WordPress for small business: How To Set Your Image Title and Alt Tag Properly.

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When you upload an image to WordPress, its recommend you always set your image title and alt tag… why?

Because search engines don’t see images you need to describe the images for them.

Search engines see the code behind the image,  like this:

<img src=”http://www.example.com/example.png” alt=”Keyword”>

This is how a search engine views your image filename, and alt tag.

If you haven’t included keywords in your image filename and alt tag then you have missed an opportunity.

Image fields in WordPressIf you switch from ‘visual’ to ‘text’ in your WordPress page editor then you will see the code that is describing your images.  The WordPress software makes it so simple for you to add an image without touching the code, that you may not have paid full attention to those four fields: Title, Alt Tag, Description and Caption before.

Remember: search engines see your website as a bunch of code… and Google’s bots crawl over these lines of code.

Quick Tips To Improve Your SEO When You Add Images To Your WordPress Site:

  • Before you upload your image, pick a descriptive filename—preferably a file name you want that image to rank for—because it will help with your search engine rankings.  You can separate words in the filename with hyphens.
  • When you add an image in WordPress you have several options in relation to how you describe that image.  Ensure you take the time to describe your images using the keywords that are relevant to that image.  Focus on the title and alt tag if you are short on time.

There are fields for Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description:

Wordpress

WordPress Image options

The Title field is automatically filled by WordPress with the filename of the image. You can also easily change this title when you upload the image, but search engines will still see the filename so including keywords in your filename is recommended. 

The second field that we suggest you dedicate time to is the Alt Tag.  

How To Set Your Image Title and Alt Tag Properly

Ideally when you write the title and alt text, your would include your keywords or a keyword phrase. But it is also important to ensure that you write different text for both of these, and that the text is related to the content of the page you are inserting the image into.
Here is what Raven Tools has to say on setting your alt tag properly:
Not including the “alt tag” is one of the most common SEO mistakes I see new website owners make. This is sloppy SEO for two reasons:
  1. Search engine robots can’t read images without text, plus you’ve missed a keyword opportunity.

  2. Not labeling images is a poor user experience for those who have disabled images in their browsers or for those with visual or certain cognitive disabilities. – Nicolette Beardette from Raven Tools

Alternative information is served up for anyone who accesses your website and cannot see the image displayed for some reason.

While the alt attribute is for search engine crawlers. The title tag is for human readers. It’s what’s revealed when you hover over the image without clicking… so it can be written as a call to action to prompt a reader to act. 

A word of caution:
Keyword stuffing is an act punishable by bad rankings on Google.  Do not use these fields to just say “Apple, Apple, Apple”.  Put useful descriptions of the image in these fields and if possible use keywords that relate to the content of the website page it is being inserted on.  Your focus should always be on creating quality content that is useful and relevant to the people that you would like to be reading it.
 
Further Information:
The above draws on information included in Nicolette Beards great explainer article “When to Optimize Alt and Title Text for Images”.  You can find it here: http://blog.raventools.com/alt-title-text-optimized-images/
Matt Cutt’s from Google explains the importance of alt tags in this video: http://youtu.be/3NbuDpB_BTc

Google describes the importance of the “alt” attribute as:

It provides Google with useful information about the subject matter of the image. We use this information to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query.

Many people-for example, users with visual impairments, or people using screen readers or who have low-bandwidth connections—may not be able to see images on web pages. Descriptive alt text provides these users with important information.

Not so good:

<img src="/puppy.jpg" alt=""/>

Better:

<img src="/puppy.jpg" alt="puppy"/>

Best:

<img src="/puppy.jpg" alt="Dalmatian puppy playing fetch">

To be avoided:

<img src="/puppy.jpg" alt="puppy dog baby
dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever
labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier
puppies dog food cheap dogfood puppy food"/>

Filling alt attributes with keywords (“keyword stuffing”) results in a negative user experience, and may cause your site to be perceived as spam. Instead, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context. We recommend testing your content by using a text-only browser such as Lynx.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, created a video in 2007, regarding adding “alt” tags, and his explanation for why one should complete the task is still relevant.

2017-04-11T21:17:27+00:00 By |Wordpress Tips|0 Comments

About the Author:

Get Online Australia focus on helping small business in Australia to establish, maintain and grow their online presence through affordable and effective website design and digital marketing services.

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