Glossary keyword - Alt Tag

Alt Tag

An Alt tag, or otherwise known as Alt attribute or Alt description, is a short text that serves as an alternative for an image. It is an HTML attribute for image tags that benefit both the users and the website itself. 

Search engine algorithms are not able to view and interpret images. However, pictures play an important role in improving the content. Hence, people provide a short text which describes the picture. 

Benefits of Alt tag 

As already mentioned, this tag helps search engines to index an image. Though the algorithms have improved considerably, they are still unable to interpret the pictures as people do. Letting them understand instead of providing Alt text can be a harmful practice. The reason is that they can get the picture wrong and miss out on ranking. Therefore, the Alt description is also an essential part of SEO strategies. If the pictures have appropriate tags, it will affect the ranking of the page positively. 

Besides, sometimes browsers or screen readers face difficulties to process the images. In this case, short descriptions will appear in the place of the image to describe pictures to people who cannot see them. This function also benefits people who are visually impaired or unable to see the image correctly. Therefore, providing the Alt tag ensures that all visitors, no matter their abilities, can get familiar with the content.

A Proper Tag

Writing the alt tag has several requirements. First, it should be short, up to 120 characters, as some screen readers will cut the rest of the tag. Second, the Alt description is an opportunity to use keywords and boost ranking. Hence, including the keyword to guide the PageRank algorithm is a sound strategy. However, merely stuffing the keyword is not a good idea. If the keyword does not fit the text, leave it. Also, there is no need to include a ‘picture of’ ‘image.’ People already assume that those are images, so better use the characters for describing the context. 

 

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