Image SEO: How to optimize your alt text and title text

Image SEO: How to optimize your alt text and title text • Yoast

Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk is the founder and Chief Product Officer of Yoast. He’s a digital marketer, developer and an Open Source fanatic.

Adding images to your articles encourages people to read them, and well-chosen images can also back up your message and get you a good ranking in image search results. But you should always remember to give your images good alt attributes: alt text strengthens the message of your articles with search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website. This article explains all about alt and title attributes and why you should optimize them.

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Welcome to our 5th most-read blog post of 2020! We’re sharing this blog post as part of our holiday calendar, which holds a new surprise every day. So make sure to check it out!

Do you have an orange bullet for the Keyphrase in alt attributes check in Yoast SEO? Read how to turn that bullet green.

What are alt attributes and title attributes?

This is a complete HTML image tag:

<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>

The alt and title attributes of an image are commonly referred to as alt tag or alt text and title tag. But technically, they’re not tags, they’re attributes. The alt text describes what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page. So if you are using an image as a button to buy product X, the alt text should say: “button to buy product X.”

The alt tag is used by screen readers, which are browsers used by blind and visually impaired people. These screen readers tell them what is on the image by reading the alt tag. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element. So, in the case of an image button, the image title could contain an extra call-to-action. However, this is not a best practice.

Each image should have an alt text. Not just for SEO purposes, but also because blind and visually impaired people won’t otherwise know what the image is about. A title attribute is not required. What’s more, most of the time it doesn’t make sense to add it. They are only available to mouse (or other pointing devices) users and the only one case where the title attribute is required for accessibility is on <iframe> and <frame> tags.

If the information conveyed by the title attribute is relevant, consider making it available somewhere else, in plain text and if it’s not relevant, consider removing the title attribute entirely.

Have an orange bullet for the keyphrase in alt attributes check in Yoast

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This article was written by Joost de Valk and originally published on SEO blog &bull; Yoast.

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