We all know how important it is to focus on SEO. If you aren’t as informed about what SEO is and why it’s important, here is a little crasher course. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the practice of optimizing your site so that your pages can rank higher on search engines’ results. In other words, it gets your site to show up on GOOGLE! (If you still can’t tell, that is really important).
The more exposure you get on search result pages, the more prospective clients will see your work and buy your products and/or services. Now, good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes from multiple routes. Textual content is one of the more common ways, but visuals can have a great impact on your website’s ranking, too.
One small way to accomplish ranking your images on Google and other search engines is through alt text. This little textual description is crucial to help Google’s bots understand what’s on your pictures. If Google knows what type of content your pictures contain, you will have a greater chance of appearing in image search results, i.e., more traffic to your site and a big thumbs up for your SEO.
What is alt text?
Alt text, which is short for alternative text, is a small piece of text that is intended to describe an image, photograph, chart or any other picture that appears on your website. You do not actually see the alt text on your pages, but rather it is a behind the scenes source code for your website. Since Google can’t actually see what is on your pictures, the alt text allows them to understand the content and place them more accurately.
Why is alt text important?
Adding alt text to every image you upload on your website is a must. If we haven’t already convinced you of that, let us reiterate. First, with alt text, your images can be found on Google. This is important, because a third of all searches performed in Google are for images. Second, your website will have better SEO. Search engines will rank you higher because they see your site as more optimized. Lastly, your website will be accessible to all visitors. Your readers with visual impairment that use screen readers will have the alt text read to them, so they can have access to everything that is on your site.
How to write good alt text?
Here are some basic rules to follow to ensure you are writing effective alt text.
Add relevant keywords
Describe the image accurately
Keep it short
Here’s an example using one of our clients, Ardendale Oaks:
This is a photo of the welcome center at Ardendale Oaks, a local apartment complex. You will want to describe the focal point of the image to get across the main idea the picture is conveying. An alt text example for this image could be: “Stunning, newly renovated apartments in Baton Rouge.”
You don’t need to add “a picture of” or “this is an image of” but you should make sure to include keywords that your viewers would normally search in when looking for a similar photo. This would make your final alt text look like this: “Apartment décor: stunning, newly renovated apartment in Baton Rouge.”
If you’re excited and ready to get your site ranking on Google but are still confused on how to start, we can help! Give us a call and we can take care of all your alt text and other SEO ranking needs.