SEO 101: Image Names and Alt Tags

Visuals

September 13, 2020

Are you looking for an easy place to get started with SEO? Search no more, Image Names and Alt Tags are it. And the good news is anyone can do this, no special skills are required. Here is a little context. Both image names and alt tags are underused SEO tools! Not only do they provide web accessibility to the visually impaired, they also improve search engine rankings for your website because alt tags provide better image/context/descriptions to search engine crawlers. This helps them index the image properly. This is double good news! Web accessibility for the visually impaired AND good for search engine ranking.

How to Use Image Names and Alt Tags

Did you know that if I don’t change the name of the image file before you upload it for online use (which is what most of us do, most of the time) it will be “seen” as the number assigned it by the image source? Which means it will be invisible. Search engine crawlers have no idea what to do with IMG_20201001_082612705. On the other hand, the image name “SEO 101 dog wearing red glasses while driving car” gives the web crawler something to index. After uploading the image and locating the place to insert an “Alt Tag” or “Alt Description,” insert the same text.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR ASSIGNING NAMES

  • I could have used the word “dog” for the file name and alt tag. While not inaccurate, it doesn’t provide any context. It could any dog, anywhere, doing anything and doesn’t tie to my post.
  • I could use “dog in car.” While improved by the addition of a little more description and intrigue, it still doesn’t include any real context or tie to this post.
  • I named the image “SEO 101 dog wearing red glasses while driving car” because:
  • it’s an accurate visual description

  • it’s an acceptable length for an alt tag

  • it includes the search term I want this post to rank for (SEO)

  • it demonstrates how SEO optimization can be fun!

REMEMBER: Assigning IMAGE NAMES AND Alt tags can be a blast!

Check out these links to learn more about Image Names and Alt tags: https://yoast.com/academy/all-around-seo-training/image-alt-attributes/ and https://yoast.com/image-seo/