What is ALT Attribute? — Ultimate SEO Guide for Small Business Owners

What is ALT Attribute — Ultimate SEO Guide for Small Business Owners

Search engine optimization involves a variety of techniques and actions that make your website rank higher on Google. Images are an important part of a webpage’s web positioning because many people use Google to find images from Google.

The ALT attribute cannot be ignored as it is required information of images that should be displayed on a page, web site. It not only helps search bots to find your images, as it also aids in indexing images as it shows what is in the picture.

ALT text, helps people use images with text information. For example, if you want Google to help people read your image content, add “alt text” to the image. This lets them know which parts of the image are text and which parts are photos. Also, the information that you include in alt text tells

What is ALT attribute?

The ALT tags are used to define and add a descriptive text about pictures.

When a user tries to access the image, ALT text stands in for the image file.

The internet’s beginning provided fast connectivity, but users could only enjoy pictures if most of them loaded properly. Using ALT text gave users the idea that there was a picture in the text before it actually was seen.

Google does not have an official policy related to the ALT attribute, but there is some good information on the topic by the Internet Access Foundation.

The ALT attribute was originally created to help webmasters tell Google to describe the images they have on their websites. It is primarily the ALT attribute, also added to images, is used to make a website more available to online users who have visual impairments that are common among the elderly.

What is ALT attribute important for your Website's SEO?

Here are 3 main reasons why ALT attributes are important to properly optimize a website:

  1. ALT attributes tell Google the content in the image
  2. It describes the image information if it somehow does not load
  3. Allows better web accessibility

ALT attributes tell Google the content in the image

In attempt to understand the content displayed in the image, google bots will look at the ALT tag to determine the subject of the image. This information is helpful in correctly ranking an image by the topic to which it is referring.

Using an SEO text will help your pages to gain better placements in the Google image results pages, targeting many more users.

Instead of using a simple alt text like "dentist smiling", make sure to start using long descriptive texts like alt="image of a dentist smiling in a dentist clinic in maple ridge" which will allow for Google to better understand the content of the image.

It describes the image information if it somehow does not load

In the event that a browser does not load a graphic image or display it successfully, the ALT information should be displayed to provide the user with enough information to determine the significance of the image.

Although it is best to display the image, the ALT information avoids ruining the user experience by using descriptive text to explain the image’s content.

Allows better web accessibility

ALT text can be very important for web accessibility because it explains the image when the image is disabled in web browser.

For people visually impaired, images should be rendered with alternative text to aid screen readers to interpret the content and read it to the user.

How can you check an image's ALT attribute?

To check if a picture has an ALT attribute, we need to examine its HTML code. The image's HTML code follows this format:

You can see in this example how the ALT attribute is clearly describing the image.

By inspecting this text, they determine whether an image has the tag “ALT“ and whether this tag should have content associated with it such as text, a logo, or other images.

You can see the HTML code of any image you click on in the browser by going to the Inspect element option in the pop-up window in the browser.

What's the difference between ALT attribute and TITLE attribute in Images?

Most, if not all, popular CMS should have this feature readily available for it's users.

Often times, you should be able to add an ALT tag to an image once you upload it into the file management system. If this is not readily available, you should consult with your provider or look into the FAQ section. After all, this is part of the overall SEO strategy each website should have and should not be ignored.

How to add an ALT tag to an image in any Content Management System (CMS)?

Usually, many people think that these two attributes of an image are the same – ALT being what the image actually displays and TITLE being what pops-up on screen when you hover the mouse over an image. Titles are generally only useful for visually-constrained and well-known images—for example, the ALT attribute might be descriptive text in the caption of a photograph.

In addition to using attributes like the alt and src, you can also use the title and the lang attributes simultaneously.

We have already seen how the ALT attribute is very important to get images in the top position on Google, so getting a website to rank in the first pages of results must be part of a good SEO strategy.

Whether you use alternative text for every image or you choose just to optimize your descriptions, it is important to use the same optimized text every time you use the same image! If the description text changes, all of the different images used in the pages will have to be updated in their descriptions. As such, it’s advisable to create


The ALT attribute is an important part of your website's SEO and should not be ignored. By using relevant keywords in your ALT attributes, you can improve the ranking of your website on search engines. Make sure to keep your ALT attributes brief and concise, and avoid using excessive keywords that will not be beneficial to your website's SEO.

More than a beautiful and aesthetic website, it has to be optimized for conversion rate and search engines to be effective.


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