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How to Win the SEO Game: Alt Tags

Have you really looked at web pages? Do you notice the images? Do you notice the image titles? Images play a big part in website content; websites haven’t relied on text to get their messages across since the Internet went graphical. Images – pictures, cartoons, clip art, and animation – are used to make a website more visually appealing. The meat of your site may be in the text, but the images will catch the surfing user’s eye and draw him or her into your site. Once they’re there, your content will keep them there.

How to Win the SEO Game: Alt Tags


Images on a website are inserted into the content after being converted to the proper digital format. Images on the web are usually converted to .tif, .gif or .jpeg format. Files from graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop may be in .pnc formats. These image files are inserted into a page as it is constructed, in whatever editor the web builder chooses to use. In placing images, the option for titling the images is given via the HTML Alt tag.


HTML, or HyperTensive Markup Language, is the language used to create web pages. Whatever program you use to build your page, the software will output HTML.

HTML uses tags to delineate the code in a web page. The H1 tag, for instance, indicates the text between the

tags is a header, and the number one indicates it is the primary header. HTML is made up of tags and attributes, used to code the structure of a web page. Refer to an HTML text for a more in-depth discussion of HTML structures.

Alt Tags

The Alt attribute, or tag, is used to give a description of an image; this image can be read before the image is loaded, or it can be read by alternative devices used by visually impaired users. As search engines can only read text, Alt tags allow search engines to include hits on images in their results.

The text used in Alt tags is important; a meaningful text can get your site included in the results pool, whereas a description such as pic0001a.jpg will not. If your images reflect your keywords, by all means include the keywords in a description for the search engines to locate.

Alt tags should be used in any properly coded web page; if your developer doesn’t use the Alt tag, consider finding one who does, or putting them in yourself.

Winning the SEO game is dependent on you structuring your pages for easy location by the search engine algorithms. To do this, you must take advantage of every opportunity to engender a hit, and this includes using the Alt tag. Most web builders don’t give a second thought to images inserted into a page; while this is understandable in some ways, it does cut out a chance to be included in the results pool of a query. When hiring a web developer, be sure you emphasize the importance of SEO hits, and specifically mention proper alt tag usage. This means coming up with the descriptions you want when you select the images to be inserted, instead of leaving it up to the builder.

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