How to Put Your Image ALT Tags to Work in WordPress
November 17. 2019
Have you ever heard the famous saying that ‘an image is worth more than a thousand words?’ Adding carefully selected images in your posts and pages will make your content more readable, which will please your readers, which will make them linger longer on your website – you get the gist. Today, we won’t deal whether it’s better to use free online images or input authentic photos. No – today, we deal with the notion of ALT tags and how they help your WordPress website. If you have no idea of all the benefits that will ensue once you put your image ALT tags to work, all you have to do is read on. We have all the details on the subject!
A brief lesson on ALT tags
An ALT tag, which is otherwise known as an ALT text, has nothing to do with tags. It’s a text that closely describes what’s on the image as well as states its function. Used by screen readers, which is a programme that is used by blind and visually impaired people, ALT tags serve as their pair of ears by reading to them what’s on the image. Our WordPress experts find this to be the main purpose behind ALT tags.
That being said, not every image is required to contain an ALT tag. Although if you are not using them, you are most likely doing something wrong. Not only have ALT tags earned their place by helping visually-impaired people, but they also come with one very important benefit for your website. Namely, they hold an important position when it comes to the SEO of your website. If you can’t find any other reason to put your ALT tags to work on your WordPress website, the aforementioned SEO advantage should be enough to persuade you.
Put your image ALT tags to work with SEO in mind
Google’s advice is to ‘use descriptive alt text’ and we couldn’t agree more. That’s because Google itself places a high value on the ALT tags to determine what is one the image, as well as how well that image fits in with the surrounding. Have you ever used the Yoast SEO plugin? If you have, then you must have noticed a feature that warns you about the relevancy of your ALT text. Namely, if you have not used a keyword in the ALT text of any of your images, you will be warned by the plugin.
Now, all of this doesn’t mean that you have to go crazy with your keywords in ALT tags in order to boost the SEO of your website. But it does mean that you need to use relevant images that will allow for natural placement of the keyword in your ALT text. Should you stuff your ALT text with out-of-context keywords, you will receive a backlash from your viewers and your site might even be seen as spam.
The ideal way of inserting ALT tags in your images
If you were to choose to do this in an ideal way, then you would opt for manually inserting ALT tags in your images. Of course, that entails that you would have to come up with a unique and quality description for every image you upload. If you upload a lot of media files daily, it’s obvious how this practice could take up a lot of your time. Luckily, the manual input of ALT text is as easy as it gets. You already have a pre-dedicated field under your image where you will be asked to write ALT text.
However, the practice has shown that a lot of people might get lazy after doing this manually for a long period of time. Or their schedules might be getting busier and they might be out of time. Once that happens, you will be glad to know that WordPress has thought of everything! There is a plugin specifically designed for that – in fact, there are a couple of them.
ALT tags with the help of a plugin
If you are looking for the most automated way to tackle the problem of ALT tags, we advise you look into SEO Friendly Images plugin. However, you also have many other choices, only some of which include:
- Media Library ALT Fields
- Faster Image Insert
Is using automated SEO a good choice? It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly a good choice when you simply don’t have enough time. What these plugins will do for you is save you hours of manual optimization and effort. Once installed, these plugins will be active on all of your pages and posts. A good portion of them will be active both retroactively and in the future, but that’s something you will have to check for every plugin.
All in all, automated ALT tags are certainly much better than no tags. You might especially like these plugins if you have hundreds of images on published posts/pages that have no ALT text. Then you will be glad that these plugins can put your image ALT tags to work instead of you!
Spend your time working on ALT tags and you will be rewarded
And that reward will come from both your page/post readers and the search engine. Besides, having in mind that WordPress could be the best platform for SEO, inputting ALT text into your images is very easy. You already have a pre-designed field for it! Then again, if you wish to put your image ALT tags to work without having to use the manual approach, you can. All you have to do is search for an appropriate plugin and all the work will be done for you. Sure enough, the world of WordPress seems to be getting more amazing by the minute!