All images on a website should have what is called Alt Text (please click and enlarge the second image above to see where it goes). It’s that strip of text that everyone was in a panic over when Instagram and Facebook servers went askew. What actually happened was that all the links to images across both platforms had been temporarily lost. When the links were reinstated the images came back.
The fact is that an algorithm deciphers what’s in your images as they are uploaded to your social media and automatically adds the Alt Text for you.
This is to meet W3C Compliance for visually impaired site visitors. As a visually impaired person rolls over an image the Alt Text is either enlarged, or read out, depending on their browser accessibility settings, so they know what is in the image. You may have seen a ribbon of text when you do the same on a site and wondered what it was there for.
Why is this good for SEO?
Having Alt Text is great for your SEO because search engines can read it. This also means you can add keywords and phrases into the mix. The rule of thumb for SEO is the better your site is on accessibility, the better your SEO score.
This Image Attributes Pro free plugin can help with that if you have a WordPress site but you must rename your files to be relevant and not be DSC2045.jpg or ad1426-12-11-23.png for example.
Always rename your files before you upload them
Change the name to what is in the image e.g. Owner-and-Dog-on-Beach-at-Holiday-Cottage-Sidmouth-Devon-1.jpg and this plugin will automatically put the file name in your Alt Text area. Notice the key phrase “Holiday Cottage Sidmouth Devon” has also been added. You can set the plugin to strip out -, _ characters and numbers too, all of which dilute your SEO amalgamated score.
This is what your visually impaired visitors will see enlarged or hear.
“Owner and Dog on Beach at Holiday Cottage Sidmouth Devon”
Search engines also read your file names which go towards your SEO ranking so this is another benefit.
This plugin will work for images that have already been uploaded if their file names are relevant. Install it today and get in to the habit of always renaming your image files before you upload them to your website.
Note: Also set the plugin to populate the Title field as well, every instance of a key phrase is a bonus.
Always create a full backup of your site before installing any plugins.