Each web page is created using markup - code that is written in a specially provided language (most often this is HTML). The user’s browser, in turn, can read this code in order to properly display all the information that the creators of the resource wanted to convey to us. It turns out that all the elements of those that we see on the web page are provided by the source code of the site we visit.
As you can guess, each letter of this code, each character has a meaning. Also, interestingly, it sometimes happens that a site may not contain those elements that are extremely important for its optimization (meaning the correct resource setting for search engines). Among these subtle can be attributed, for example, the attribute ALT. It is on the pages of many resources, and very often we simply do not notice it.
In this article, we would like to pay attention to just this element of web design. Here we will explain why it is so important for the proper ranking of the site, the growth of its traffic and user convenience in working with it.
What is the ALT attribute ?
Let's start from the very beginning: we will describe what this article is about and why we need this attribute at all.
So, to understand this text, first of all, you need to understand the HTML markup language. This is the code on which basic web pages are written, which, as already noted, has the property of being displayed in the browser. The whole language consists of special attributes (for example, IMG, ALT, FONT, and so on). Each of them is responsible for working with a particular design element. In practice, the ALT attribute mentioned above is used for images that can be found on site pages. More specifically, with its help a description is created for the pictures, by which the user (visitor to the site) can easily and simply understand what is shown on them. Surely you yourself came across such descriptions - they arise when you hover the mouse over the picture.
Of course, these attributes are applied in practice for a reason. Webmasters need descriptions of their images no less than site visitors themselves (and most likely, even more). Indeed, if all the images lack the ALT attribute, a person may not even notice this if explanatory texts are added to the pictures on the page. On the other hand, search robots (with an empty ALT) may not highly appreciate the site, reduce its position in the search results and, thus, will not bring enough visitors. Therefore, we can confidently say that the descriptions of the pictures on the site also play an important role for the webmasters themselves, so they should not be neglected.
Search Engine Bonuses
To better understand the benefits of properly filled description tags for pictures, here is a small example. Let's say there is a site with images posted on it. If you do not register the ALT attribute, the user will not suffer, because in any case he will see what is shown in this or that photo. A completely different outcome awaits the owner of the resource, who will neglect the above tag, due to which it will lose some share of the traffic from the image catalogs, for example.
How to register the ALT attribute?
Technically, there is nothing difficult in filling out a description under a given picture . This is obvious: you need to go into the HTML editor on your website and find the image code (it starts with IMG and ends with it). Inside this block of code is code. This is what they mean when they say that you need to register the ALT attribute. This is done as follows: “alt =“ description ”.
If you do not work with clean code, but use some separate “engine” for a site (for example, Wordpress or Joomla), it integrates a special mechanism for adding “altos” through which our site will be remembered by search engines. If you fill out a new ALT, the update is on your page.
What do they write in the attribute?
Of course, when you have a task to register the ALT attribute, you are not thinking about the technical side. Most often, this question is asked if the webmaster does not know what information he needs to indicate about a particular image. Because of this, it is difficult to say what information will benefit the site in terms of search engines.
In practice, there are many approaches to solving the problem of description. Someone works with typical templates, according to which the tag is simply filled with the keywords under which the page is created. Perhaps this is the most common practice that can be found often. Sometimes, instead of looking for how to register the ALT attribute, the user simply leaves this place empty. It should be clarified that everyone independently decides what description to indicate.
At the same time, several basic rules (or, if you want, requirements) can be distinguished according to which everyone can put together the perfect attribute for their pictures. They consist of a small number of items, each of which relates to descriptions of photos and pictures on the site.
For example, the first such requirement is the length of the entire text. If you are looking for the ALT attribute, the solution is simple: use no more than 2-3 words. Text of this size will be, firstly, ideally read by a search robot (and make your site more relevant); secondly, such a description is more clear to the users themselves. Agree, read the whole sentence, if you just want to know what is shown in the picture, no one will. It is enough to briefly and accurately state the description, which will be useful to both you and the clients.
Do not forget about the semantic load. If you publish a photo with an elephant, be sure to describe its breed or history; specify why it is shown in this photo, what would you like to say. It will be useful for the visitor to know your thoughts regarding this elephant.
Another important point (which was established during numerous practical tests) is its uniqueness. If you are looking for how to register the ALT attribute to a picture, remember: it must be selected unique for each of the listed photos on the site. For example, publishing three pictures in a row with the signature “my elephant” will be wrong - this will only harm your resource in the search results. It is better to name the images “elephant 1” and “elephant 2”, which will make them more unique.
Finally, remember the parameters of the images themselves, to which you are looking for how to add the ALT attribute. For pictures, it is important to meet a number of criteria - to have not too small sizes, to look realistic. That is, if you specify a description, then do it for more serious images, which are taken into account more heavily. Do not specify the ALT attribute for any small smiles or anything like that.
Finally, we talked about the basics of an attribute, some rules for compiling it, and the requirements of both parties (both users and search robots) for them. Now let’s think: so how to look for keywords and phrases that we will register on our site? As noted above, the search should be directed towards ready-made keyword databases that can really start attracting customers to your site. Of course, this cannot be achieved if you still lack the ALT attribute. Take ready-made keywords and phrases that you use in the content, and insert into the pictures.
If you don’t have such information and you didn’t think at all about starting to spin up your resource little by little, we suggest you start looking for databases of such “keywords” with which you can easily create new sites. For this, services like the Google Keyword Extract Tool or Yandex.Wordstat, where search statistics for certain phrases are shown, are perfect. “Playing” with these settings, you can significantly expand the share of search traffic on your sites and thereby begin to derive new benefits. The main thing is that there is no situation in which all visible images lack the ALT attribute.
So what can we say about the attribute described in this article? It is part of the language in which the simplest sites are created - HTML. It is very simple to do this, since an elementary, basic language is described. In order to nevertheless register the tag in the pictures, you must independently design it through the source code. Or, using the new instructions, start filling out again. Be that as it may, the indication of ALT tags is that ideal case of mutual benefit when both the visitor and the owner of the resource are satisfied.
Indication of a tag can also lead to new visitors - this phenomenon is especially often observed on services such as Google and Yandex Images. When you click on a picture, the site independently determines the source from which the image was taken, and redirects the visitor. And this, as you know, is very important to be able to do in the future.