Conventionally, search engines have struggled to interpret anything apart from simple text. However, a lot of today’s modern design incorporates images to create more aesthetically appealing content. Here’s how we can help the search engines understand our images better.
Enter the ALT tag. The alt tag is a tag that can be attached to part of the code used to display an image in HTML. By specifying alt=”this is what the image is about”, you are telling Google about the contents of that particular image.
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Here’s an example of a well-crafted img tag using the alt tag:
<http://www.startupsmart.com.au/example.jpg” alt=”this is an example image” />
This is important because without the ALT tag, Google is unable to tell the contents of an image and any relevancy you may gain from this image is lost.
So how do we use this tag effectively? Try to include keywords to describe the image as accurately as possible. Don’t however, try to use text that is not related or displayed on the image.
On a side note the ALT tag is also useful for accessibility reasons for blind people who use a screen reader to browse the web. These screen readers will use the alt text of an image to articulate its content.
The proper use of the ALT tag will ensure SEO benefits by helping Google see more relevant content and also demonstrating good web coding standards.