As you’re building a website and making an SEO strategy, adding Alt Tags to ALL OF YOUR PHOTOS can seem like a huge, time-consuming task. In this post, I’ll explain a few of the reason to utilize alt tags on your site, how to add them to your photos, and how to craft useful tags that will bring in those organic search results!
Why You Need Alt Tags
- Blind or Visually Impaired: These alt tags describe the image when used with a screen reader. Having them means that your site is a better resource for a larger audience, which means google will boost it to the top!
- Better SEO Results: This might be obvious since I’m writing a whole post about it, but I can’t stress this enough! I had a client with hundreds of photos in galleries across their site, but none of the photos had alt tags. When I sorted through the photos and added tags to each one, their site went from page 7 to pages 1 & 2 in their local search listings… I did a few other SEO updates to their site, but the majority was adding alt tags to photos.
- Image Search Results: The Image Search aspect of google uses alt tags to sort the photos by relevance.Your photo won’t appear in an image search without the correct alt tags.
- Pinterest Captions: Have you ever tried to pin an image on a website, and the auto-filled caption is IMG_1234 (or something like that)? Well, that person didn’t add any alt tags to the photo. Which is sad for them, because now you might add a caption like, “Love This!” which will not help them rank higher in searches. The tags you set auto-fill those pinterest captions, so you should use them! Especially if your business or blog relies on pinterest for traffic!
Adding Alt Tags to Photos
You’ll find the instructions for adding alt tags through HTML and WordPress media below. I know nothing about Squarespace, but I’m sure they made it simple for you, too!
The HTML method: When you add a photo to your blog post, be sure to include the alt and title info within the <> for the img….
<img src=”insert link to image here” alt=”add your perfect tag here” title=”add a title for your image here”>
FYI: Search Rankings DO NOT REQUIRE titles for your images. But if you don’t have something for “alt” the title will be copied… Which is how some end up as IMG_1234 …
Adding to WordPress: Sometimes I’ll upload a bunch of photos, add all the tags, and then use them throughout posts as needed. But most of the time, I add them to the post while writing.
- Click the Add Media button at the top of your post and drag/drop your images to the screen.
- Select an image and write your Alt Tag in the “Alt Text” field on the right side of this Attachment Details Screen
- Click Insert into Post!
Not too difficult! If you already inserted the image, but forgot/need to edit the Alt Tag…
- Click on the image and select the edit button (the pencil)
- Add/edit the alt tag in the “Alternative Text” field of the Image Details window.
- Click Update!
So I think that was pretty simple. But what are you supposed to write?
Crafting the Perfect Alt Tags
- Use your keywords!! Do you know the keywords you’re targeting? Use them in this description! And if your image is unrelated to what you’re targeting… why are you using it?
- Include the title of the blog post: This helps for pinterest captions and will usually (definitely) include the keywords you’re targeting
- Add your location or business name to a few images: If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, then add your location or the location you’re targeting to a few of your images. This will help when a google user searches includes the town, city, or county in their search (ex. women’s clothing in NYC).
- Don’t forget your featured image! This is where I usually add title of my post with some business information. When pinning from your site, I’ve noticed that the featured image tag is replaced with blog content.
- Keep the visually impaired in mind and write a true description of the image: This is pretty important, since this is the whole purpose of Alt Tags. Don’t write the title of your post if it doesn’t describe the image. Don’t make the tag exactly the same for every image (that would be boring to hear when browsing a site).