SEO Optimization images is becoming more and more essential in SEO (Seo optimization) for websites. The ALT attribute is a critical step that is sometimes forgotten. This is often a lost chance of better rankings.
In Google's webmaster guidelines, they advise the use of alternative text for that images in your site:
Images:. Make use of the alt attribute to provide descriptive text. Additionally, we recommend utilizing a human-readable caption and descriptive text round 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 begin to see the images.
Many webmasters and inexperienced or unethical SEOs abuse the use of this attribute, attempting to stuff it with keywords, hoping to achieve a particular keyword density, which is not as relevant for rankings now since it was previously.
On the contrary, high keyword density can, on some search engines, trigger spam filters, which might result in a penalty for your site's ranking. Even without such a penalty, your site's rankings will not take advantage of this plan.
This process also puts persons who use screen readers at a greater disadvantage. Screen readers are software-based tools that actually read aloud the contents of what's shown on the screen. In browsing the net, the alt attributes of images are read aloud too.
Imagine listening to a paragraph of text which is then repetitions of many keywords. The page will be not even close to accessible, and, to put it mildly, will be found quite annoying.
What is an Alt attribute?
An ALT attribute should not be used as a description or a label to have an image, though lots of people use it in that fashion. Although it might seem natural to assume that alternate text is a label or perhaps a description, it's not!
What used inside 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 thing is to provide the same functional information that a visual user would see. The alt attribute text should be the "stand in" in the event that the look is unavailable. Think about this question: Should you replace the image using the text, would most users get the same basic information, and wouldn't it create the same response?
Some SEO Optimization Tips
If a search button is a magnifying glass or binoculars its alt text ought to be 'search' or 'find' not 'magnifying glass' or 'binoculars'.
If an image is supposed to convey the literal contents of the image, a description is appropriate.
If it's meant to convey data, then that information is what's appropriate.
If it's meant to convey using a function, then your function 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 merely a decorative role in the page, use an empty alt (i.e. alt="") or perhaps a CSS background image so that reading browsers do not bother users by uttering things like "spacer image".
Remember that it is the function of the image we are attempting to convey. For example; any button images should not range from the word "button" within the alt text. They ought to emphasize the action performed by the button.
Alt text should be determined by context. Exactly the same image in a different context may require drastically different alt text.
Attempt to flow alt text with the rest of the text because that is how it is going to be read with adaptive technologies like screen readers. Someone hearing your page should hardly be aware that a graphic image can there be.
Please keep in mind that utilizing an alt attribute for every image is required to meet the minimum WAI requirements, that are used since the benchmark for accessibility laws in UK and the rest of Europe. They are also necessary to meet "Section 508" accessibility requirements in the US.
It is important to categorize non-text content into three levels:
Content and Function
Eye-Candy are things that serve no purpose apart from to create a site visually appealing/attractive and (in many cases) satisfy the marketing departments. There isn't any content value (though there might be value to some sighted user).
Never alt-ify eye-candy unless there is something there which will enhance the usability of the site for somebody using 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 may actually set the atmosphere or set the stage so to speak. These graphics are not direct content and may 't be considered essential, but they are essential in that they help frame what's going on.
Try to alt-ify the 2nd group as makes sense and is relevant. There might be instances when doing this might be annoying or detrimental with other users. Then avoid it.
For instance; Alt text that is identical to adjacent text is unnecessary, and an irritant to screen reader users. I recommend alt="" or background CSS images in such cases. But sometimes, it's vital that you understand this content in there for all users.
Most times it depends on context. The same image in a different context may require drastically different alt text. Obviously, content should always be fully available. The way you use this case is really a judgment call.
III. Content and Function
This is where the look is 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 pictures exist. You need to determined precisely what function an image serves. Consider what it is concerning the image that's vital that you the page's intended audience.
Every graphic includes a reason behind being on that page: since it either enhances the theme/ mood/ atmosphere or it is advisable to what are the page is attempting to explain. Understanding what the look is perfect for makes alt text easier to write. And practice writing them definitely helps.
A way to look into the usefulness of alternative text is to imagine reading the page on the phone to someone. What would you say when encountering a particular image to make the page understandable towards the listener?
Aside from the alt attribute you have a couple more tools available for images.
First, in degree 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 like a "tooltip" when focus is received via the keyboard. (So much for device independence). So make use of the title attribute just for advisory information.
Second, the longdesc attribute points towards the URL of a full description of an image. When the information contained in an image is essential towards the concept of the page (i.e. some important content would be lost when the image was removed), an extended description than the "alt" attribute can reasonably display should be used. It may offer rich, expressive documentation of a visual image.
It ought to be used when alt and title are insufficient to embody the visual qualities of the image. As Clark  states, "A longdesc is a long description of the image...The aim is by using any length of description essential to impart the details 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."
Although the alt attribute is mandatory for web accessibility as well as for valid (X)HTML, not every images need alternative text, long descriptions, or titles.
Oftentimes, you're better off just choosing your gut instinct -- if it's not essential to include it, and if you don't possess a strong urge to get it done, don't add that longdesc.
However, if it's essential for the entire page to operate, then you have to add 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 need alt text (or title or longdesc) in one spot, although not in another. If the image provides absolutely no content or functional information alt="" or background CSS images might be appropriate to make use of. But if the image provides content or adds functional information an alt would be required and perhaps even a long description will be so as. Oftentimes this type of thing is really a judgement call.
Listed below 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. Avoid using underscores like a word separator, like for example "brilliant-diamonds.jpg";
Label the file extension. For example, if the image search engine sees a ".jpg" (JPEG) file extension, it's going to assume that the file is a photo, and when it sees a ".gif" (GIF) file extension, it's likely to assume that it is graphic;
Ensure that the written text at the image that's highly relevant to that image.
Again, do not lose a great opportunity to help your site with your images in search engines. Begin using these steps to position better on all of the engines and drive more traffic for your site TODAY.