Infographics — images that are designed to condense and consolidate a bunch of complex information, and present that information in a fashion that makes it understandable by a variety of target audiences — have a variety of plusses, including, but not limited to, the following key ones:
- they tend to get shared by others, whether it be in a social media post or on a website, so they have a lot of potential to go viral
- they provide a vehicle for graphically/visually educating audiences on topics or concepts that may be hard to grasp when simply presented via text
The downside of infographics is when they are added to website pages without what’s known as “embedded text” or an “alt-tag,” they:
- aren’t accessible to those with vision impairments or learning disabilities who use a screen reader to crawl a site and read the text aloud to them
- can’t be crawled and indexed by search engines, so even though they may contain many high-volume search terms (keywords) for which you want target audiences to find your site, Google, Bing, and other search engines won’t know that the images contain those keywords or reward you from a search standpoint for using them
Spoon-feeding Google What It Needs to Index Your Infographic
Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to the infographic challenge described above. Regardless of what CMS (content management solution)/website platform your site resides on, your website solution should provide for the opportunity to enter an “alt-tag” or “image description” to describe to search engines or screen readers what an image is all about. This is an opportunity associated with all images used on your site, not just infographics.
How to Write an Effective Alt-tag for Website Images
So, what are some best practices for writing an alt-tag to accompany an image on your site? KEEP IN MIND THAT WITH ALT-TAGS YOU ARE BASICALLY DESCRIBING THE PICTURE TO GOOGLE’S AND OTHER SEARCH ENGINES’ SPIDERS/CRAWLERS WHO CAN’T SEE. Therefore, it’s important to adhere to the following:
- Keep the tag simple, clean, and authentic, plus descriptive. Imagine describing the image to someone who has their eyes closed.
- Don’t overstuff/use too many high-volume keywords. Google will ding you for that. Focus on one or two and only use them if you would fairly naturally use them in describing the image in-question.
- You don’t need to include the terms “image of” or “photo of” in your alt tag – just by the fact that Google is crawling an alt tag, it knows it’s related to an image or photo.
- Keep to 125 characters (including spaces) or less (you can use the “Word Count” function in MS Word to check for this.)
- In general, only include the name of your business if you are writing an alt-tag to go with your Logo artwork/image. If you were describing a picture to someone based on what you are seeing, unless the name of the company were in the image/photo, you would not know what organization was associated with the photo and wouldn’t naturally mention it. Exceptions to this might be a photo where you described a staff member of your organization and the alt tag included a phrase like “Gail Snow Moraski of Results Communications & Research donates a check to…”
The below image which is found in my blog post “Defining Your Differentiator With Detail” employs an alt-tag “a bunch of white balloons with one red balloon standing out and rising above the white ones.”
For more help on writing alt tags, visit https://www.cincopa.com/blog/the-dos-and-donts-of-writing-image-alt-tags/
An Additional Opportunity to Increase the Positive SEO Impact of an Image
When and where appropriate, consider hyperlinking your images, so that when a visitor clicks on the image, it will take them to another page on your site. Google rewards sites from an SEO standpoint that effectively use “internal links” to support a good user experience (note that user experience is expected to be a key component of Google’s search algorithm in 2021). That said, don’t “link” just for the sake of linking. Only include links when image clicks take site visitors to appropriate content.
Help Implementing The Above and Other Organic/Technical SEO Tactics
Our team is always here to either train your team on implementing organic SEO tactics, such as those that are the subject of this post, or implement such tactics on your organization’s behalf. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We adore a good SEO challenge!