Before we dive in to Google’s best practices for alt text in SEO, we need to answer the question: What is the purpose of alt text?
The purpose of alt text is to allow screen readers to identify an image on the web page. On a completely separate not, alt text is also a key element in search engine optimization.
Here are the best practices for alt text and how it can help your website’s SEO.
What is alt text?
Alt text is the alternative text provided for images. Image alt text is used to describe the image for people using a screen reader, which assists those with visual impairments.
A general explanation of how alt text works
First of all, alt text is great for understanding the image, as well as being helpful for SEO purposes. When a Google user is searching for something, Google will use the alt text to show your image in the search results, as Google will consider your image as relevant and pull it for the search.
Words to use in alt text
Alt text doesn’t necessarily need the description of the image, rather, what the image means for your webpage.
For example: Instead of describing that a beach picture is a picture of the beach, you can write that the beach is in front of a hotel where a chemical cleanup was happening.
Providing extra context will allow your image or website to be shown in images or a web search because of how Google users search.
Alt text provides context
It is essential for SEOs and publishers to provide context by using words that help describe the image so the reader can understand how the image fits into your site, which makes the experience simple and clear for the reader. This will also help Google understand what your image is about, therefore increase the chances of your image, website or blog showing up in a Google search.
How alt text helps with SEO
It is always important to add images to your website or blogs, and adding alt text to images will benefit your SEO. It improves the accessibility, and provides a textual description for the image. With this, your chance of ranking will increase based on keywords as well.