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When creating content for blog articles or even webpages it’s clear that adding related images will keep readers on the page longer. Images are there to help break up the monotony of the text and reinforce the message. A useful benefit is the addition of alt html for the purpose of what is called alt text SEO, also called alt text search engine optimization. The original use of alt text as defined by Moz “Alt text (alternative text), also known as “alt attributes”, “alt descriptions”, or technically incorrectly as “alt tags,” are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page”.
Researching what alt HTML or alt text to use is part of researching what keywords are related to blog article, title and images that get used. The alt text SEO helps both explain what the images are about and provide additional information to search engines indexing the site.
Alt Text SEO works with the image
Alt text SEO is a combination of searchable keywords that your audience is looking for applied to describe webpage images. Good alt text works improve the overall SEO of the blog post or page; it’s supplementary to the keywords applied to your titles, subtitles, and written text. Great alt HTML is just an additional method to direct the right traffic to your page.
One question commonly asked is whether alt text is needed on every image? That’s debatible; in most cases the best rule of thumb is to make sure alt text is included on images that have meaning or are appropriate to the content of the page in question. Remember the original function of alt text was to describe the appearance and function of the image in case a browser couldn’t display it. The SEO part is an added benefit by describing the image using appropriate keywords related to the image, written text and purpose of the webpage.
Search Engines and Alt Text
Since alt text is used by search engines for multiple purposes it helps with webpage SEO and traffic generation.
So finding good keywords that related to what the graphic is for, related written content and what the webpage is about is important; alt text alone isn’t going to attract your audience to the page, but it can help. This isn’t a site devoted to SEO but using good graphics relevant to written content should have alt text with pertinent keywords. That’s common sense, free, easy to do, and anything that can improve the odds of connecting with the right target audience should make you sit up and take note. Its a fact; search engines do evaluate alt tags. If you have the graphics, but don’t include alt text you’re potentially missing an opportunity to connect. Increasing the odds that the right audience finds the page is worth the extra few seconds needed to add good alt text, and keywords placed in your alt text makes a lot of sense with regards to SEO.
Now for the question that always follows discussion of using alt HTML or alt text; what keywords to use and how to find them.
You probably won’t be some keyword expert by the end of this post but I will share tools I use and an easy to follow process.
Good Keywords For Your ALT HTML or Alt Text
You may have a favorite keyword research tool already and if so fantastic. If you have one then use it to find keywords for alt text in your images. However, if you don’t have a keyword research tool, you need to find one ASAP. I use both Google’s free Keyword Planner and a paid tool called Mangools KWFinder.
Google’s Keyword Planner gives me trends only because Google has changed how the Keyword Planner works. It use to give exact monthly search counts but now gives averages; still, I see what words and phrases are being searched for that related to the word or phrase I put into the Keyword Planner. That can help me find words and phrases I wouldn’t have thought of. Ultimately you need to go well beyond Google’s keyword planner to get good keywords for alt text, your blog post and even your webpages.
There are a lot of keyword tools out there. I could be like all those affiliate sites that give you the “ten best” etc. Instead I just want to share what I use and why. It’s no different than if a friend recommended a favorite pizzeria when I asked. This is the tool I’ve being using, find intuitive and it isn’t too expensive.
Mangools is a tool I that works for me. Yes, I get a referral fee if you use my link but at no cost to you. I recommend Mangools because it is easy, has a great keyword search tool plus SERP and Backlink analysis, Rank tracking and is still far cheaper the competition. Of course I only want to cover the Keyword Finder tool because I use that the most. Mangools is build for both beginner and advanced users which is why I think it’s one of the best out there. It’s user-friendly and intuitive. Here’s a screen for a search on coffee using their keyword tool.
The results appear quickly, are sortable and show who’s getting the top result for each searchable keyword or phrase. Plus it indicates how competitive each keyword is.
Even I can use this so I’m comfortable recommending it. I love that I can save the words with an easy to medium competition score to a list I can refer to anytime I’m back in the program. Plus I can download one or all my lists into a CSV or Excel spreadsheet and sort or continue analyzing keywords to come up with the right combination for my alt tags, images and posts.
Apply Those Keywords To Your Image Alt tag | Bonus- Add The Keywords To A Title Generator
More importantly, once I find a good set of related keywords on a topic, I’ll use a unique one on each alt tag for each image and additional keywords from the group on the blog post, title and / or page. I also like to use combinations of those keywords in a “headline generator” program to come up with a catchy title for the post that the images are used for.
What is a headline generator?
It’s a program that autogenerates title and phrases based on a few keywords entered. I make nothing from this link but I do like both of these headline generators so take a look. You simply enter one or two keywords from a Mangools or Google keyword search and check out the results. Once you find a title you like, just apply it to your post. If the title is long I’ll shorten it for my post slug but making sure I keep the keywords in the slug as well.
I can easily use the titles generated from the headline generator or title generator for the names of my images as well as for the post title and slug. It’s a good idea not to leave your amazing images with some obscure name like 1.jpg. That’s just bad SEO, so rename the image with keywords, add an appropriate alt tag with keywords and make it relevant to your post title. You’ll thank yourself down the road if you do.
Once you’ve tried this you’ll see how easy it is to do and what a powerful technique it can be.
If you’ve found this useful, please share. Thanks
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