You may have heard about alt tagging and asked yourself, what is it? And how can alt tagging help your SEO?
The most basic function of an alt tag is to provide a description of what an image is. It may seem odd that some browsers would not show images, but it’s actually quite common. Outlook and Gmail, for example, do not typically download images. This helps speed up load time. Some other reasons a web browser may not show images may include disabled browser features or text to speech functionality.
When it comes to SEO, alt tagging is a profoundly simple thing to do and can yield really great results. Surprising as it may be, search engines cannot read images (yet). This is because when robots (also called spiders) crawl your site, they cannot determine what an image is comprised of. Because they just see code and text, an image appears as a blank block. Search engines rely on your description to tell them what an image is, why wouldn’t you help them and help yourself in the process?
Take the Red Rocket Web Specialists logo for example, located just to the right of this paragraph. Without the alt tag, it would be just another image. However, by adding the alt tag, you can see that this image has been defined as “red-rocket-web-specialists-fort-collins-seo.” It’s important to note these are keywords located within the image. A simple way to tell if an image has an alt tag is to hover over it for a few seconds. You should notice that a small bit of text will pop up with this tag. Go ahead, try it with the Red Rocket Web Specialists Logo.
Optimizing your images with alt tags is one of the simplest forms of SEO you can do before calling an SEO professional. If your site is built with WordPress, it’s even simpler! This is just one of the many reasons Red Rocket prefers to build our websites with WordPress. After uploading media to your WordPress site you will have the option to write a description of the image and an alt tag. It’s important to note that, when optimizing your alt tags, make sure your tag succinctly describes the image and it’s not over-optimized or stuffed with keywords.
Need more information? Give Red Rocket a call. We’re happy to provide you with a complimentary SEO report card and tell you if your alt tags are properly filled out.