Alt text is a growing phenomenon within the SEO world. It became a big deal after the United Nations audit and resulting report in 2006, and it plays a significant role in the rich optimization processes that SEO professionals rely on to help set their brands apart from the competition. Sadly, far too many people don’t realize the importance or multifaceted function of the alt text component of web design.
Alt text offers a broader digital experience for all types of users.
In its most basic role, alt text offers a text-based alternative to the images appearing on a web page. They are there to help visually impaired users gain the same kind of meaningful interaction with the page that other readers who don’t share these impairments gain each time they connect to the internet. Images and video content have quickly become a hugely popular fixture within the digital world, but without the use of alt text to enrich these features for all users, the internet can easily prove to stray away from the inclusivity that it is meant to impart amongst all of its users.
Another key feature of this addition to web page design is featured prominently within its name. Alt text also stands in place of a visual element that fails to load on the screen for whatever reason. Sometimes a page may have a broken link or an upload issue, however, some users opt to disable images from loading in order to save on data usage or for a variety of other reasons. With alt text in place, these internet users are able to take away the same kinds of experiences that others are enjoying. As a result, learning how to write alt text is a must for any optimization professional. Finally, these additions allow for an image to appear in search engine image caches. Providing searchers with your page’s images is a great way to continue to drive up traffic, yet without this simple addition your site’s content won’t make it into the image search function provided by Google and countless other search engines.
As with any other strategy, alt text relies on keyword research.
Just like any other branch of the SEO process, this function is guided by strong keyword research. In order to create text that makes sense and helps your site rank well, you need to focus prioritized energy on building the resources and library of keywords necessary to build great total SEO strategies.
Optimization is a product of a varied set of tools and strategies for creating exposure in the digital realm. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why image search crawlers might approach the task of registering and evaluating content in the same way as the text content that appears on your page and the millions of others that exist online. The fact is that there are hundreds of millions of blogs out there, so creating exposure and building domain authority is a critical task for any brand, business, or personal site.
At all stages of the SEO cycle, building great habits and maintaining a library of resources that are both up to date and can get the job done right remain some of the most highly sought out attributes. Alt attribute fields offer an opportunity for content managers and SEO professionals to develop richer content that both serves the needs of those who use screen readers and the algorithms that deem a web page and its content either robust and useful or lacking. Alternate text is a must in any developer’s tool belt. Make sure you are utilizing it for your own content.