Why Add Alt Text To Images? Is It Really That Important For SEO?

When it comes to populating your website with imagery, there’s much more that goes into it than meets the eye. It’s not enough to pick powerful pictures that fit the theme of your website; they need to add value, they’ve got to be sized accordingly, compressed for optimal performance, and more. In this article however, we’re going to focus specifically on image alt text.

Why add alt text to imagery? Is it really that important for SEO? If you’re unsure, stick around and we’ll tell you what you need to know…

What is meant by ‘image alt text’?

Alt text / description is the written copy that will appear in place of an image on a website if the image fails to load for whatever reason.

Why should you add alt text to your images?

Image alt text is important for three key reasons:

  • Accessibility.
  • User experience.
  • Image traffic.

When you better understand these key factors, writing effective alt text to compliment your imagery becomes much easier. But why bother? And how does it impact your SEO?


First of all, adding alt text to your imagery makes your website that little bit more accessible to users with various disabilities, particularly visual impairment. For example, if a user has screen reading software to help them absorb the information on a web page, they can understand the context of the imagery without being able to see the image itself.

Without image alt text, any users with visual impairments will not benefit from the images at all. Of course, if you have selected imagery with very little forethought, then this won’t be the end of the world. However, if each image on your web page is designed to serve a specific function and add value to the overall user experience, alt text is essential to include everyone.

Accessibility is trending in SEO in 2023, so make sure you pull out all the stops!

User experience

If a website visitor has an especially poor connection, the imagery on your website might not load for them. Fortunately, with image alt text replacing the imagery, your users will still be able to understand what the image was meant to convey.

This is especially important for images on product pages that accurately convey what the products look like. Having a detailed description can be the difference between a conversion and an abandoned cart.

Image traffic

Without image alt text, Google can’t identify what the images on your website are or what they represent. Additionally, they won’t feature your images in Google Images as image packs.

Of course, if you take the time to write high-quality image alt text with the appropriate focus keyword, you’ll increase your chances of being featured in these image packs in organic SERPs (search engine results pages) – typically at the #1 slot.

Assuming the imagery is relevant, you’ll be able to attract more organic traffic to your website via image search, which can make a big difference.

Case and point: HubSpot implemented a new SEO strategy focusing on image optimization in 2018 that increased their blog’s image traffic by 799%!!! (over 160,000 organic views).

Conclusion: Utilise every feature at your disposal

In conclusion, there’s no good reason not to include image alt text on your website. Doing so will improve the UX, make your website more accessible, and please the search engine gods – all of which leads to more organic traffic on your website and (hopefully) an increase in conversions!

If you’ve no idea where to begin or simply don’t have time to commit to such tasks, this SEO consultant in Brisbane can easily accommodate your needs.

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