What Are Alt Tags and Why Are They Important?

When you upload images to your website, adding alt tags might seem like a small step, but it’s incredibly important for both accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO). Let’s break down what alt tags are, why they matter, and how to make sure your website is using them effectively.

What Are Alt Tags?

Alt tags, short for “alternative text,” are brief descriptions added to images in your website’s HTML code. These descriptions are not typically visible on the webpage but serve several crucial functions:

  • Text Descriptions for Images: They provide a text description for an image, which helps search engines understand what the image is about.
  • Visible to Screen Readers: Alt tags are read aloud by screen readers used by visually impaired users, making your website more accessible.

Why Are Alt Tags Important?

  1. Accessibility:
    • Help Visually Impaired Users: Alt tags enable users who are visually impaired to understand the content of images through screen readers.
    • Improve User Experience: By describing images, alt tags ensure all users can comprehend the visual content, even if they can’t see it.
  2. SEO Benefits:
    • Improve Search Rankings: Search engines like Google use alt tags to better understand the content of your images, which can improve your website’s ranking in search results.
    • Image Search: Properly described images can appear in image search results, driving additional traffic to your site.
  3. Content Loading Issues:
    • Fallback for Broken Images: If an image fails to load, the alt text is displayed instead, giving users context about what was supposed to be shown.

How to Write Good Alt Tags

Creating effective alt tags is straightforward:

  • Be Descriptive: Clearly describe what’s in the image. For example, instead of “dog,” use “golden retriever puppy playing in a park.”
  • Keep It Relevant: Ensure the description relates to the content of the page.
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Don’t cram keywords into the alt tag. Make it natural and informative.

How to Tell if Your Website Is Using Alt Tags

To ensure your website is using alt tags effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Inspecting Elements:
    • Right-Click on an Image: Right-click on an image on your website and select “Inspect” or “Inspect Element” from the context menu to open the browser’s developer tools.
    • Check the HTML Code: In the developer tools panel, look for the alt attribute within the <img> tag.
  2. Using Online Tools:
    • SEO Audit Tools: Use tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to scan your website and provide a report on the use of alt tags.
    • Accessibility Checkers: Tools like WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) can analyze your site and highlight images missing alt tags.
  3. Manual Review:
    • Content Management Systems (CMS): If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, check the media library. Each image should have an alt text field that you can fill in or review.

Understanding Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines when looking for information. Using relevant keywords in your alt tags helps search engines understand your content better and rank your site higher in search results. For a gym website, incorporating body-neutral fitness keywords can attract a wider audience and improve SEO.

Examples of SEO-friendly body-neutral fitness keywords:

  • Inclusive fitness routines
  • Body-positive workouts
  • Adaptive exercise programs
  • Non-judgmental fitness community
  • Accessible fitness classes

For more information on selecting the best keywords for your website, check out our full article on website keywords here.

Need Help? Contact Us!

If all this seems too complicated or time-consuming, don’t worry! We’re here to help. Reach out to us, and we can review your site in our free marketing review. Let us handle the technical details so you can focus on what you do best—running your gym!

By taking these steps, you can ensure your website uses alt tags effectively, enhancing both accessibility and SEO. This small but vital detail can make a big difference in how users and search engines interact with your site.

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Coach Stacy

Dedicated to empowering fitness professionals to thrive through authentic, inclusive strategies. Passionate about fostering trust, positivity, and profitability in the industry, we lead with purpose and integrity every step of the way.

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