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Using your keyword in the alt text box

Ask Yoast: Using your keyword in the alt text box

At Yoast, we firmly believe that websites should be usable by everyone, including people with a visual impairment. The alt textbox plays an important part in this, as it clarifies the content of an image. Visitors of your site that use a screen reader can listen to the alt text read aloud, to better understand the value and function of the image. So, you should make sure that the alt text sufficiently describes the image.

Besides improving accessibility, the alt text also helps search engines determine what’s on the image, which influences how the image ranks. So, should you add your keyword or keyphrase in the alt text to improve your ranking? Let’s go into that for this week’s Ask Yoast!

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Stephen Stefanski emailed us his question:

Some people told me you should never put a keyword in the alt text box. I think I actually should. What do you advise?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Using your keyword in the alt text box

“Well, the alt text box is meant to say, “Hey, this is on this image”. And if you can describe that image using a keyword, then yes you should.

If you cannot describe the image using the keyword, then no, you should not. It’s that easy… Good luck.”

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Read more: ‘Image SEO: alt tag & title tag optimization’ »

22 Responses to Ask Yoast: Using your keyword in the alt text box

  1. dream-t
    By dream-t on 7 March, 2018

    Thank you for this very important information, great!

  2. Rahadian
    By Rahadian on 6 March, 2018

    This is true, I only put keywords on alt text box when the image is clearly define what is on the image.
    If it’s irrelevant, then I wouldn’t put any keyword on the alt text, just what the image is about.

    Thank you for this post, I totally agree.

    • Melina Reintjens
      By Melina Reintjens on 6 March, 2018

      Well said, Rahadian, you’re very right!

  3. Lucas Lopes
    By Lucas Lopes on 5 March, 2018

    Very good to learn from you. I have a blog and its tips have helped me a lot

  4. Deepak Bhardwaj
    By Deepak Bhardwaj on 5 March, 2018

    I was little confused on this but this short video removed this confusion. Thank you Team yoast.

    • Melina Reintjens
      By Melina Reintjens on 6 March, 2018

      Glad we could help, Deepak :-)

  5. Scleral
    By Scleral on 5 March, 2018

    Wow great video! Now i actually understand what ALT does and how to use it right.
    Will share it ! Thanks!

  6. Tech Blog
    By Tech Blog on 5 March, 2018

    Sounds amazing,
    It was a great video to make the content SEO more efficient in order to get desired SEO outcomes via content marketing. I was afraid to use them before but now i will surely use in all images.

    • Melina Reintjens
      By Melina Reintjens on 6 March, 2018

      Hi! Glad you liked the video! Just a tip: while you don’t have to be afraid to use your keywords in the alt text, you should make sure the text fits the image, and of course, don’t spam too many keywords in the alt text ;-) Stick to that and all will be well :-)

  7. Rahul
    By Rahul on 5 March, 2018

    Hey thank you very much for sharing this article and especially the video. I do not focus much on the alt text box but after watching the video i have realized its important. This article has been very benefitial.

  8. Gumtag
    By Gumtag on 4 March, 2018

    Great and amazing , thanks alot

  9. jerry
    By jerry on 4 March, 2018

    Very good and great post i am using my all sites on yoast seo plugin this is amazing plugin and i am reed all article on yoast plugin update Thank you

    • Melina Reintjens
      By Melina Reintjens on 6 March, 2018

      Thanks, Jerry, that’s lovely to hear :-)

  10. Sandeep
    By Sandeep on 4 March, 2018

    Your plugins toast SEO . It’s amazing .
    Yoast team

  11. Saheed Soneye
    By Saheed Soneye on 4 March, 2018

    I always use image alt text in my articles. I also like to include my keyword in the alt text.

    These will help users understand my content better and may help me rank higher also.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      By Willemien Hallebeek on 5 March, 2018

      For sure. Good luck, Saheed!

  12. Bimal pachhai chhetri
    By Bimal pachhai chhetri on 3 March, 2018

    I never missed yoast articles but i missed this one because i was busy now i am reading this😍😍

  13. Laurra
    By Laurra on 3 March, 2018

    Hahah cool video! :D

  14. Freddy G. Cabrera
    By Freddy G. Cabrera on 3 March, 2018

    Hey Joost!

    I always use Alt Images Text. It is helpful, as you’ve mentioned here. You are not only helping those people, but you are also helping your content rank higher because of this.

    I have not heard that advise to actually describe what’s on the image in the alt text. This is new advice to me. This is very interesting and helpful Thank you so much for sharing that!

    Best regards! :D

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      By Willemien Hallebeek on 5 March, 2018

      Glad you like our advice! Good luck with your website

  15. Laudine
    By Laudine on 2 March, 2018

    Very clear video! now, I understand why I always use the alt text.

  16. Laudine
    By Laudine on 2 March, 2018

    I always write an alt text, but did not know why. The video makes me understand it now!

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