Alternative Text and the Effect on SEO
Tagging every image on a site with an alternate image text tag is very important to SEO. This is because the search engines cannot understand an image on a webpage without text that tells it what that image is specifically. Therefore, these images affect rankings and keyword density.
Images are everywhere on the internet and the use of images is commonplace. The axiom of “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. A picture can illustrate a point better than any amount of words because the user can look at the picture and understand what is happening instead of trying to picture it in their own head. There is a lot of detail that can be lost in translation between a group of words and the picture that the user has in his or her own head.
The problem with this method is that the picture cannot be understood by the search engine. This means that the search engine will not be able to rank or understand the content. Therefore, it needs helps to understand what the picture is about in the first place. This is where alternate text helps a search engine determine relevance as it relates to a keyword.
The major factor this affects is keyword density. Even though most people do not take keyword density as seriously as in the past, it is still a key element in deciding how to rank a web page in the SERPs. If nothing else, the search engines look at keyword density to determine if the text is spammy in nature. Therefore, the search engines still look at this factor and give weight to this issue.
Alternative text does seem to help web pages rank higher in the SERPs when compared to those web pages that do not have alternate text associated with their images. Therefore, it is a very smart idea for the business to include alt text in their web site design plans. This alt text will help them rank higher in the search engines, which will ultimately lead to greater revenues over the course of the year.
In the internet marketing world, a small advantage built up over time adds up to a major advantage over time. This means that a person or business will develop an insurmountable advantage over their competitors when they focus their SEO efforts on the right things. Alt text may be one of the most overlooked parts of SEO. Therefore, a business can gain a lot of ground by doing the little things that other businesses just are not doing.