ALT tags are an important part of page optimization in any SEO effort. When used correctly, ALT tags can help elevate pages in search engine result pages and allow pages to rank in image search results. ALT tags also act as a fail safe, providing the user with important information if images fail to load correctly. In short, ALT tags improve page accessibility.
ALT tags should accurately and succinctly describe the image. Read below for a few best practice tips:
- Be descriptive
- Ex: “golden retriever puppy napping on boots” instead of “puppy.”
- Keep the ALT tags short
- While it’s important to be descriptive, ALT tags do not have to be, and should not be, full sentences or paragraphs. Being concise is key.
- Consider the page keyword theme
- Be strategic. If you want that page to rank for a specific keyword, see if that keyword fits with the image. If it does (and if you’re creating tightly themed pages, it should), use that keyword in the ALT tag.
- Don’t be spammy
- While it might seem like a good idea to add a variety of keywords in an attempt to rank for all of them, this reads as spam to Google and could end up hurting your rankings instead of helping.
- Ex: “golden retriever puppy napping on boots” is good. “puppy dog pup golden retriever golden retriever puppy golden retriever dog sleeping napping asleep boots winter boots adorable cute awww” is bad.
With social platform changes such as Pinterest and the new Facebook updates, images and ALT tags have more weight than ever. Make sure you don’t overlook this important piece of optimization in your SEO efforts.