The Whys And Hows Of Polishing Your Alt Text for SEO

The Whys And Hows Of Polishing Your Alt Text for SEO

Updated on: 25 July 2023

The Whys And Hows Of Polishing Your Alt Text for SEO

According to Google, alt text is an important ranking factor for SEO. This is no surprise seeing as the increasing popularity of visual search means describing the images on your website for web crawlers is no longer optional but a necessity. But beyond attaching short descriptions for images, how else can you improve your alt texts?

Fortunately, alt text benefits from having a proper strategy (just like any other part of your SEO) and should prioritize not just making them more effective but also leveraging automation to give you more time to focus on the higher-level aspects of your digital marketing in the Malaysia. Before getting into brass tacks on tips for coming up with such a strategy that works for you, let us first go into a bit more detail into the basics of alt text.

Understanding Alt Text

Alt text is essentially a part of HTML that describes an image. Search engines use this text to comprehend a page’s contents and how to index it, while screen readers need it to assist those with vision impairments to have a better experience on the web.

As such, neglecting to put alt text on images is bad. Any relevant text is better than nothing, but if you have SEO in mind, you must optimize your alt text to boost your rankings. If you host many images on your site, spending hours of manual typing can seem daunting. Here are a few tips to make the endeavor more streamlined.

1. Prioritize key images when adding or updating alt text

Since adding alt text can be a chore and take away your attention from more pressing matters, prioritizing what matters most is important to make things easier for yourself. This means manually adding text to your site’s most-visited pages and using automation and AI-based tools to add or update the rest.

Such a hybrid approach allows for the quickest way of adding alt text to all your images as it combines the best of both worlds. By delegating the simpler images to automation, you can spend more time polishing the images that need a human touch.

2. Use alt text to provide keywords and context for your images

Manual intervention is still necessary when adding alt text because it is not enough to simply describe what is in an image with the help of tools. You must also provide context to your image with as much specificity so that Google will better understand what you are offering.

For example, let us say your products or services involve hot air balloons. Automation tools may simply enter “hot air balloon” for most of your images, but that does not tell Google much about what your site is about since it is a generic alt text. Instead, adding labels like “hot air balloon ride” or “hot air balloon supplies for sale” with additional information from your page reinforces what you offer and lets Google know which audience to show your content to. This is also where keywords come into play, so make sure to include some in your alt text.

3. Avoid keyword stuffing your alt text

In the previous section, we mentioned that keywords also come into play in alt text, but it is important to include them judiciously. Keyword stuffing does more harm than good as it creates a bad user experience and even comes off as spammy to Google and other search engines. Prioritize grammar and readability free from fluff and tap into your inner poet to weave your keywords naturally into the text. Ideally, limit yourself to one or two keywords per label and avoid forcing more than that.

As a reminder, alt text is just one factor out of many when it comes to boosting your search ranking, and what matters more is creating accurate and coherent alt text to complement the quality and repute of your pages.

4. Your alt text does not always have to be perfect

In the realm of SEO, alt text is undoubtedly valuable real estate. Of course, you’d want to optimize profits on such real estate, but if you currently lack the bandwidth for it, it is better to just get something down rather than making the perfect alt text for every image.

If it is your first time adding alt text, remember the previous tip: any alt text is better than nothing. From an accessibility point of view, a lack of alt text leads to a terrible experience since screen readers can only read nonsensical filenames. On the SEO side, Google highly prioritizes accessibility, so any oversight like missing alt text may put your site at a disadvantage.


Every bit counts when it comes to SEO. Hence, making time for alt text, one of the most overlooked yet important components of SEO, is crucial to optimizing your site and gaining an edge over the competition. And according to the experts who provide SEO services, the more aligned you are in your keywords in backlinks, content, alt text, and other technical on-page components, the better your ranking potential becomes.