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Complete Guide to Image Alt Text Optimization for Higher SEO Rankings

Alt text, also known as alt attributes or alt tags, provides a text description for images on web pages. Optimizing alt text is an important on-page SEO technique that can help images rank higher in search results.

Complete Guide to Image Alt Text Optimization for Higher SEO Rankings

In this in-depth guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about optimizing image alt text for better SEO, 

Follow these best practices to make sure your alt text is fully optimized for higher image search rankings and overall SEO.

The Role and Benefits of Alt Text

Alt text serves multiple important functions:

  • Provides a text description of the image for visually impaired users
  • Displays if the image fails to load due to broken links or other issues
  • Helps search engines understand the content and context of images

With descriptive alt text, Google and users can better comprehend the relevance of images. This improves image search visibility.

Writing Effective Alt Text

Aim for alt text that provides a concise but accurate description of the image content. Avoid phrases like “image of” or “photo of”.

For example, the ideal alt text for a headshot might be “Portrait of Sara Smith, CEO of ABC Company”.

Alt text with detailed context helps search engines rank images higher for relevant queries. Sparse alt text hinders visibility.

Alt Text SEO Formatting Tips

Follow these formatting practices:

  • Keep alt text under 125 characters
  • Don’t overstuff with keywords
  • Use natural language and grammar
  • Separate phrases with dashes instead of commas
  • Capitalize proper nouns

Proper formatting ensures alt text is descriptive for users and search engines.

Using Keywords Naturally in Alt Text

Include relevant keywords in the alt text, but avoid awkward over-optimization. For example:

Bad: “Man smiling happy successful business”

Good: “Businessman smiling in office”

Seamlessly weave in keywords for natural inclusion. Don’t just stuff random keywords.

Optimizing E-commerce Product Image Alt Text

For product images, the product name makes ideal alt text. This identifies the product for users and search engines.

For example:

<img src=”shoes.jpg” alt=”Nike Air Max Running Shoes”>

Keep product image alt text consistent with product titles on category and product pages.

Pick the Most Efficient Image Formats

The file format dramatically impacts image size and site speed. Use the most efficient formats for each image type:

  • JPEG for photos and complex graphics
  • PNG for transparent backgrounds
  • GIF for animations
  • SVG for logos, icons, and illustrations

Avoid oversized BMP files which produce massive file sizes. Leverage next-gen WebP images with compression tools for the best compression.

Adjust Image Sizes for Faster Loading

Large image files strain servers and slow page loading. Reduce image dimensions so they don’t exceed your content container size.

Use optimization plugins to bulk resize existing images. Compress oversized assets without losing quality. This speeds up load times and improves SEO.

Tools to Auto Generate Alt Text

Manually adding alt text for large image libraries is tedious. Use plugins like Alt Text Assistant to auto-generate alt text.

Review auto-generated alt text for relevance and SEO value. Refine and optimize further as needed.

The plugin also adds alt text to existing images and missing descriptions, speeding up the optimization process.

Add Relevant Schema Markup to Pages

Schema markup like Recipe structured data for cooking sites helps search engines comprehend page content and images.

Implement schema reflecting the topic to add more context around your images. Google understands images better with descriptive schema markup.

Submit Image Sitemaps to Index Images

Standard XML sitemaps don’t include images. Create an image sitemap using plugins like Yoast SEO to list all image URLs you want to be indexed.

Submit your image sitemap to Google Search Console. This helps Google discover and crawl all your website’s images so they appear in search.

Boost Image SEO with Proper Alt Text

Optimizing image alt text improves the chances of ranking in Google image search results while providing a better context for search bots crawling pages.

Follow the tips in this guide to write strong, descriptive alt text that incorporates keywords naturally. Tap auto-generation plugins to save time on large image inventories.

With robust image alt text SEO in place, your visual assets will attract more traffic from search engines.

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