Alright, so you already know everything there is to know about web page optimization: you’ve got your keywords, your mobile site, your local citations, URL structure optimization…
But what about your image tagging and alt tags? Here’s the difference between the two, and the facts about which one matters more to SEO!
Image Title vs. Image Alt Text
You’ve probably encountered these two things before if you upload a lot of images to your website and blog, but one is more important than the other for search ranking (though they are both essential!!).
Image Title SEO
Image titles are basically just supplemental descriptions of your image. If you’ve ever rolled your mouse cursor over an image and held it there long enough (depending on your browser), you probably saw a little title box show up. That is the “image title.” This is typically the same as the image file’s name and should include a (as in ONE) key phrase from the pic in a coherent title.
Image Alt Tag
Ever go to a web page where the images didn’t load and you got the empty pixel landscape box instead?
When this happens, users see the “alt text” instead. This could happen if site visitors disable images for quick browsing, if your mobile site isn’t optimized, or if any kind of unforeseen image catastrophe happens. You want users to be captivated enough to want to see the image – so make it juicy, descriptive, and keyword (ONE!!) rich.
Tricked ya! They’re both important – in different ways. Alt tags matter more for general SEO in that they get picked up by search engine crawlers (according to Search Engine Journal).
Image titles, on the other hand, get picked up in image search engines (e.g. Google Images, according to DIY Themes). That’s a big-time search volume generator if you play your cards right!! If someone finds your image in GI, then clicks it, where do they end up? Your website!
People like to stuff these with keywords, but beware, Google will blackhat that if you’re loading a bunch of irrelevant phrases. Remember: keep it descriptive, keep it relevant. Google SEO isn’t what it used to be – keywords matter less than ever!
Personally, I love this SEO Friendly Images plugin from WordPress. It makes it super easy to tag and title all your images.
This FeedTheBot image SEO tool is pretty cool, too. Try it for a rundown of your image SEO savviness!
How do you use images for SEO? Share some tips in the comments!