The Alt tag is also known as the Alt attribute. It is used to mark images and graphics as such within an HTML document. In addition, you can tell the Googlebot what the image shows via the alt tag. This is also important in the course of an accessible website. The Alt attribute is not visible to the user, but is located in the source code. The abbreviation “Alt” stands for the word “Alternative”. The term attribute is known from grammar. It describes nouns more concretely. Equivalent is meanwhile also the common term “Alt-Tag”. The English “tag” means something like “marking” or “distinction”.
What does an alt tag look like?
The Alt attribute is stored in the HTML source code of your website. It is located in the image tags. At the beginning of the tag is “img scr”. This is the HTML command to access a defined location. This is followed by “/grafics/example.jpg”. This is the link to the folder where the graphic is stored. Then follows the alt attribute with “alt=your description”.
What is the Alt attribute needed for?
The primary purpose of the attribute is to describe the image. The texts stored in the alt tag can be displayed alternatively to the graphic. If the image display does not load or function automatically for a user, the text stored in the alt tag is also displayed. Alt tags can also be used if there are server problems and graphics cannot be loaded completely or not at all. In addition, alt tags serve the accessibility of a website.
Why is the alt tag so important?
Especially with regard to the barrier-free design of websites, the attribute also plays an important role. The screen readers, which are often used by blind users, cannot interpret any image data. Instead of the graphic, the stored text is read aloud. A user with a handicap has the possibility to understand not only the text of your website, but also the image elements. In onpage optimization, the alt attribute is an important parameter for a good ranking, because the alt tag describes for the Googlebot what can be seen on the image. Search engine bots are now very sophisticated data collectors and artificial intelligences, but do not yet have sophisticated image recognition. Accordingly, they can mainly read texts that are found when crawling your website.
How long should the alt attribute be?
As a guide for the correct length, W3C gives a guideline of 75 to 100 characters. W3C is the abbreviation for the World Wide Web Consortium. The goal of this consortium is to standardize protocols and guidelines for the WWW. Techniques such as HTML, CSS and XML are the best known examples. It is therefore very difficult to give a concrete guideline. However, you should keep in mind that your description of the alt tag should be as short as possible and as long as necessary. Write your text as natural as possible to avoid keyword stuffingin your source code. Usually you intuitively include one or two of your keywords in the text. This gives the search engines similar to keyword-optimized texts already suitable clues and can result in better rankings in the Google image search.
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