If you have a website for your business, most business owners will already know that they need to have the website search engine optimised to help with their ranking on Google.
However there is another very simple website optimisation that the majority or web designers and every SEO specialists totally miss, and it could be costing the site a huge amount of traffic, particularly if you have an e-commerce website.
And the best thing is you don’t need to be an SEO genius to do it yourself!
ALT text (short for alternative text) is the text that you might see appear when you hover over an image for a slightly longer than usual amount of time. This text is there primarily to that visually impaired people can have their computers read the image descriptions to them. However it also plays a very important part of your SEO strategy and can make a massive difference to where you rank on Google.
Depending on the platform your site has been built in, ALT text can usually be added very easily, and ideally should be done by the web designer when they rename the images prior to uploading them, however saying that, a good majority of web designers actually have no idea about SEO! It is recommended you ALWAYS ask your potential web designer if they will be carrying out SEO on the site during development. If not, then switch web designers!
The ALT tags though are easy enough to add yourself if your site is built in WordPress, and some other common platforms, and I’dd explain how to do this shortly.
But the main question you are probably asking is what is the purpose of ALT tagging the images?
Firstly, think about the process that someone takes when searching on Google for the services you provide….
They will usually do a Google text or Google image search first, and to do this they will usually type in the search phrase of the service they require, for example ‘Sunshine Coast Web Designers’.
So if I had an image with the alt tag ‘Sunshine Coast Website Designers’ and they did an image search, there is a very good chance that one of my images will appear in the results.
And if they were to click that image it would take them through to my website!
However it can be slightly more technical than that, as Google have a ‘pecking order’ in which they will supply their results.
Usually text based results are nore related to general information or the services you provide. However if your website sells products more than services, then your key focus should be on your product descriptions, and this includes the images, as Google is more likely to throw up an image for a product search.
And your visitor doesn’t necessarily need to be searching in the Google Images search. If they did the same search on the Google text based search then often the product images will appear amongst the text, still with the clickable accessibility to take them to your website. And this also works with the services you provide are image based, such as in my case where I sell logo design services and websites. Around 85% of my entire business has come through Google search results, with around 30% of these visitors coming from my image results.
So think about your type of business and your website, and assuming your web developer had a strategy in mind when they developed it, if you are say a builder or sell clothing, or some other service where your primary product is something that needs to be viewed, then if it is a shopping product page, a gallery or a portfolio, these images will drive a lot more traffic if the images have ALT text (also known as alt tags).
To ALT tag your image sin WordPress is super easy. Simply go to your media library, click on the image and on the right side of the image you’ll see the space to give the image an ALT title and an ALT description. Add these, keeping them short and concise and then move on to the next one. Complete this process throughout all the images and you are done!
And what can work even faster to increase your rankings is rather than do them all in one sitting, doa bit each day or every few days. When you do them systematically over a longer period of time it looks ‘organic’ to Google, and it also pings Google Console with a site update each time you do it. The more consistently you do changes, the more pings you receive, rather than one ping by doing them all at once and then nothing else.
By using software such as SEO Profiler or even just your analytics you will be able to see the changes as they work, and it should reflect across your website analytics as well as your live SEO Profiler ranking reports.