Optimizing the images alt tag for SEO

What is an image ?

An image is a visual representation of something, which could be photographies, graphics, drawings…

There are many image formats used on websites : JPEG (extension .jpg), GIF (extension .gif), PNG (extension .png)

In the Search Optimization (SEO) of your website, do not overlook the alt text tag and the weight of the images that can contribute to the SEO of your pages. For now, the search engines are not yet able to interpret the visual content of an image, but that will happen soon. In the meantime there are techniques such as text alt tags which indicate to search engines what contains an image.

In this chapter we will advise you on how to optimize the images and images alt tags (alt attribute).

Why optimizing the images for SEO ?

Because, when you use images in your pages, the space occupied by the latter is the space that could have been used for text content, which is seen and interpreted by the search engines.

Here are some tips on how to continue using images and thus enhance the appearance of your website while maximizing your SEO visibility.

How to use images ?

  1. Make sure you don't use images that are too heavy.

    If an image is taking too long to load, Google or the other search engines will not scan your page and the visitor will leave the website without waiting for the loading to complete. The images weight should not exceeds 100 KB, otherwise the image can be considered heavy. Yakaferci helps you detect the images issues.

  2. Name your image using your main keywords.

    For example, if your image shows a diagram on how to optimize the images alt tag, name it this way : « images-alt—tag-optimizing-diagram.jpg ». Thus, you indicate to search engines which crawl your website that the image that you use to illustrate the page represents a diagram on how to optimize a website. It will interpret more accurately the content of your webpage. If you want to use an expression for name an image, you should prefer as word separator, the dashes ( - ) instead of the underscore ( _ ) : Search engines do not consider the underscore as a separator. Moreover, name the image without capitals and without accented characters. To summarize, to optimize your image : Choose this : optimize-image.gif instead of this : Optimize_image.gif

  3. Define the text ALT tag (alt attribute) of the image

    The tag « ALT », in addition to the name of the image, is used to associate a keyword or a phrase to an image. The keyword placed in the images ALT tag will replace the image if the browser has trouble displaying the image in question. The words included in the tags « ALT » also contribute to the optimization of your website as they allow the use of supplementary keywords which will be read by the search engines.

    <img src="images/optimisation-image.gif" width="100" height="90" border="0" alt="SEO optimizing an image">

    The alt tag or the alt attribute (alternate text) only applies to the alt tag <img>, allowing an alternative display (replacing the image) for browsers that do not support graphics.

    The text message defined by the alt attribute will also appear during the download of the page and before displaying the image. Also, don't forget that certain internet users with a low-speed Internet connection have chosen to disable the display of images!

    The title attribute is a generic attribute that applies to virtually all tagsHTML whose role is to provide additional information or comment on a specific part of a Web page (a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a multimedia element, object, etc ...)

  4. Precede the images by HTML H1, H2 ou H3 Tags

    For the same purpose of indicating to search engines what your images represent, place a title situated in a level 3 tag or higher before the image(h3 ou h2 ou h1)The title should of course be related to the image and, most importantly, it should contain the main keywords you want your website to be optimized for.

The most common mistakes in the use of images

  • An image header

    Very often, websites are designed with an image header. It is common to see the logo of a company occupy almost the entire page.

    This should be avoided ! The upper part of a page (the header) is one of the most important areas of your website, where you should put your main keywords for SEO.

    If you use an image occupying all the space, you will ruin this area since search engines do not read graphics content. Also avoid the text images. This is certainly more attractive from the visual point of view but not from the SEO point of view, because this text will not be indexed by search engines.

    You can of course use your logo using an approach « hybride » : Place your logo on all your pages, but make sure it does not occupy the entire width. The remaining place in the header should be optimized with text.

  • Graphic elements in the navigation menu

    The problem is the same as in the previous case with the text in the images. All internal links on your site should contain keywords, which will give an additional advantage to the SEO of your website. If for aesthetic reasons you used graphics in your menu, search engines won't index the text links. If possible, avoid using a graphical menu, or at least specify the ALT tags for all images.

The free Yakaferci tool for analyzing the images weight and the images alt tags of you

Yakaferci provides a tool to validate the images on your pages.

Analyze your images with our free SEO Page Analyzer

To start a Yakaferci analysis, simply enter the link to your page in the area above and click the Analyze button. You can then access the different pages of the report, particularly those on images.

To view more...

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