Uploading images to your Media Library is a straightforward task. After a few clicks you're done. In some instances though this process is incomplete.

Why? Because the ‘Alt’ text and ‘Title’ text haven't been assigned to the image.

So what are the 'Alt' text and 'Title' text, and what's the difference between them?

What is the image 'Alt' text?

'Alt' is short for 'Alternative'. The 'Alt' text or ‘Alt’ tag/attribute provides the image's description to “alternative” sources.

Its primary purpose is to do with accessibility. W3C accessibility guidelines state: “Alternative' text is to make images more accessible to the blind or visually impaired who use screen readers.”

The image description is fed through an audio-based prompt. Via a screen reader it informs blind/visually impaired visitors what the image is.

The 'Alt' text has another purpose too. We've all experienced visiting a web page with broken images i.e. images not being rendered. The assigned alternative description is what is displayed when images aren't rendering or configured in the browser to not be displayed.

Image 'Alt' text and SEO

The 'Alt' text does also play a role in search engine optimisation. When adding alternative text ensure you include target keywords in the ‘Alt’ text.

Google's crawlers can't crawl image content in any depth like they do with text. The 'Alt' field is read by Google so it understands what the image is about.

If there's an empty ‘Alt’ attribute Google interprets this as an empty image. In addition, if the image has a link, Google could use the ‘alternative' text as anchor text.

In essence, populating the alternative text field adds more context to web content and influences SEO.

Enjoying this article? Sign up to our newsletter

What is the image 'Title' field?

The 'Title' field or ‘Title’ attribute is used to provide additional information about the image. Although it isn't used for search ranking, it is good to get into the habit of populating the field.

What to think about when uploading images and populating 'Alt’ and 'Title' fields

When optimising images and adding 'Alt’ and 'Title' fields, you should consider:

  • The size of the image 
  • Avoiding keyword stuffing 
  • How will populating image fields help visitors to the website?
  • Does it satisfy user intent?
  • Will it improve the user experience?

At Codehouse we help our customers get the very best from website optimisation. Our SEO service is based on three key phases:

If you want to find out more about getting the best from your website, get in touch.