Alt tags, also called “alt attribute” or “alt description,” are HTML code attributes applied to image tags to provide text alternatives for search engines. Applying alt tags to images like product photos could positively impact SEO rankings of a website.
Images play an integral part in how people comprehend the information provided in a webpage. However, these images are not understood by search engines and other robots.
When Google spiders and other robots crawl the webpages, only those with properly defined alt attributes contribute to how the page is indexed and how it ranks.
The syntax of alt tags is as follows:
HTML <img> alt Attribute
An example of specifying an alt tag to an image is:
<img src=”smiley.gif” alt=”Smiley face”>
In the above example, the gif file, which is a smiley face can be interpreted by humans. Specifying an alt tag “Smiley face” makes it easy for the robots to comprehend what that image is.
To keep in mind
The alt text should always be kept short to maximize the impact. Short alt texts are very likely to be indexed by Google and the other online search engines much more efficiently. Never forget to mention the subject within the alt text.
Refrain from stuffing keywords, as Google and other major search engines don’t favour them.
Never prioritize alt tags over meta titles, inter-linking, meta descriptions etc. that are crucial for SEO. Alt tags should only be prioritized for image-based pages that do not contain much text.