Understanding How Title & Alt Texts Can Help You Conquer SEO
Updated on: 21 June 2023
Images, when added appropriately, can add appeal and value to our digital content, making them user-friendly, enticing, and easy to understand. In fact, if you are looking to score the rare position ‘0’, also known as featured snippets, images are one of the few types of featured snippets that you can target. This makes images a hidden SEO gem.
In the world of digital marketing, SEO rules the roost. It is the magic tool that increases your site’s visibility and attractiveness to search engines, boosting your chance of appearing on users’ SERPs. Similar to how we should optimise our website content for SEO, optimising your images should be a fundamental step too!
In this guide, we will delve deeper into image SEO, primarily focusing on optimising Title and Alt texts.
Understanding Title and Alt texts
Before diving deep into Title and Alt text, let us start with the fundamentals. What exactly are they? To put it simply, Title texts provide Google with additional information about the image and will appear when users hover over it. On the other hand, Alt texts are attributes used in HTML coding to describe the function and appearance of the image.
They are crucial elements to SEO because Google is not able to see the image physically. Hence, the algorithm relies on Title and Alt texts to understand the image. By optimising the two texts, you are essentially helping Google to understand your web content better, which in turn helps them to assess its suitability and relevancy for users.
Why image SEO matters
Image SEO is one of the fundamental factors that can impact your site’s visibility and traffic significantly. A well-optimised image ranks higher in Google’s image SERPs, which means higher visibility that leads to more traffic generated. All these contribute to better SEO ranking for your content. They are all interconnected. Hence, optimising one leads to better optimisation for other elements.
However, there is more to image SEO than just boosting site visibility. Image SEO plays a vital role in increasing the accessibility of your content. Alt texts allow screen reading tools to read out the descriptive texts to individuals who may be visually impaired, making your content more inclusive and accessible to a wide range of users.
How to write effective Title and Alt texts
With regard to Title texts, being precise and relevant is crucial. For example, if you have an image titled “IMG_606.jpg”, it provides no relevant context or information regarding the image. Writing a valuable Title text for your image could involve “Monkey cracking open a coconut”, assuming it represents the image accurately. At the end of the day, you want to include as much description as possible so that your image can be understood.
Crafting Alt texts effectively is a work of art. Similar to Title texts, if your image consists of just “IMG_606.jpg”, it tells users and Google algorithm very little about the image. Including as much relevant information as possible helps specify and describe the image.
While it is not necessary to include SEO-targeted keywords in your Title and Alt texts, there are no hard and fast rules should you find that they can fit in accurately and naturally. Never spam them. Just like how keeping your content concise, the same can be applied to both texts.
8 steps to integrate keywords in your Title and Alt texts
While they are not vital for Title and Alt texts, keywords can help to bridge the gap between what users are searching for and your related content. The vital aspect of integrating keywords in your Title and Alt texts, like any online content you craft, is to incorporate them as naturally as possible. Here are some tips to help you do so.
1. Prioritise Alt texts
Google places more emphasis on Alt Texts as compared to Title Texts in terms of image SEO. Hence, we recommend that you prioritise Alt texts, including your main targeted keywords in them.
2. Keep it natural
Remember that the way to establish the trustworthiness of your brand is to create first for users, then search engines second. Make sure that the keywords you use flow naturally within the Title and Alt texts.
3. Use location-specific keywords
If you are looking to boost your local SEO and increase the yield of your GMB, using location-specific keywords is the way to go.
4. Use variations and synonyms
You do not have to use the exact keywords word-for-word. Google is intuitive enough to understand variations and synonyms of your targeted keywords. You can make your Title and Alt texts sound less repetitive and more natural by mixing your keywords up.
5. Target long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords target more specific search intents and are often less competitive than single-word keywords. Hence, they are better for image SEOs.
6. Use keyword research tools
Do not hesitate to use keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Google’s Keyword Planner, that can provide a detailed understanding of what your target users are looking for, allowing you to plan your “attack” effectively and efficiently.
7. Avoid spamming keywords
Keyword stuffing for the sake of using more keywords does not benefit your SEO. In fact, the sacrificing of relevancy and readability degrades the user experience, leading to significant penalties from Google.
8. Contextual relevance
At the end of the day, it does not matter whether you use keywords for image SEO. But should you choose to use them, always choose keywords that are relevant to the image. The texts should describe the image accurately.
SEO optimisation does not only include generating quality content or using good meta tags but also optimising your Title and Alt texts appropriately. Making such tiny changes can impact your overall site’s SEO significantly, boosting its accessibility as well as visibility.
As the world of SEO evolves with the modern world, it is not just about keeping up-to-date with new practices, rules, and regulations. It is also about adapting and finding innovative ways to incorporate them into your daily practice. And if all else fails, there is no shame in engaging digital marketing agencies in Singapore for their SEO services. Do whatever it takes necessary to take your SEO game to greater heights.