Thoughtful, well-produced content is one of the best ways to engage your audience. And it’s absolutely critical to maintaining loyalty with existing customers, building trust with people new to your brand, and driving traffic to your site through organic search.
There are so many factors that go into quality organic content, including:
With all the above, you can improve your search engine rankings with an effective content marketing strategy.
But if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of SEO, you can up your game even more with your image alt text.
When you search Google, the results that show up are the effect of Google sending out little bots to scour the text and meta info of web pages across the internet to find the results that match up most closely with your search query.
In this quest, Google searches for more than just the copy on the pages. It also searches videos and images, and returns those to you as well. But when you search for “Yosemite Sam,” how does Google know which pictures contain that wily lil’ cartoon character, and which photos are of, say, Yosemite National Park?
Google may be able to tell that a photo is of a cartoon cowboy kinda lookin’ dude, but the way it knows which photos are of the one and only Yosemite Sam is because someone included “Yosemite Sam” in the image alt text. Boom. No pun intended… even though Yosemite Sam loves blowing stuff up.
The image alt text serves three primary purposes:
Image alt text improves SEO in two ways:
If you want to maximize the SEO-boosting effects of image alt text, then there are some important image alt text best practices to follow.
If you’re selling coffee mugs that feature Yosemite Sam eating a cheeseburger, then you want to improve your chances of connecting your site with people looking for such a peculiar product.
Of course, you probably can’t expect most people to search for “yosemite sam eating a cheeseburger coffee mug.” This is why it’s smart to spoon feed the masses by going after more general keywords, like “yosemite sam coffee mug” or “looney tunes coffee mug.”
If you have enough room to work with, you can have the best of both worlds, with something like “Coffee mug of Yosemite Sam eating a cheeseburger.” And if your entire business is selling coffee mugs emblazoned with Looney Tunes characters, then you might use a similar approach to every product image: “Looney Tunes coffee mug of [insert character name here].”
Your site will be full of images with the keyword “looney tunes coffee mug,” telling Google that you are the master of this type of product.
At the same time, avoid keyword stuffing. Prioritize descriptive image alt text and fit in your target keywords if they make sense.
These are very basic suggestions — we suggest you read our guide on how to win at keyword research »
The image title is bit different than image alt text. It’s what appears when you hover your cursor over an image itself.
Search engines don’t look at image title when providing results to search queries. So yes, you should provide a descriptive image title for accessibility and organization within your content management system, but it won’t affect your SEO.
Your CMS (e.g., WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, etc.) should make it easy to add and edit image alt text. You should be able to click on an image and open an options or settings tool, where you’ll find a field to enter image alt text.
If your CMS doesn’t include a handy interface for that, you can also write image alt text write into your page’s html code, like this:
<img src=“yosemitesam_burger.jpg” alt=“Yosemite Sam eating a cheeseburger”>
Aww, schucks. You’re making us feel all the feels. If you want, we can help you even more. We’ve written a bunch of awesome blogs about how to boost SEO, like this one about how to write good blog headlines.
Maybe a good next stop for you though, is this blog about about how to write meta titles and meta descriptions to improve SEO »
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