Alt tag

Alt tags are used to describe an image. Google can read the text on your webpage, but the image not very well (although this has improved a lot in recent years). The content of an image is therefore not automatically 'included' in the SEO of your website. That is unfortunate because a good image of course simply has added value. By giving an image an alt tag you describe your image to Google and you give the image SEO value.

Alt tag tips and tricks

We recommend that you always enter the alt tag, make it a habit. It is a small effort and will bring you a lot of visitors, especially in the long term.
The description in the alt tag should be as relevant as possible. Do not use general terms or unnecessary keywords, but describe what the image is about. Perhaps most importantly, don't abuse the alt tags. Nobody likes that, including Google!

What is an alt tag?

The alt tag is actually the wrong word for the alt attribute of an image. Anyway, everyone uses alt tag and not alt attribute so we'll stick to that today.
The alt tag is a place to put the 'alternative' text for an image. This alternative text is read by search engines and software for the visually impaired. 

You can enter the alt tag by using the alt attribute. You do that as follows:

<img width="50" height="50" src="/afbeelding.jpg" alt="mijn alt tag" />

If you use a CMS such as WordPress, you can easily enter the alt tag in the 'Alternative text' text box below the image.

Why do you use an alt tag?

An alt tag has 3 functions, namely:

  1. An alt tag describes the image so that search engines such as Google can estimate what the image is about
  2. Alt tags are used by Google images so that you can get a lot of visitors through the image search engine.
  3. Alt tags are used by people with visual impairments. The alt tag of the image is read out through special software
We will discuss this further below

Alt tag and Google search results

Is the alt tag important to the google search results? Yes, Google uses the information contained in the alt tag of an image. It is of course not the case that you immediately end up a lot higher in Google when you use an alt tag, but every little bit helps.
Firstly, you make your page more user-friendly, and that is becoming increasingly important. Second, you give Google a hint what the image is about and what apparently you think is important on the page.

Alt tag and Image Search

Alt tags are used by Google images. The influence of the alt tag is much greater here than in the normal search results. In fact, without alt text you will hardly be found in Google Image Search. If you have a lot of attractive images on your site, you can get a lot of visitors to your site from Google search by making smart use of alt tags. Don't forget to give the image an attractive name as well. alt-tag.png works much better than 1234.png

Alt tag as an aid for visual impairments

Alt tags are also used by screen readers. This is software used by people with a visual impairment. A screen reader reads what is on the page and can also read what the image is about by means of an alt tag.

Difference between alt tag and title tag

Alt text or alt tags are used to describe an image. Title text or title tags are used as a resource. When you use a title tag and hover the mouse over an image, you will see the title text appear. You can therefore use the title tag to clarify your image when it is not immediately clear at first glance.

Try it for yourself:

example image with alt and title tag

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