Alt attribute

When “alt tag” is used, alt attribute is actually meant. So Alt tag is actually not the correct name. These terms are often confused. The correct term is thus alt attribute. Every image on the Internet must contain an alt attribute to be accessible. However, the alt attribute does not necessarily have to contain text. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that text be placed in the alt attribute. Using an alt attribute boosts your SEO. In this article, we tell you the reason why.

What is it?

The alt attribute is the HTML attribute used in Web pages to specify alternative text to be displayed when an image cannot be loaded. ‘Alt’, in fact, stands for alternate. Alt attributes allow Google’s crawlers to obtain more information about the content of the image. Visually impaired users also understand what the image is about through the alt attribute

What does an alt attribute look like?

An image consists of the following elements:

  • image name;
  • name of the folder containing the image;
  • the alt attribute;
  • possibly a title tag.

In HTML code, the alt attribute looks like this:

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It is important that the text in the alt attribute be descriptive in nature. After all, it is what Google uses to read your website. In addition, visually impaired users read the image this way. The purpose of the alt attribute is accessibility. Both for Google and visually impaired users. Google values the accessibility of a website. When the website is more accessible, the rating your site receives from Google increases.

Alt attribute | Glossary

Alt attribute and SEO

It is important for your SEO to put relevant keywords in the alt attribute. This ensures that the searcher finds the desired image when a search is conducted. Google can accurately read exactly what is seen in the image and therefore will consider the web page relevant to a searcher.

What needs to be taken care of is not cramming too many keywords within the alt attribute. Too many keywords has a negative effect on the visitor’s user experience. This should be avoided at all times. When a keyword is placed in the alt attribute, it must be relevant to the search query. When there is no relevance related to the search query, omit the keyword. Carefully put keywords in the alt attribute for this reason! This leads to a higher accessibility of your website. In addition, it leads to relevant visitors. This then has a positive effect on the overall ranking of your website.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Alt Attribute?

The alt attribute is an attribute within HTML that allows you to specify alternative text in web pages when a particular image will not load. Alt attributes also allow users but also search engine bots to read information about the image.

What is the impact of Alt Attribute on SEO?

For good SEO, it is important to include relevant keywords in the alt attribute. This allows Google’s Bots to properly read what exactly the image is about and will therefore see the page as relevant. Do limit this somewhat because too many keywords will again lead to a lesser user experience.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.