Some webmasters close the pictures from being indexed in the robots.txt declaration, while the others don’t sign the images of their products and services with the ALT attributes. Another group of webmasters uses uninformative ALT attribute, such as standard keywords and phrases or put the word “image” in the Alt Text. As a webmaster, you should use proper Alt attributes.
Frank Abagnale, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, says that when it comes to searching for images, you will see some of your pictures in the Google search results. But that’s only possible when you have optimized your photographs for SEO. When someone searches for specific words or phrases, he/she will be directed to your website.
Keep your pictures ready for the first-page results:
The first thing you should remember is how to tell Google, Bing, and Yahoo about the nature of your image. Alt attributes are used in the XHTML and HTML documents for specifying alt text (alternative text) that will render when the elements to which it is applied can’t be rendered.
From the examples below, let us check how to compose the alt attribute for your image:
- “Picture 1” – it’s a useless option and is not descriptive. The lack of useful and informative text is bad for indexed images.
- “A teenage boy is fishing” – it’s a good description for your image, but it is not appropriate for the commercial websites.
How to make perfect alt attributes for your images?
Here are the five principles of writing proper alt attributes for your images:
1. Quick and useful description of your picture:
If the description of your photo does not coincide with its content, the image will never get any click from the search. Luckily, WordPress and other content management systems generate the alt attributes automatically. But you should always check this section before publishing your image on the website.
2. The total length of the alt attributes:
The entire length of your alt attribute has to be three to four words but not longer than 200 characters. If you use less than three words, it will be tough for you to describe your image. As for the upper limit, Google, Bing, and Yahoo consider the first 255 characters of the alt attributes to recognize your pictures.
3. Use the primary keyword in your image’s alt attribute:
Just like the headers (H1, H2, H3, H4, and H5) and the title tags, you should use the primary keyword in your picture’s alt attribute. In other words, we can say that the alt attribute must contain valuable information, making it easy for you to promote the content.
4. Do not spam:
Spammed and over-optimized alt attributes will cause the imposition of sanctions from Yahoo, Bing, and Google. So, you should insert the proper keywords or phrases in the alt attribute and limit their number to three to five. You don’t need to use words like “online,” “price,” “buy,” “image,” and “website” in your alt attributes.
5. Don’t write alt attributes for decorative pictures:
If your website has lots of decorative pictures, you don’t need to write alt attributes for those images. Besides, the images of arrows, buttons, frames, animals, birds, and nature are better to leave empty.
If you own multiple websites, you should not underestimate the significance of alt attributes and high-resolution images. Whether you add new products to your store or write a blog post, you must optimize the images properly and appropriately.