An ‘alt tag’ is another little element in the code of a website (and a field you can easily fill out when you add an image in WordPress), that tells a search engine what the image is. It also can be used to describe any particular image to someone who is blind and browsing the internet with a screen reader. For the purposes of SEO – there are certain things you can do to make an image more likely to earn you traffic from search results on Google.
Google likes it when you use keywords in your image alt tags.
This was one of the first things I learned regarding SEO about 6 years ago – and it was using this technique that I used to start getting some traction for visual focused content before I even learned about the broader concepts of SEO.
Simply – it works. Google image search is very popular, and if you offer service for anything that people make decisions on visually (which is almost everything) you can use alt tags to further rank your pages and articles.
How to wield alt tags for SEO
- You want to actually describe the image and what’s in it.
- But you also want to use keywords and the topics of the article and page as much as possible.
- You can also name-images-like-this-with-keywords-and-description.jpg for even more visibility.
Google can read all of this information, including the file name – and uses it to figure out what the image is about. SEO is sometimes about how all of the little things add up to give you a competitive advantage, if you can create a habit of always describing and image and using keywords in the alt tags of your images – you’ll have another (very substantial) advantage in getting more traffic.
Why it matters
Every little bit of an edge you can give your website in search results matters. If your competitor doesn’t fill out their alt tags, or using file naming conventions to get more Google traffic from image search (and beyond,) than there is opportunity for you to use this technique to make your pages and posts more attractive to Google on a regular basis.
As always, the best way to wield this SEO strategy is to build it into your process, or if you’re part of an organization – to make it part of the system, and required on every post and page created.