Filed in Small Business Tips
In the final post of this series, let’s learn about using image alt text (alternative text) and image titles for SEO.
Images play a huge role in the content of our website page and blog posts. These visuals make our sites more attractive (38% of website visitors won’t engage with an unattractive site), easier to navigate, support our messaging, and add to our brand identity. But did you know that the images on your site can do more than catch the user’s eyes? They can actually enhance your SEO ranking.
By optimizing your images with titles and alt text you give Google an extra bit of information to look at and (hopefully) recommend in searches. Results in Google Images are based on these SEO features!
Alt text also known as alternative is what your website will display if an image doesn’t load properly. It’s a one line description of what the image is about. Think of it as a placeholder that hides behind the image all the time!
This line of text is relevant for Google Images as well as Pinterest! It is also important for any visually impaired website visitors who may use a screen reader. The screen reader will repeat the alt text out loud for the visitor so they know everything that’s happening on that page, photos included.
Now how do you write effective alt text for your images? Here’s an easy checklist to follow:
Your alt text should be readable and sound natural. It is meant to be concise, but it’s not a list of adjectives strung together. Keeping your alt text short and to the point also keeps it from getting cut off in searches.
Just like the other SEO features we’ve discussed you want to include the keyword you would like this image to rank for in the alt text. Keep the keyword as close to the beginning of the line as possible. Consider what is happening in the image and what might be important for the viewer to know such as: location, event, color, style, object, names of people, etc.
Sometimes we share graphic images like quotes or stats on our website pages. If the image you’re sharing already has text in it you can simply take what the graphic says and turn that into the alt text. *Note* If your graphic image has a LOT of text you may want to pick the most important line or sum it up so it fits into the one sentence rule.
Example of bad, okay, and good alt text for an image of a yoga instructor.
Bad: Yoga Instructor, yoga mat, breathing, warrior one. (A list of words, not a sentence).
Okay: San Francisco Yoga instructor. (Uses keyword and a location, but could be more specific).
Good: San Francisio Yoga Instructor, Jamie Campell leads class through warrior poses. (includes location, instructor name, and what the instructor is doing).
When you’re using the free Yoast Plugin for your WordPress blog there is a space to optimize the alt text of each of your images and align it with your chosen keyword.
Image title text is exactly what it sounds like! Before you upload images to your website media library you want to be sure you have re-named the image file to something relevant. When you download an image to your computer the auto-generated title looks something like:
IMG_0765 (But that doesn’t tell Google very much, does it?)
Instead, you’ll want to rename the file something along the lines of “Yoga Class Warrior One.” You can do this from your computer before you upload to Showit or from your Showit dashboard. Simply click on the image you’d like to edit and click “SEO title.”
Some things to remember when writing image titles:
And that does it for this SEO series! There’s so much jargon, so many rules and conflicting information out there…it’s enough to make anyones head spin.
The key thing to remember is you don’t need to do everything at once. Start small. Focus on one SEO task such as H tags, or Meta descriptions, or alt text. As we always say, there’s no pressure to be perfect with it.
As with all good things, it will take time to grow and build up your SEO ranking, it won’t all happen overnight. Working with an SEO expert is a great route to find even more ways to enhance your website’s presence, but it’s not the end all be all. Keeping up with SEO tips like these will steadily build your credibility with Google!
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