Lets first define what an alt tag is and where you can find them. Alt tags or alternative text are the small text boxes that appear when you hover your mouse over an image or button on a website. They contain descriptive information about that particular image or the destination of the button.
Look at the two examples below. On the left, the mouse is hovering over a button that links to a page described as Free SEO Tool in the alt tag.
Alt tags are mainly used by people who cannot see images on your website. Im sure you remember the dial-up age when websites took what seemed like forever to open, especially the ones with a lot of images. Some browsers had an option to turn images off. This allowed websites to open much faster. In place of the images were alt tags, describing the image that was suppose to be there. Of course dial-up modems have become out-dated and a thing of the past so why are we still using alt tags?
Alt tags are also used in major search engine algorithms. Search engine robots or spiders cannot read images; however they can and do read alt tags. Alt tags help search engines learn more about your website, especially those that lack a lot of content. If used correctly it will even help your website rank higher. Good and descriptive alternative text should be placed on all images, pictures and buttons according to the Design and Content Google Guidelines.
Alt Tag are also used by Google to classify and index the images from your web sites! Of course that is more important for an Desktop Wallpapers Site like anime wallpapers where you got thousands of pics. But even with smaller sites not related to pictures, it can reprensent a good amount of visitors!
Another good reason to use alt tags is accessibility. People with physical disabilities like the blind want to access your website. The buying power of the blind is in the billions and yes, they are frequent web surfers and home Workers!. However, instead of being able to read content on your website its read to them by the computer using a simple application. They cannot see images or buttons on websites so alt tags allow them to get a good description of the image or button. In country or provinces like In Quebec, Canada, this is a requirement form the government on regarding the big web site to make the sites accessible.
So make it a priority, make sure your web design firm uses good, descriptive alt tags on all of your images. A good way to test your website is to simply rollover all your images and look for alt tags. You can also use our Free SEO Tool to determine if youre missing any alt tags.