Question: What are the best practices for image alt text in SEO?


Image alt text, also known as "alt tags" or "alt descriptions," is a crucial aspect of website optimization, especially concerning SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here are some best practices for using image alt text effectively:

  1. Describe the image accurately: The primary purpose of alt text is to help visually impaired users understand the content of images. Be precise and accurate in your description.
<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="A brown puppy playing with a ball">
  1. Use your keywords wisely: Although alt text provides an opportunity to include your SEO keywords, it’s important to use them sparingly and in context. Google might penalize keyword stuffing.
<!-- Good --> <img src="seo-tips.jpg" alt="SEO tips and strategies"> <!-- Bad --> <img src="seo-tips.jpg" alt="SEO SEO SEO SEO SEO">
  1. Don't ignore form buttons: If a form on your website uses an image as its "submit" button, you should add an alt text that describes the action triggered by the button.
<input type="image" src="submit.png" alt="Submit Form">
  1. Keep it short but meaningful: While there's no specific length limit for alt text, it's generally recommended to keep it under 125 characters since screen reading tools typically stop reading alt text after this point.

  2. Don't use 'image of,' 'picture of,' etc.: Screen-reading tools already announce an image, so it's redundant and unhelpful to include phrases like these in your alt text.

  3. Leave alt text empty for decorative images: If an image is purely decorative and does not contain information, context, or functionality, you should use an empty alt text (i.e., alt="").

<img src="decorative-border.png" alt="">

Remember, the goal of alt text is to make content accessible and improve your site's SEO. Thus, it's essential to strike a balance between these two objectives while adhering to these best practices.

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