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Search Engine  Information > Techie Stuff > Don't Forget Your ALT Tag

Don't Forget Your ALT Tag : Search Engines Read Them

Updated April 2004

When you hear people speak of HTML tags you need for search engine rankings, they usually talk about keywords (which have very little importance), titles and descriptions. You don't often hear about the ALT Tag.

An ALT Tag is "alternative" text for the graphics on your web page. For example, if graphics were turned off on your browser, an image WITHOUT an ALT Tag would look like this:


If graphics were turned off on your browser, an image WITH an ALT Tag would look like this:

X   work at home mom

The ALT Tag serves a number of purposes:

1. In the interest of speedy loading of pages, some of your visitors may have graphics turned off. Without ALT Tags, your visitor will not know what she is missing and the information on your page may not make sense.

2. Text-based browsers, such as Lynx, do not show graphics. You need to provide the full "picture" to your visitors.

3. ALT Tags make your site more accessible to people with special needs. For example, a visually impaired person accessing your site with an audio-based browser, would not be provided with the information on your graphics without ALT Tags.

4. This Tag may increase your rankings on important web crawling search engines. Google and other search engines index ALT Tags.

5. In addition to showing when graphics are turned off, your ALT Tags appear as mouse-overs (for Explorer users) when a visitor moves their mouse over the graphic. This can give extra information to your visitors.

When creating your ALT Tags, keep the following points in mind:

1. Keep it simple: Some browsers will show the ALT text in one long line and not wrap the text. Also, you don't want to overwhelm your visitor with an abundance of text.

2. Make sure your ALT text is meaningful: It should provide enough information for the web page visitor to determine what they are missing if they cannot see the graphic. Don't just list a bunch of keywords.

3. That said, since ALT tags can improve your ranking on some search engines, do include relevant keywords in your tags.

4. If the image is decorative (i.e. divider lines, bullets, etc.), you do not need to provide an ALT tag.

And the HTML code is:
<IMG SRC="URL" ALT="Insert your Alternative Text Here">

What Are You Waiting For?

ALT Tags provide the ultimate in web page customer service. They help ensure all visitor's to your site are able to make sense of your content. With the added benefit of being indexed by important search engines, they are essential to your web page content.


More Search Engine Information: Highly Recommended! 

Check > John Reese's Traffic Secrets 2.0 course is a must have for anyone serious about driving traffic to their website.  Learn more about this fantastic resource by clicking here.







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