SEO Optimization images is becoming more and more important in SEO (Seo optimization) for websites. The ALT attribute is a critical step that is sometimes forgotten. This is often a lost opportunity for better rankings.
In Google's webmaster guidelines, they advise using alternative text for that images on your web site:
Images:. Make use of the alt attribute to supply descriptive text. Additionally, we recommend using a human-readable caption and descriptive text around the image.
Why would they ask us to do that? The answer is easy, really; search engines like google have a similar problem as blind users. They can't see the images.
Many webmasters and inexperienced or unethical SEOs abuse the use of this attribute, trying to stuff it with keywords, looking to achieve a certain keyword density, which isn't as relevant for rankings now since it was previously.
On the other hand, high keyword density can, on some search engines like google, trigger spam filters, which might result in a penalty for your site's ranking. Even without this type of penalty, your site's rankings won't take advantage of this tactic.
This process also puts persons who use screen readers in a greater disadvantage. Screen readers are software-based tools that really read aloud the items in what's displayed on the screen. In browsing the net, the alt features of images are read aloud as well.
Imagine listening to a paragraph of text that is then repetitions of many keywords. The page will be far from accessible, and, to put it bluntly, would be found quite annoying.
What is an Alt attribute?
An ALT attribute shouldn't be used like a description or perhaps a label for an image, though lots of people utilize it for the reason that fashion. Although it may appear natural to assume that alternate text is really a label or perhaps a description, it's not!
The words used within an image's alt attribute should be its text equivalent and convey the same information or serve the same purpose that the image would.
The goal is to provide the same functional information that the visual user would see. The alt attribute text should function as a "stand in" when the look itself is not available. Ask yourself this question: Should you replace the look with the text, would most users get the same basic information, and would it create the same response?
A few examples:
Some SEO Optimization Tips
If a search button is really a magnifying glass or binoculars its alt text should be 'search' or 'find' not 'magnifying glass' or 'binoculars'.
If an image is supposed to convey the literal contents of the look, a description is appropriate.
If it is meant to convey data, then that information is what is appropriate.
If it is meant to convey the use of a function, then your function itself is what ought to be used.
Some Alt Attribute Guidelines:
Always add alt attributes to images. Alt is mandatory for accessibility as well as for valid XHTML.
For images that play only a decorative role in the page, make use of an empty alt (i.e. alt="") or a CSS background image to ensure that reading browsers don't bother users by uttering things like "spacer image".
Keep in mind that it's the function of the image we are attempting to convey. For example; any button images should not include the word "button" in the alt text. They ought to emphasize the action performed by the button.
Alt text ought to be based on context. The same image in a different context may need drastically different alt text.
Attempt to flow alt text with the remainder of the text because that is how it will be read with adaptive technologies like screen readers. Someone listening to your page should hardly remember that a graphic image is there.
Please keep in mind that using an alt attribute for every image is required to meet the minimum WAI requirements, which are used as the benchmark for accessibility laws in UK and the remainder of Europe. They are also required to meet "Section 508" accessibility requirements in america.
It is useful to categorize non-text content into three levels:
Content and Function
Eye-Candy are stuff that serve no purpose apart from to create a site visually appealing/attractive and (oftentimes) fulfill the marketing departments. There is no content value (though there may be value to some sighted user).
Never alt-ify eye-candy unless there is something there which will boost the usability of the site for somebody utilizing a non-visual user agent. Make use of a null alt attribute or background images in CSS for eye-candy.
This is actually the middle layer of graphics which might serve to set the mood or set happens as it were. These graphics are not direct content and could not be considered essential, but they're important in that they help frame what's going on.
Attempt to alt-ify the 2nd group as makes sense and it is relevant. There might be instances when doing this may be annoying or detrimental to other users. Then try to avoid it.
For instance; Alt text that's identical to adjacent text is unnecessary, as well as an irritant to screen reader users. I recommend alt="" or background CSS images in such cases. But sometimes, it's important to get this content inside for all users.
Usually it depends on context. Exactly the same image inside a different context may require drastically different alt text. Obviously, content ought to always be fully available. How you use this example is really a judgment call.
III. Content and Function
This is where the look may be the actual content. Always alt-ify content and functional images. Title and long description attributes can also be in order.
The main reason many authors can't figure out why their alt text isn't working is that they don't know why the images exist. You have to figured out exactly what function an image serves. Think about what it's concerning the image that's vital that you the page's intended audience.
Every graphic includes a reason for standing on that page: since it either improves the theme/ mood/ atmosphere or it is critical to what are the page is attempting to describe. Understanding what the image is perfect for makes alt text simpler to write. And exercise writing them definitely helps.
A method to check the usefulness of alternative text would be to imagine reading the page on the phone to someone. What would you say when encountering a specific image to make the page understandable towards the listener?
Aside from the alt attribute you have a couple more tools at your disposal for images.
First, in level of descriptiveness title is in between alt and longdesc. It adds useful information and can add flavor. The title attribute is optionally rendered by the user agent. Remember they're invisible and never shown as a "tooltip" when focus is received via the keyboard. (A lot for device independence). So make use of the title attribute just for advisory information.
Second, the longdesc attribute points to the Link to a full description of the image. If the information found in a picture is essential to the concept of the page (i.e. some important content would be lost if the image was removed), an extended description compared to "alt" attribute can reasonably display ought to be used. It can offer rich, expressive documentation of the visual image.
It should be used when alt and title are insufficient to embody the visual qualities of the image. As Clark  states, "A longdesc is really a long description of the image...The goal is to use any period of description necessary to impart the facts of the graphic.
It wouldn't be remiss to hope that a long description conjures a picture - the look - in the mind's eye, an analogy that is true even for that totally blind."
Even though alt attribute is mandatory for web accessibility and for valid (X)HTML, not all images need alternative text, long descriptions, or titles.
In many cases, you're best just choosing your gut instinct -- if it's not essential to incorporate it, and if you don't have a strong urge to do it, don't include that longdesc.
However, if it's necessary for the whole page to operate, then you've to include the alt text (or title or longdesc).
What's necessary and what's not depends a great deal about the function of the image and it is context about the page.
The same image may require alt text (or title or longdesc) in a single spot, but not in another. If the image provides absolutely no content or functional information alt="" or background CSS images may be appropriate to make use of. But if the image provides content or adds functional information an alt will be required and maybe a long description will be in order. In many cases this type of thing is a judgement call.
Image Seo optimization Tips
Listed here are key stages in optimizing images:
Choose a logical file name that reinforces the keywords. You should use hyphens within the file name to isolate the keyword, but avoid to exceeding two hyphens. Stay away from underscores as a word separator, like for example "brilliant-diamonds.jpg";
Label the file extension. For example, when the image internet search engine sees a ".jpg" (JPEG) file extension, it's likely to assume the file is a photo, and when it sees a ".gif" (GIF) file extension, it's going to assume that it is a graphic;
Ensure that the written text nearby the image that's highly relevant to that image.
Again, do not lose an excellent chance to help your site together with your images in search engines. Begin using these steps to rank better on all the engines and drive more traffic to your site TODAY.