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In reality, a large amount of web content that exists out there consists of images. Yeah we’re onto the whole “content is king” thing, but don’t forget the images can also be termed as “content”.
Like everything that happens to be existing in our world, these image based content can also be optimized. And no, we’re not just talking about heightening the quality of an image and all that. Today, we’ll be talking about the image title text and image alt text.
Let’s start with our more familiar friend, Alt Text.
Alt text, also known as alternate text, is an attribute added to an image tag in HTML. Basically, this gets displayed whenever an image cannot for some mysterious reason, load properly. The purpose of this is that it helps visitors to determine what the image is whenever they have bad internet, or if ever they just somehow cannot load an image. Besides that, this tag also helps in letting search engines understand an image better.
Clearly, this is an element for onsite that’s very helpful.
Fun fact, you can determine the list of images you will need to tag with an alternate text via Screaming Frog.
Yes, this dinosaur of a tool is still kicking it.
On Screaming Frog, let your website be crawled and go to Bulk Export then on the Images, and on it you will see a tab “Images Missing Alt Text Back Links”
Once you get to download that you will have an excel sheet that’s got a column for the source of the image and another column for the image’s URL. This way, you will be able to give your tech guys a hard time. You see, whenever your developers try to tag your images, they will have to find those images and on what pages they’re in. So it’s best that you help ‘em out immediately.
Next is the Image Title Text.
Now, you must be wondering, isn’t that the same as Alt Texts? Well, not exactly. Although this is also text that appears for the image, it actually can already be seen whenever you hover your mouse over an image. However, this isn’t as important as the Alternate text and is not used for search ranking and therefore isn’t as important to optimize for.
In a more normal sort of settings on the web, having Alternate Texts set up on your important images is already a very good thing. But, ideally, having these two on your images is a big plus.
These two not only improve visibility online but it also will help your images get indexed and included on the image search results. You ever wonder why those images in images.google.com got there? Now you know.
So how would you write these texts and titles? Well like their literal purpose and name, you have to write them as not spammy as possible.
I know, it’s very tempting to just once again, shove all those keywords in there. It’s not a bad thing. But you should never forget what the purpose of these things are.
For Alternate texts, you literally have to write an alternate text for the image. That’s it really. But don’t try and write a novel heavy paragraph for an image. All you need to do is describe the image and you’re done!
Title texts are more like what a fitting title text will be and should be for an image file. What do you thing should be displayed whenever they hover on a particular image?
In the end, optimizing images is okay and necessary, but not the whole picture. What you should do is that you should use these to compliment the other optimizations you want to do to your website.