionally, search engines rely on alt text to understand the content of an image and index it properly. Having missing alt text is detrimental to SEO, while relevant alt text is better. However, optimizing your alt text for SEO provides the greatest benefit.
Methodically Prioritize, Update & Add Alt Text To Key Images
- Start by adding alt text to the images on your most-visited pages manually.
- Consider automating the alt text generation process using AI tools like AltText.ai for large image libraries.
- An ideal approach is to combine automated alt text generation with manual refinement for your most popular posts to ensure accuracy and relevance.
Making Alt Text A Routine
- Integrate alt text into your regular workflow when uploading new images.
- Utilize an alt text checklist before publishing a post or use an app or plugin that automatically generates alt text as images are added or updated.
- Familiarize yourself with the alt text features of your content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or Shopify, to streamline the alt text entry process.
- AltText.ai simplifies the alt text workflow by automatically generating alt text in the background, requiring no additional steps from you. It currently integrates with popular CMS platforms, including WordPress, Shopify, Contentful, and Hygraph, as well as offering a web interface and Developer API.
Using Alt Text To Provide Context & Keywords For Your Images
While it’s essential to describe the content of your images accurately, it’s equally important to provide the context and keywords relevant to your website or business. Generic alt text like “hot air balloon” doesn’t convey the value you offer. Instead, opt for more specific alt text that reinforces what you provide and who your target audience is. Incorporating your researched keywords into your alt text will help improve your search rankings.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing Your Alt Text
Although it’s essential to include keywords in your alt text, it’s crucial to do so judiciously. Keyword stuffing not only hampers the user experience but can also be viewed as spam by search engines. Write grammatically accurate sentences or phrases that flow naturally, incorporating one or two relevant keywords.
Avoid Using Basic Alt Text Formulas
Using standardized alt text formulas, such as “Product Brand” + “Product Name,” may be tempting but doesn’t provide sufficient detail. To effectively structure your alt text, combine distinctive details with basic product data. Include elements like color, special functions, designs, and materials used. AI technology can detect these features in your product photos and automatically combine them with your product data, saving you time when generating alt text.
Don’t Let Perfect Be The Enemy Of Good
While optimizing your alt text is important, it’s better to have some alt text than none at all. Screen readers provide a poor user experience when encountering images without alt text. From an SEO standpoint, any alt text is better than leaving it blank. If you lack the bandwidth to optimize your alt text fully, start by providing basic descriptions and gradually refine them over time.
Remember that alt text is just one factor in search ranking. Focus on creating high-quality, reputable pages with coherent and accurate alt text to improve your overall SEO performance. To simplify the alt text generation process, consider utilizing the AI-powered tool, AltText.ai, which ensures a balance between keywords and natural, descriptive alt text.
Improve your alt text and enhance your SEO with the help of SEO Augusta’s SEO Services.