The Ultimate Guide to Image Alt Tags {with examples}


This post on the technical action items was supposed to be written on Tuesday. I tried really hard to keep to a Tues/Thurs posting schedule this week, and didn’t. Life happened this week. I have been live streaming each day over at Heart Centered Biz Bosses and that has taken up more time than I had planned.

I mentioned this ONLY because in the world of SEO (and business) consistency is something that is stressed over and over. And yes I agree it is. But I was off doing something really great that was also growing my business and I was also doing lots of family stuff because … September.  Something has to give. This week it was a blog post.  I am so fine with it.

Last week I set the baseline for the page rank for the keywords that I want Clapping Dog Media to be known for. Today, I am going to go over in detail the issues related to alt tags, here is the

The Ultimate Guide to Image Alt Tags

In general, Clapping Dog Media is well built and is very find-able. The issue is that my site is being found by the wrong people for the wrong keywords!” 

In another post I will do a deep dive into these technical biggies– these three things are super important for SEO, Clapping Dog Media is good to go for these.

  • XML Site Map
  • SEO Plugin (I like YOAST)
  • Having a Super Fast site, both desktop and mobile

Even though I do have the big stuff techy taken care of, there are several of on-page SEO techniques that I need to fix in order to improve my search page positions:

  • Image Names and Alt Tags
  • Title Issues GALORE
  • Headline Order and Wording
  • Meta Descriptions
How to write killer alt tags

These 4 things are fundamentals of On-Site SEO and will make a dramatic impact on my GOALS.  

When I was planning out this SEO Challenge, I had planned on making this technical baseline blog one looooonnnng post. I would do a deep dive of each technical faux pas and then I would move on to a new SEO hot topic in the next post.

Armed with a strong cup of coffee I started this approach but around word 3,000 I reconsidered. Instead, I am going to do a thorough analysis of each of these 4 topics in 4 different posts.

About Images and SEO

I am going to spend my time chatting about alt tags and how to write good ones, but before we get to the alt tags, I want to remind you that you have to optimize the images FIRST. Optimize or down size the images before you import them into your WordPress (or Squarespace) media gallery. Optimized images are smaller and make your site faster. Google is obsessed with speed. Images need to be 72dpi, when you import images from your DSLR camera or a stock photo site they are typically 300dpi so you need to compress the images. I suggest that you use either Photoshop, Lightroom or which is free to optimize your images.

Speaking of prepping images. You must name the filenames of your images using descriptive words related to the content of the image.  In other words, an image file called DSC43879.JPG or FINAL3.JPG means nothing to Google. Plus, descriptive file names help users who come across the image using Google image search. You are doing this stuff anyway, so just name the file something meaningful.

What is an Alt Tag

An alt tag or alt text is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element and it is the default description for a pinned image in Pinterest.

When Google discusses Alt Text they have a headline called, “Create great alt text” so when they tell us to write great alt text, I want to do it and teach my clients how to do it too.

How to write good alt tags

  • Each alt tag must contain your focus keyword for your post
  • Think of them like tweets, they should succinctly describe the image
  • Draft a unique, helpful alt tag for each image. Don’t duplicate alt tags.

Where do you write alt tags?

There are a couple of places within the WP Admin where you can insert the Alt tags, I typically add it when I am inserting the image into the page.

Where do you write alt tags

Examples of Good Alt Tags

Scenario 1:
This image is used in a blog post about goal setting, it is used to break up the text and to look pretty. The audience is creative entrepreneurs.

Business woman with long hair writing plans at her desk.

Good Alt Text:  Business woman with long hair writing plans at her desk.

Bad Alt Text:  Woman working.

The good example gives a true description of what is happening in the image. The bad example is too general, according to this study each image can have about 17 words for an alt text, this is an excellent opportunity to take advantage and use keywords.

Scenario 2:  
Professional headshot used throughout a website. The audience is current and potential clients.

A young creative professional at Clapping Dog Media she is laughing and wearing glasses.

Good Alt Text: A young creative professional at Clapping Dog Media, she is laughing and wearing glasses.

Bad Alt Text: Meg laughing.

Okay, I have one more example for you hopefully these examples help give you a understanding of how to write good image alt texts.

Scenario 3:
Blog post about weekend adventures. The feeling you want the audience to feel is fun and adventure.

A black and white dog with head out the window happily going on a drive.

Good Alt Text: A black and white dog with head out of the window happily going on a drive

Bad Alt Text: Dog in car.

Alrighty friends, so after I ran my SEO findability report, I discovered that I have nearly 134 images that need alt tags.

W.O. W.  I will say that I have a feeling that some of them may be left over images from demo content…at any rate this weekend I am going to dig in and figure it out. It is going to be awesome when I google and Clapping Dog Media is recognized as the go to SEO girl for SEO Tip and Tricks.

If YOU want to know how many images that you have that need optimized hit me up for a SEO Audit. 

2018-01-21T02:42:52+00:00 DIY SEO, SEO|2 Comments


  1. […] on Google for the keywords that I want to get ranked for. Last week, I wrote a lengthy post on Image Alt Tags it contained 1303 words, which right in the sweet spot of findable posts which is between 1000 and […]

  2. […] and stick to it. Use the keyword in the Title, the main headline, within the content, within image alt tags, and meta […]

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