WineDirect Admin
January 4, 2008 | Site Design and Management | WineDirect Admin

Promote and make your site sticky with HTML ALT TEXT TAGS

Here is one simple tact that can improve your search engine ranking, make your site sticky, and increase the accessibility of your site to disabled visitors.

Yet, many sites don’t utilize it! Boost your site’s profile with human visitors and search engine spiders with the ALT tag (Alternative Text).

Inserting an ALT Text (Alternative Text)

Adding ALT descriptions to your IMG tags is quick and easy. You don’t have to do any complex HTML coding. If you can describe your image or link, then you can add ALT tags to your code.


Ideally, your ALT text descriptions should be complete sentences, rather than a list of keywords or obscure phrase like “company logo small 3.” Remember that all visitors are likely to see (or hear) some version of your ALT text so be sure that it’s meaningful for the image. I use “hear” since this HTML tag was developed for web browsers that read aloud the content of the website.

Optimize ALT Descriptions For Search Engines

Besides helping human visitors, ALT descriptions help you rank higher in some search engines. AltaVista and Google are two of the search engines that use

ALT descriptive text when they rank Web sites. The growth of search engine/directory partnerships means that a high rank in one engine can often translate into an improved rank on its partner sites.

Search engine algorithms calculate the number of times keywords are repeated and give higher rank to pages that use them often. Keywords in the ALT

descriptive text help you increase their frequency on the page. Search engines assume the terms are more relevant and important if they’re used in the page content, not just listed in the META tag.

Make Your Web Site Sticky

ALT tags help you promote your site in another way too: they help make it “sticky.” Sticky means that visitors stay at your site longer so they see your content and purchase your products. Visitors who feel comfortable at a site will stay longer - and hopefully return often.

Disabled visitors who use text-only or spoken word browsers rely on the ALT text for clues about the image’s content and function. This can be a lucrative audience: they represent a worldwide audience of millions and spend twice as much time online as the average user. But it isn’t just a disability issue: ALT tags make your site more accessible to everyone.

Visitors see your ALT text while the images are downloading or when they mouse over images. The descriptive text helps them decide if they want to wait for an image to download or move on to a different page. If your image is also a link, then visitors can read the explanatory text and quickly jump to the section they want.

Site navigation is easier, so impatient visitors are less likely to leave the site.

ALT tags are a small addition to your website that can make a big impact on your site. Since many of your competitors don’t use them, give your site and edge and include them on all images.


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