Semalt Describes Principle Difference Between Image Title And Image Alt Text

Using images in website content has become the norm for serious webmasters. But as far as images and their optimization are concerned, there are questions that many of these webmasters keep asking in forums. One of the most frequently asked questions is: What is the difference between image alt text and image title? And must they always be different? Let's get clear on what alt text and title really are.

Image alt text (alternate text) is a crucial attribute of the image that's usually added to the image tag in HTML. In case an image cannot be displayed, its alt text appears, and this helps search engines to know what the image is about.

On the other hand, image title provides a title for an image. It is also added to the image tag in HTML and pops up when the user moves the mouse pointer over the image. Unlike image alt text, an image title is not shown when the image cannot be displayed.

Jason Adler, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, says that both attributes are used to improve the accessibility of a site especially for users who use screen reader devices or have poor vision.

How can you optimize image alt text and image title?

Since the main purpose of alt text is to describe the image for screen readers and search engines, it's important that every image included in content has this attribute. An image's alt text should be short but as descriptive as possible. It'd be excellent to use one or several target keywords in an image's alt text. This helps to rank the image better during an image search as well as improve the site's ranking. Avoid characters or texts that may make the alt text look spammy or are of no value to the reader.

Optimizing image title

It's good to remember that while alt text is for search engines, an image title is solely for humans. The title tag can be phrased as a call to action that encourages a reader to certain actions. It also needs to be concise, direct to the point, and highly descriptive of the image.

Generally, the image title follows the same rules as those of an article headline or post title. It should be relevant and catchy. The use of keywords is encouraged, but it is recommended that they are different from the ones you've used in the alt text.

Should you prioritize optimizing image alt text or image title

If you want to improve the site's ranking on SERPs, you would obviously choose to optimize the alt text as it is designed for search engine crawlers.

Image title does not affect the site's ranking in any direct way but this is not to mean that image titles are less important. A title that is properly set improves the user experience. Creating a title for the image is very simple once you have your alt text – just write something complementing the alt text and use it as the title.

Failing to label your images is a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, there are many bloggers and other webmasters who just add images into their content and leave it at that. They don't know how badly this mistake affects user experience and the site's ranking. Now you know the difference between image title and alt text and how to use them to improve your site.