What Is Alt Tag

Alternative text also known as Alt tags are used to describe an image in the context it has been used on a website. Alt tags help visually impaired visiting your website who have screen readers turned on. At times an image might fail to load for many reasons to mention here, however when that happens, the alt tag is then displayed on the web browser in place of the image as shown below.

That having been said, alt tags also help search engines to understand the context the image has been used in relation to the content on the web-page. This helps search engines understand when to show your content when a user is searching.

Now that we have discussed what alt tags are and the purpose they are meant to serve, let’s get down into understanding how you can create the best alt tags for your website.

The Impotence Of Alt Tags

There are tons of content online talking about alt tags and how you can create them. This section here I decided to dive a bit further and explain why you should use alt tags and the thought process you should go through with elaborate explanations.

Now the core reason why you have a website is so that your potential customers will either be able to buy or at least get enough information to make an informed decision and hopefully end up contacting you, and in most cases we include text and media content. 

The goal is here is thinking of your user first and here is how you can go about creating the best alt tags for your users and ultimately search engines

Alt Tag Analysis

Imagine you are an award winning cake maker who has baked enough cakes to fill the whole of Somalia (Don’t ask me why I chose Somalia as I don’t know as well). Now you have a lot of these images on your phone and also backed up on the cloud.
Now remember your goal is to appeal to users who visit the website, now there are visually impaired users who rely on screen readers to get a better understanding of the content on a website.
Now as a cake maker your alt tags should be descriptive in such a way they give meaning in line with content on a website. The image below is a perfect example

Asian Bride And Groom Giving Speech After Wedding Cake

“4 Asian people 2 males and 2 females with the younger male standing next to a younger female whilst holding a microphone, the elderly guy is seated down clapping his hands whilst the elderly female is also sitting down with her legs crossed with a hot pink background”
“Asian Bride And Groom Giving Speech After Wedding Cake”

Both alt tags will give more information to the user, however because the image is on the website to promote the Asian Wedding Cakes aspect of the business, it would make more sense to talk about the image in the context it was added for. 

To further elaborate this I will make another example. As you see the image below, it can be used by different people in different industries. The image can have different alt tags for the different industries.

Alt Tag Examples

Panel Beater:”Insurance Approved Dent And Scratch Removal”
Mechanic:”Lexus Approved Mechanical Repairs”
Car Sales Website:”Silver Leuxs LC 500 For Sale”
Car Rentals Website:”Silver Lexus For Hire”

The trick to write the best alt tags is explaining the image in the context is has been used. This helps users who visit your website and it also helps the search engines in understanding the overall content on a web-page with media files. Which means that you images will show up on image search and might even end up being featured on the search image carousel.

What To Consider When Writing Alt Tags

Describe Context Image Has Been Used

150 characters should be more than enough to clearly describe the image in the context it has been used for. For example a car sales website can have a white lexus as part of their catalog. The best alt tag would be “white lexus for sale in location” rather than just “white lexus.

Don’t Stuff Keywords

Adding the alt tag should be a way of enhancing user experience to people who visit your website. Examples of keyword stuffing “ Silver Lexus Car Hire For Lexus Hiring Cars Cheap Car Hire Affordable Vehicle Car Hire Services”. Repeating keywords you are hoping to rank for will only result in the content being regarded as spam.