Have you ever come across a website and noticed when you place your mouse over an image some text appears? This text is called an alt tag (alternate text tag) and is meant to be used when the image is not visible on the page (if the user has turned images off in their browser) and to assist vision impaired Internet surfers using screen reading software. But did you know that search engines also use alt tags for rankings?
Search engine spiders cannot see what an image is about so they rely on alt tags to describe the image. Writing keyword enriched alt tags that are unique for each image is the key for successful search engine optimization.
Alt tags should not only state what the image is but as a whole should describe the image and make sure it is relevant to the page. An example of this is if you have an image of a Nokia cell phone on your site, instead of using an alt tag saying ‘phone.jpg’ add more meaning to it by writing ‘We have a wide range of Nokia cell phones and Nokia cell phone accessories for sale at discounted prices.’
While alt tags only take minutes to implement, making sure you’ve got a well-written, keyword-rich alt tag can be trickier than it sounds. However this could make the difference between users selecting your site over a competitor’s!