7 Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Image Alt Tags

7 Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Image Alt Tags

There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to fit together in order for your website to rank higher, get more audience, and be successful. From website design to content quality, it all needs to match your reputation. This is why you have to optimize different aspects of your website to make it even more effective and strong. Writing quality image alt-tags is one of those aspects.

Image alt-tags can make the difference that you need. All you need to know is how to write them. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. The guide below will help you understand image alt-tags and learn how to write them. Here are 7 do’s and don’ts of writing image alt tags.

Let’s take it one step at a time.

1. Know Their Purpose
Before we dig any deeper into the actual writing, you must understand the power of image alt-tags.
What is their purpose?
The truth is, image alt-tags have a multi-purpose. Here’s what they help you out with:

  • they display on the screen when the image fails to load
  • visually impaired web visitors can use screen readers to understand the page and the images
  • Google search engines use image alt-tags to help you rank higher in Google Images

To put it simply, writing image alt-tags is an important segment of your web ranking and online presence. That’s why you have to learn how to write them like a professional.

2. Dont Stuff Keywords
The number one thing about writing image alt-tags that you have to learn how to do is adding keywords. Keywords are essential for your Google rankings, but you need to know how to implement them properly.
When you add keywords to your image alt-tags, make sure that:

  • they match what’s on the image
  • they are inserted naturally

Source: Pexels

Let’s compare the two examples:

  • alt= ”bowl of fruit with healthy foods and superfood to boost your energy and boost your immunity”
  • alt= “a bowl of fruit with strawberries and blueberries”

The second alt-tag is much more natural and describes the image more precisely. There’s no keyword stuffing. The keyword is implemented but in a natural manner.

3. Be Descriptive
The alt-text of the image should focus solely on the image, and not it’s metaphoric meaning or representation.
That means that the alt-text needs to be descriptive and focus on what the image is showing. The more details you add, the better the understanding of the image will be.
For the image above, we can adjust the good example we’ve seen:

  • alt= “a small, round, white bowl of fruit with fresh strawberries and blueberries”

Now that you’ve added more details, you’ve made your alt-text even more powerful and precise. It will increase your chances of ranking high in Google search results and increase your on-page optimization.

4. Add Facts
Another way to boost your image alt-tags and make them more impactful is to share factual information. So, you need to focus on being precise and using precise facts when creating your alt-tags.

Source: Pexels

We could describe the image above as follows:

  • alt=”a big black dog”

But, is this the most factual description? It would be better to write:

  • alt= “an adult male Doberman dog”

The second alt-tags tells the viewers and the search engines the age, gender, and breed of the dog, which are extremely valuable and important facts.

5. Add Context
An image can be perceived differently, depending on the context you put it in. If you don’t add any context to your image alt-tags, anyone can interpret it according to their own preferences.

And you don’t want this. You need to be in control over the viewers and search engines perception of the image.

Source: Pexels

The most obvious alt-tag for this image would be:

  • alt= “a young woman using a computer”

But, based on the context you need for your website or blog post, you can put it in a different context:

  • alt= “a young blogger writing a new blog boost using a computer”
  • alt= “a female student at a digital marketing course”
  • alt= “a female college student studying for an exam via a computer”

The alt-tag will differ based on the purpose of the content- whether it’s for a digital marketing website, a blogging tutorial, or a college blog.

You can choose a context that you need and create an image alt-tag that suits the needs of your content. This way, you’ll increase the power of the image and make your content more impactful.

So, avoid writing generalized alt-tags and add context wherever possible.

6. Don’t Include Unnecessary Words
To make an image alt-tag even more powerful and effective, you need to choose every word you include wisely.

That means that you should only include words that:

  • add value
  • carry information

People often make the mistake of including phrases such as:

  • alt=” an image of…”
  • alt= “a picture of…”

Don’t do this, since it adds o value and can only confuse the search engines. In fact, try making your image alt-tags up to 125 characters long.

7. Multiple Images
If your web page has more than one image, you should choose which one is the closest to the topic you’re covering.

That image should contain a keyword and potentially even mention the topic using the context, as we’ve covered.

But, here’s what to be careful about:

  • don’t add the same keyword to all images
  • don’t try to make all images count equally

Prioritize your media and create alt-tags based on their priority level.

Final Thoughts
Image alt-tags are a powerful hidden tool that you should start using to improve your traffic, and engagement, and to reach your goals.

Hopefully, this article helped you understand the importance of image alt-tags. Use the advice we’ve shared above to create a strategy that will skyrocket your image alt-tags.


Eugenia Winits is a freelance writer and a blogger with a passion for sharing her best ideas with her loyal audience. She covers topics that range from blogging to social media strategies. She currently works as a writer at Classy Essay and Grab My Essay. She’s also an editor at Top Essay Writing and Subjecto.