Alt tags are important for both search engine optimisation (SEO) and website accessibility, as they can improve user experience, especially when a visitor to your site is using a screen reader.
What is an alt tag?
Alt tags are pieces of code added to the code of any image on your website, and are used by search engines and other bots to understand what the image is showing.
A recent Google podcast discussed the best approach for creating alt tags for your images. One tip from the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) was to imagine that you are describing a webpage on the phone to someone, as that should give you an idea of the text to use within your alt tags.
From an SEO point of view, it is always best to provide the context of an image within its alt text, as this makes sure search engines can better understand the topic of the content. John Mueller, Google Searche Advocate, also said that when people are searching using Google Images, they are normally not looking for an image but the information on the webpage that has the image in.
Therefore, having clearly descriptive alt tags makes sure that your images appear for relevant searches. If Google thinks your content topic is different to its description, it could result in people bouncing off your website and continuing to search to find the information that they are looking for.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a specialism of ours at Engage Web, so if you want to grow your business by getting in front of more of your target audience, get in touch with our team. We can develop an effective digital marketing strategy that will get the results you are looking for.
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