What Are the Best Ways To Phrase Alt Tags for SEO Images?


Very often, the owners of commercial projects neglect such source of traffic as search by images. Someone accidentally closes the image from being indexed by robots.txt, others forget to sign pictures of goods, and others use uninformative signatures like common phrases or the word “photo”. I propose to remedy this situation and to optimize the signature so that it may give an additional targeted traffic.

If we are talking about commercial sites, the people who came through the image search can do not have an informative intent. Often these people have a commercial purpose, but they do not know how looks a particular product (for example, ” knife for cutting lemon ” or “copper beads”). Or they are looking for a model of the liked pictures (“chair for toddler”, ” homemade soap”).

The first thing you have to take care to get all this traffic is to tell the search engines, using the attribute ALT, what is in the picture. But you need to do it as it would be looking for your customers.
For example, how can you sign the photo given below if you have a clothing store for babies?

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  1. “Picture #1” is unsuccessful because it is not describing the image and has only technical sort. The lack of meaningful text is not suitable for indexing images.
  2. “A smiling baby in a blue jacket” is a good description of the image, but is not appropriate for a commercial site. It is necessary to attract an audience looking for a jacket, not the kids. The smiling baby in the photo needed only to increase conversion.
  3. “Fleece Jacket” is better. This description will attract the right people. But if you have a website with a lot of flannel jackets, it is better to describe the image a little more detail.
  4. “Fleece jacket Little Man” is the best option, since there is the business name of the product. If the site has a similar jacket in different colors, it is possible to add ALT including color.

 

What Are the General Principles of Image Signing?

  • Quick and truthful description of the image.
    If the description of the photo will not coincide with its contents, this image does not get clicks from the search. Therefore, you must recheck automatically signing in ALT.
  • The length of at least 3-4 words and no more than 250 characters.
    It is hard to describe goods by less than three words inserting all the necessary keywords. And according to the experience, the search engines do not take more than 250-255 characters.
  • The presence of important keywords.
    Similarly, with headers H1 and TITLE, ALT attribute should contain essential for the promotion of the image (not the landing page) keywords.
  • No spam.
    Re-optimize and spammed ALT can cause sanctions from Google. Therefore, it is not necessary to insert in ALT all desired keywords. Limit with the most significant and most accurately words describing the image. Also, do not need to add in ALT word “buy”, “reviews” or “price” (if it’s certainly not a screenshot reviews or price). But you can use the word “photo”.
  • Empty ALT for decorative images.
    If any of the pictures on the website are part of the design (logos, buttons, and arrows, as well as other decorations), it is better to use empty ALT tags for them. Someone pastes keywords here, but it’s useless. The optimal solution will move such an image in CSS-Sprites.

 

Several Pictures of the Same Product

Typically, online shops contain several product images at different angles so that you can examine it in detail. What have to do with the signature in this case? The easiest way is to leave the same description for all photos. The uniqueness of the photos is more important for image SEO. And it is clear for understanding that on the photos of the item card probably shown the same thing. It’s purposeless to describe carefully. You can only add to the main text: “View 1”, “View 2” and so on.

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Similar Products

Imagine that you have a number of different caps?

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How to be with descriptions of images in this case? Because of hard describing the image in detail, you can use the same ALT, such as “Winter cap with a pompon”. Google will show different photos from the same site in view of their uniqueness and the total number of good pictures in the network on this topic. For the names/titles worth spending the time to make them unique for each cap: add a brand, color, the presence of some chips or other characteristics. But it is not so important for the ALT tag in this case.

 

Categories Vs. Product Card

In the online store, image are repeated on the product card and in the category to which it belongs. How to be in this case? Should it be written unique ALT for a single image on different pages?

Here, a similar situation, ALT images in the category can be left in the same (so often makes most online stores), as well as on the item card. And then, depending on the query, the search engine will return the most relevant document.

ALT attribute to the IMG tag is essential in the search for images in Google. And whether it helps to rank in standard organic search results? Judging from the data of the experiments, Google uses ALT as plain text, and if you are using unique keywords, then it will be a document with a picture.

 

What About the Title?

TITLE attribute of the image never taken into account by Google(check also The Often Overlooked Components Of SEO).  It is better to use for usability than for signing of images, cause to write there something different from ALT will be difficult if the site contains thousands of pictures. In other words, I would recommend not to use any title = “”, or duplicate it with alt = “”. Or you need to prescribe unique titles for images other than the ALT, but also beautiful, briefly and clearly describe the pictures. But in our opinion, the last is too much.


About Nick Sawinyh

Proud father, husband, and corgi-owner. I've been working in SEO Industry for more than ten years. I love finding new trends that affect technologies that impact the world of telecommunications and web. Co-founder and Product Manager at Seomator