Are you missing out on search engine indexed credit by not using Alt and Title attributes on your images?
Image “alt attribute,” commonly incorrectly called image “alt tag,” is an often-overlooked but important way to get more exposure in search engines and MUST BE always used. Simply put, the image alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image for nonvisual browsers.
Image titles are read by Google and other search engine crawlers as content and are what visitors see when they hover over an image. An image title is just that: it describes exactly what the image is.
Both should have unique – not generic, over-used – descriptions to get some search engine love! If you have multiple photos on a page, be sure to give each its own unique alt and title wording.
5 reasons why you should use alt and title attributes:
- Increase your page’s keyword density score and relevancy for your keywords (but do not keyword stuff your alt attribute or you’ll get penalized).
- Search engine crawlers cannot “read” images but they do read text.
- For visually impaired website visitors, descriptions of images are read aloud to blind or visually impaired users on a screen reader. Penn State has a great article called “Image ALT Tag Tips” and recommends, “A good rule of thumb to consider is to include what you might relay over the phone.”
- Google started using Related Search Previews.
- Alt text shows if there is a broken image link, giving visitors an idea as to what should be there.
Don’t panic – you can easily change or add alt and title attributes to your existing images in pages/posts. If you missed my post on How to Make Images Website Ready, take a moment to read it. The takeaway is: resize, optimize and name website images something relevant BEFORE uploading!
I can hear the grumbles “this is a lot of work” but it’s worth the few extra minutes per image to get found in searches with proper use of alt and title attributes — and it’s free SEO. If you need more convincing read Google Webmaster’s article: 1000 Words About Images.
So when you have some time, go through your pages and posts and click on the image and add them in or change them up and get the search engine credit you deserve!