What’s Your Image Alt Text Usage Strategy?

SMS Text

Images are part of your content. You can use the images for two main reason:

  1. To add important information (to explain something more vividly and to visualize what you have put in text).
  2. To decorate your article (to make it more eye-catching and easier to remember).

Alt text implementation depends on the purpose of using the image:

Alt Text for Accessibility and Usability:

  1. Include descriptive alternative text for content-sensitive/meaningful images (i.e. those that add important information to the text): alt text is what people who turned off displaying images will see and blind people will hear in place of the image.
  2. If an image was used for purely decorative purposes, assign an alt text to null value (alt=””) so that the image could be completely ignored by screen readers.

Alt Text for SEO:

  1. Add keyword-optimized alt text:
    • To enhance the page keyword prominence;
    • So that people referred by image search results were tempted to visit the page (If you were searching for link building, for example, which image would be more interesting for you: a graph detailing the link building process or a chain symbolizing the process which is how posts on link building are decorated?).
  2. Skip the alt text at all (in this cases I usually use title instead). You will need to use empty alt text (alt=””) though for validation purposes though.
Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
Ann Smarty
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • http://www.contemedia.com Chadwick

    We tag images with relevant text that is both useful for SEO & Usability. Usability comes first, with the afterthought of SEO. It’s only as difficult as you make it.

    In some niches having your images properly optimized can bring your site a nice stream of a traffic.

  • http://www.seo-tips-for-u.blogspot.com/ Arshad

    i once had a celebrity blog that got over 400 visits from image search.

  • http://www.agent-seo.com/ Agent SEO

    I think Alt text is super important both from a usability perspective and an SEO perspective.

    Not only will it allow for some extra keyword density, but you’re dead on when you say that getting your images placed in image directories can be valuable too!

  • http://www.directorinternet.com andreas.wpv

    Easy job. Both!

    Just pick a picture adding context, information to the page content, and it is easy to use a description picking up a key phrase for SEO.

    P.S. You do a tremendous job here!

  • http://increase-site-traffic.webmarketingmachine.com/ increase site traffic

    I use my alt text for seo purposes .