Images are used for various purposes on the web. On a standard website, graphics are used for navigational buttons, bullet points, icons, text graphics or other ways to supplement the text. Most users of the web are able to understand and interpret images by looking at them but there are many users that are unable to view them. They are as follows:

HTML provides us with the image alt attribute to describe the image in readable text format. This helps to compensate for these situations where people or bots cannot interpret the image content. The following is an example of the image alt attribute:

 <img src=“rolexwatches.jpg” alt=“Rolex Watch Silver Black Dial”/>

Image alt attribute is certainly significant for SEO and usability. It serves the users mentioned above with enriched website usability and also returns images in relevant search results due to enhanced site SEO. The following is a screenshot from Google Image search for the keyword ‘watches for men’. These are images that have alt text containing the words ‘watches’ and ‘men’ in various combinations.

Demonstrating the Use of Image Alt Text with a Google Image Search

The following are some factors that help to optimize your images for usability and SEO.

Tips For Your Images:

Tips For Your Alt Text Content:

Proper usage:

<img src=“menswatches.jpg” alt=“Rolex Yacht Master watches for men”>

Average usage:

<img src=“menswatches.jpg” alt=“menswatches”>

Improper usage:

<img src=“menswatches.jpg” alt=“”>

Null alt text:

Use null alt attribute for bullets, icons and decorative images. Ideally you can include bullet and icon images in your site’s CSS, this will remove the need for alt description completely.

Tips for SEO:

It is always better to use alt attribute in all the above forms rather than not at all. Search engines can index your images much better with the alt attribute and you can gain search traffic to your site simply by assigning appropriate alt text to your images. By enhancing the usability of your site you enrich the user experience and that indirectly improves your site’s SEO. Thus, ultimately with the proper use of image alt attribute you positively affect search engine rankings of your site.