Why ALT tags are important for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Alt tags are important for SEO


In today’s digital world, where competition is fierce, establishing a robust online presence has become paramount for businesses and organisations. This necessitates the development of a well-crafted website that not only captivates visitors with its visual appeal but also ensures seamless functionality. However, a visually appealing website alone is insufficient. To drive substantial traffic and enhance visibility, it is crucial to optimise the website for search engines.

Search engine optimisation (SEO Services Australia) encompasses various strategies and techniques, one of which is the utilisation of ALT tags. ALT tags, or alternative text descriptions, play a vital role in SEO by providing contextual information about images or other media on a webpage. By incorporating descriptive ALT tags, businesses can enhance their website’s accessibility, improve user experience, and boost search engine rankings.

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the significance of ALT tags in SEO and explore how their proper implementation can contribute to the overall success of your online presence. So, let’s dive in and uncover the power of ALT tags in driving organic traffic and maximising your digital visibility!

What are ALT tags?

ALT tags, short for “alternative text”, are HTML attributes that provide textual descriptions of images on a web page. They were originally designed with website accessibility in mind, aiming to assist visually impaired users in understanding the content of an image through screen reader software.

Not only do ALT tags serve this important accessibility function, but they also have a significant impact on search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines rely on ALT tags to comprehend the subject matter of images on a web page, as they lack the ability to visually perceive images like humans do. By incorporating detailed and descriptive ALT tags, websites can enhance their chances of being accurately indexed and ranked by search engines, ultimately improving their overall online visibility and discoverability.

Why are ALT tags important for SEO?

  1. Improves website accessibility
    As mentioned earlier, ALT tags, also known as alternative text tags, were originally created to improve website accessibility for visually impaired users. By providing alternative text descriptions for images, those who cannot see the image can still understand its content and context. This means that individuals with visual impairments can have a more inclusive browsing experience and access the information conveyed by images on a website. ALT tags play a crucial role in ensuring equal access to content for all users, regardless of their visual abilities.
  2. Increases keyword relevance
    Incorporating relevant keywords in your ALT tags can significantly enhance your website’s keyword relevance. This practice is particularly crucial for image-heavy websites, as search engines rely on ALT tags to comprehend the content of the images and assign them appropriate rankings. By diligently optimising your ALT tags with carefully chosen keywords that accurately describe the visuals, you can effectively improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) and increase its visibility in relevant search results. This, in turn, can drive more organic traffic to your site and potentially boost its overall performance and success.
  3. Boosts image search rankings
    Having properly optimised ALT tags can significantly improve your website’s ranking in image searches. When search engines index the alternative text along with the image, it enhances the visibility of your website in visual searches, making it easier for users to discover and navigate your online presence. By incorporating descriptive and relevant ALT tags, you enhance the accessibility and relevance of your images, thereby increasing the likelihood of attracting more organic traffic and potential customers to your website. So don’t underestimate the power of well-crafted ALT tags in boosting your website’s visibility and overall search engine optimisation strategy.
  4. Prevents image-related errors
    If an image fails to load on a webpage, having an ALT tag in place will display the alternative text instead. This not only improves website accessibility but also prevents any potential “broken image” errors that could affect your website’s overall SEO. By providing descriptive alternative text, users with visual impairments can still understand the content and context of the image, enhancing their browsing experience. Additionally, search engines can better index and understand the image content, potentially improving your website’s visibility in search results.

How to write effective ALT tags

Now that we understand the importance of ALT tags for SEO, let’s discuss how to write effective ALT tags:

  1. Be descriptive and specific
    When writing ALT tags, it’s crucial to provide detailed and specific descriptions that accurately convey the content of the image. This enables search engines to better comprehend the context and enhances the relevance of keywords associated with the image. By including relevant details such as colors, shapes, and actions depicted in the image, you can further optimise the accessibility and search engine optimisation (SEO) of your website.
  2. Keep it concise
    When writing ALT tags, it is important to strike a balance between brevity and informativeness. While it is crucial to avoid long sentences or keyword stuffing that could lead to penalties from search engines, it is also beneficial to provide enough detail to accurately describe the image. By finding the right balance, you can ensure that your ALT tags effectively convey the content of the image to both users and search engines.
  3. Use keywords
    Incorporating relevant keywords in your ALT tags can greatly contribute to improving your website’s keyword relevance and subsequently boosting its ranking in both image and text-based searches. By providing descriptive and keyword-rich ALT tags for your images, search engines can better understand the context and content of your website, leading to increased visibility and organic traffic. This practice aligns with search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices and enhances the overall user experience by ensuring that your website is easily discoverable and accessible to a wider audience. So, don’t underestimate the power of optimising your ALT tags – it’s a small yet impactful step towards enhancing your website’s performance and driving meaningful engagement.
  4. Avoid using generic terms
    One important tip is to avoid using generic terms like “image” or “photo” when optimising for search engines. These terms lack meaningful information and may not contribute to improving search visibility. Instead, opt for descriptive words that accurately depict the content of the image. By doing so, you provide search engines with more context and enhance the chances of your images being discovered by relevant audiences. This can greatly benefit your overall SEO strategy and improve the visibility of your visual content online.


In conclusion, ALT tags play a pivotal role in search engine optimisation (SEO) by enhancing website accessibility, improving keyword relevance, and boosting image search rankings. By diligently following the aforementioned tips and recommendations, you can craft highly effective ALT tags that not only enhance the visibility of your website but also ensure accessibility for all users, including those with disabilities. So, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of ALT tags as they have the potential to make a significant impact on your website’s overall SEO performance and user experience.