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Monday, November 28, 2005

DIY Tip: What are Alt Tags used for?

Posted by @ 5:28 pm

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!

George Gavalas George started his career at ineedhits in 2003 as an SEO specialist and was promoted to SEO Services Team Leader in 2005. He is now responsible for driving ineedhits' product development initiatives and is also in charge of managing ineedhits' Easy Search Advertising pay-per-click service.

View George Gavalas's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

Only users of Internet Explorer will see the alt attribute of the img tag. Firefox and Opera both display the title attribute as per the W3C standards.

By Anonymous - December 5, 2005

At least
85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find
websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The
idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to
attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to
make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine
results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website.
That’s what search engine optimization is about.

You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available
online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher
rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make
some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite
rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your

The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at
the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase
search engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should
include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would
include your company name.

Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages
you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should
contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page
itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to
six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title
bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.

The next item to put under your microscope is your website content.
Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather
than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the
most important keywords – the words that potential customers will be
typing into search engines to find your site.

Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable
due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you
want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is
essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text,
meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.

Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a
factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings.
Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website.
Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to
from your links page.

If you visit Google and type in “link:” (without the quotations)
followed by your site address (no space after the colon), you will be
shown the sites that are linked to your site as per Google. Example Note that searching will
return different results than searching . To find
your site’s link popularity on other search engines search the phrase
“free link popularity check” and try one of the many link popularity
tools available on the Web.

If you find that there aren’t many sites linked to yours, or that the
sites that are linked have low search engine rankings, you need to
start promotion campaign. Filling blogs / wwwboards / message boards
with your articles and link is one of the best ways. It directs more
quality traffic to your website.

We automated this process – filling hundreds of blogs is like a one button click with our product – Blogs Auto Filler. There is a free trial version and the manual available at Use Blogs Auto Filler and save your time and money!

Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful
Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine
optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above,
and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore
this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher
your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed
your way.

By Anonymous - December 12, 2005

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