Alt Tags, The Right Way to Use Them

Last updated: November 2018

An alt tag (alt = alternative) is an extra piece of text that is added to your website images. Its main purpose is accessibility as it describes images to visitors who are unable to see them. If you use WordPress or Squarespace you can manage them from your admin area. ⠀

So don’t pop in some sneaky off topic keywords to your alt tags. Google is way too clever to fall for that. The most important thing to Google is that your website is useful… to everyone. Be descriptive and explain what’s happening in the image.⠀

If you close your eyes how would you describe this image?⠀

A collection of hand carved wooden spoons

“Wooden spoons”⠀

Or even better…⠀

“A collection of rustic hand-carved wooden spoons on a wooden plate”⠀

Bingo! Now all your users are happy and this makes Google happy. ⠀

Tips for writing good alt tags:⠀

  1. Alt text is for users who are unable to see your image so describe the image.⠀⠀
  2. You can use your keywords but your first priority should be making sure the image has context.⠀
  3. Keep them short and sweet, many screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters.⠀
  4. You don’t need to say ”A photo of…” Google has that figured out already.⠀
Alt Tags, The Right Way to Use Them