Alt Text (Alternative Text)

Alt text is a concise written description that is added to the HTML code of a website to describe an image. This description is not typically visible to users on the page, but it is essential for search engine crawlers and screen readers, which are used by visually impaired users to access content on the web.

In the context of SEO, alt text serves two primary functions. Firstly, it helps search engines understand the content and context of an image, contributing to the relevancy of the page for specific search queries. Secondly, it improves web accessibility, which is an important aspect of modern SEO strategies.

Proper Usage

Alt text should accurately and succinctly describe the content of an image and its purpose on the page. When writing alt text:

  • Include keywords naturally, as it contributes to the image’s discoverability in search engine image results.
  • Keep the text brief and to the point; aim for descriptions that are less than 125 characters.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing, as this can lead to penalties from search engines and a poor user experience for those using screen readers.
  • Do not use phrases like “image of” or “picture of,” as this is already implied.
  • Describe the function of the image if it is used as a link or a button.

Impact on SEO

Effective use of alt text can improve a webpage’s overall SEO by:

  • Providing context to search engines, which may lead to increased relevancy for keywords.
  • Enhancing image search rankings, as images with well-crafted alt text are more likely to appear in search results.
  • Boosting the accessibility of the website, leading to better user experience and potentially increased engagement and conversions.

In summary, alt text is a fundamental element of technical SEO, essential for optimizing images, supporting web accessibility, and contributing to a website’s visibility and user experience


Why is alt text important for SEO?

Alt text provides search engines with contextual information about images on a webpage, thus improving the relevancy of the page content. It enhances accessibility for visually impaired users and contributes to a websites visibility in search engine results, especially in image search queries.

What are some best practices for writing alt text?

Some best practices for writing alt text include being descriptive, using relevant keywords wisely, keeping it concise, avoiding redundancy, providing detailed alt text for informative images, and ensuring that all images have alt text for accessibility purposes.

How does alt text benefit both SEO and web accessibility?

Alt text plays a dual role by improving a websites SEO performance through better indexing of images and by enhancing web accessibility for users with visual impairments. By following alt text best practices, websites can ensure inclusivity and improve user experience while boosting their search engine rankings.

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