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Alt Tag

Last updated: Apr 09, 2021
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Written by cmlabs

Alt tag is an HTML code used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a website page. Alt tags are also known as alt text (alternative text) or "alt attributes". Alt text can also be referred to as a short written description of an image, which makes sense when it cannot be seen for some reason. It is possible to enhance usability for users who are unable to view pictures on website pages by using alt tag. Also, users that use screen readers or have low bandwidth links are included.

Key Takeaways

  • Image alt tag refers to an HTML code used to describe the appearance and function of an image on a website page.
  • Alt tag gives a better context and description of a picture for crawlers on search engines. It helps web owners to index pictures correctly.
  • Alt tag should explain the image's goal, intention, and context.
  • Focus on creating useful and informative content with the right keywords when selecting alt text. Keyword stuffing in the alt tag results in a poor user experience. It also leads the website to be viewed as spam.

Understanding of Alt Tag

Alt tags on web pages offer a textual alternative to non-text content. The key concept behind this alt tag is that computers and screen readers cannot interpret an image to decide what it represents. The text should be given to users who present the content and image functions in the web content as a developer.

There are two ways to describe alt tags:

  • Inside the IMG element's alt attribute.
  • Within the image's meaning or setting.

As a consequence, it is commonly referred to as an alt tag, despite the fact that it is not the only tool for providing image content and functionality. This detail may also be used in the text next to the image or on the page that contains the image. In other instances, a connection to a separate page containing a longer explanation of the image material may be given if the equivalent cannot be described concisely.

The Benefits of Alt Tag

One of the most important advantages of alt text for pictures is usability. It also assists users who have trouble visually recognizing an image to recognize your image material, in addition to sight-impaired users. In addition, there are several other advantages of this alt tag as follows:

1. The key concept of usability on a particular web page is to add alternate text to a photo or image. Restricted users who use screen readers can read the alt attribute to learn more about the image on a web page.

2. If the image file cannot be accessed, Alt Tag will be shown as an alternate image.

3. Alt tag offers a clearer meaning and definition of an image for search engine crawlers. It assists webmasters in properly indexing images.

Why is Alt Tag Important?

1. Accessibility

Since Alt Tag is a web design principle, it is easily available. Its primary purpose is to explain an image to users who have little ability to see or recognize pictures visually.

2. Image SEO

Using alternate text on photos not only enhances the user experience, but it can also assist site owners in reaping the benefits of SEO, either directly or implicitly. Alternative text on images can also help with SEO if image titles and proper file naming are used.

3. Raising Rank on Google Image

Google Image is the world's second-largest search engine, accounting for 20.45% of all internet searches, putting it ahead of YouTube, Bing, and other search engines. Adding alternative text to images will also help you rank higher on Google Image.

4. As an Anchor Text for Picture Link

The term "Anchor Text" refers to clickable words that link one page to another. However, not all links must take the form of text; they may also take the form of images. When using an image as a guide, the alt tag will assist Google in learning more about the linked page.

How to Write A Good Alt Tag

1. Explain the picture as specifically as possible

Alt tag was originally designed to give an explanation to a picture for users who are unable to see it. If a picture does not have meaning, and only has a design objective, set in CSS.

2. Make it (relatively) short

A screen reader is known for cutting alternative text around 125 characters, so it is better to make alternative text in a short amount of characters.

3. Use keywords

Alt tag provides another opportunity to add target keywords on pages, make search engines recommend the web of the owner because it is relevant to the specific search request.

4. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Focus on writing the descriptive alternative text that gives context to pictures, and if possible, include the target keyword.

5. Don't use a picture as a text

Because search engines cannot read the text in the form of pictures, the owner has to avoid using pictures as alternative words. If you want to add, explain what described in the photo in the alternative text.

6. Don't include "image," "picture," and others in the description

It is assumed that alternative texts contain descriptions about pictures, so it is not necessary to specify it with the words "picture" or "image."

7. Don't forget Longdesc Tag

Use long desc tag = " " for more complex pictures that need to be described longer.

8. Don't ignore the form button

If a form in a website uses a picture as the "send" button, give an alt attribute. The picture button must have an alternative text attribute that describes the function of the button such as "search," "apply now," "sign up," and others.

Example

Bad (missing alt text): 

<img src="/asset/img/seo-activity-at-cmlabs-env.jpg" />

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Bad (keyword stuffing): 

<img src="/asset/img/seo-activity-at-cmlabs-env.jpg" alt="cmlabs cmlabs malang cmlabs indonesia cmlabs" />

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Better: 

<img src="/asset/img/seo-activity-at-cmlabs-env.jpg" alt="cmlabs" />

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Best practice: 

<img src="/asset/img/seo-activity-at-cmlabs-env.jpg" alt="cmlabs help companies to get a closer look at SEO Marketing" />

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