Spoiler alert — they certainly do.
First of all, in case you don’t know what Image Alt Text is – let us break it down for you.
Also called “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.
Probably, something like this –
Now that you know what Image Alt Text is, let’s come back to the main question. Why does it matter?
Adding ALT text to images is an important part of making your web pages accessible to both the visually impaired, who use assistive devices such as screen readers, and users that use non-graphical web browsers. In both cases, the user will obviously not be able to view the image. Instead their web browsing device will read/display the ALT text that is associated with the image. This is especially important if the image conveys information that is required for the user to fully understand the information on the web page.
It also affects your SEO ranking! ( You : “What? Really? How?”)
Well, search engines cannot cognitively understand visual elements. So they need a bit of human guidance to understand those elements, properly index them, and display them in relevant search results. This means that without alt text for images, search engines wouldn’t be able to understand the images on your page. Also, they wouldn’t know when to display them in search results, meaning there’s no search engine visibility for those images.
So, If you want your images to be visible in specific search results, all you need to do is include the target keyword in your alt text and voila!
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