SEO can be quite overwhelming and stump you at times, and we understand this quite well. We spend all day, every day wrestling with the intricacies of Search Engine Optimization! To help you find your way around SEO, we are starting a new series of articles on WordPress SEO for our readers to help break down SEO and its strategies. Here’s the first one on Image Alt Tags for WordPress.
Including images in an article makes posts more visual and informative and relevant images help in improving your site ranking. But if your images don’t have good ‘alt attributes’ you may lose out on ranking or rank for incorrect keywords altogether. As established Web designers in Perth, let us explain all you need to know about image alt tag.
What is an Alt Tag?
Technically alt tags are not tags; they are attributes. Alt texts are used to describe the image and its function. Alt (alternate) tag is used by search engine crawlers to better index an image and by screen readers for visually impaired people to understand what an image is about. Also, the alt tag gets displayed when the image file is unable to be loaded.
Why Alt Tag?
Search engine crawlers cannot see and interpret images as humans can, even with improved image reading technology. Alt tags allow you to provide proper text description and possibly keyword inclusion to help search engines index and rank your site better. Visually impaired persons use screen readers to identify and understand an image.
What is a good Alt Tag?
A good alt tag should be short and specific at the same time. 125 characters is the maximum most screen readers will go, but you don’t have to go that far. Keep it as short and crisp as possible. You can use relevant keywords, but be careful not to include too many keywords as you may be penalized for keyword stuffing.
If the image is just for design and does not serve a defined purpose, it should not be in HTML; it should be in CSS. If the images cannot be changed, you can leave the ‘alt text’ tab empty, so that screen readers will skip the image.
Alt Tag vs Title Tag
Alt Tag is used by search engine crawlers and screen readers for better understanding the image. The title tag, as the name suggests, provides a title for your image. It is displayed when you hover over an image and cannot be displayed if the image is not loaded (unlike the alt tag).
Adding Image Alt Tags in WordPress
Adding alt attributes in WordPress is quite easy. You can follow these simple tips.
1. Login to your WordPress site
2. Once you login, you will be directly in your dashboard. Go to the post or page tab.
3. Click on the image block. The image settings tab opens in the sidebar.
4. Enter the alt text and title attributes. (leave blank if you don’t need the image to rank or be visible to screen readers)
Tim Reynolds is the Chief Solutions Consultant and SEO specialist at Codesquad. Talking SEO strategies, analysing client business needs and managing projects – all in a day’s work for Tim. He loves a challenge and when he isn’t engaged with a project or developing SEO strategies, you can find him with soldering iron in hand “making stuff.” If you are looking for 100% SEO compliance, Tim and his team won’t rest until you get there.