When optimising your Wix website for search engines, one of the most frequently forgotten elements is ensuring accessibility for all web users. Your site could be losing out on a lot of traffic when you don't consider the accessibility of your website and content. An easy way to improve accessibility for your website is to add ALT text to images.
How does adding alt text to my images improve SEO?
Alt text is written within the source code of your website (HTML) and allows Google's algorithms to read your images and understand their content. Your images may not even show up in relevant searches for your target keywords without alt text.
In terms of accessibility, alt text provides descriptions for visual content on Wix websites, such as images or videos, to allow partially sighted and blind visitors to access your content on their devices.
Alt text also acts as 'backup information' that can be displayed on your website should visitors be unable to view any visual content. On the technical side of Wix SEO, the rankings of your site can be greatly affected by poor site speed, improper coding or any web page errors. These technical aspects are frequently crawled by Google's algorithms and will have a large impact on how high your site ranks in searches. Having alt text for your images and videos should they fail to load will assist in keeping your rankings high, as Google is able to guarantee that your content can be accessed in some manner by visitors.
How to add alt text to your images on Wix
When adding alt text to images on your website, you need to ensure you add alt text to ALL images. This includes any galleries and banners, not just content images found on web pages or blogs. Here are the steps to take to add alt text to each type of image format available on Wix:
Adding Alt Text to Individual Images
Click the image in your Editor.
Click the Settings icon.
Enter a description of the image under 'What's in the image?'
Adding Alt Text to Gallery Images
Click the gallery in your Editor.
Click Manage Media or Change Images.
Select a media file.
Type the title (alt text) and description on the right side.
Adding Alt Text to Strips
Click the strip.
Click Change Strip Background.
Scroll down to Image Text.
Enter the alt text under 'What's in the image'?
The strip image's name is for internal filing and organisation within your site. It does NOT act as alt text. Take the steps above to add alt text to strips.
Adding Alt Text to Vector Art
Click the vector art.
Click the Settings icon.
Enter the alt text under 'What's in the vector art'?
Which images should I add alt text to?
It is possible to add alt text to any image on your Wix site. This includes background images and images within other site content blocks, such as slideshows, hoverboxes, lightboxes and columns.
However, adding identical alt text to all images on the same page can cause competition amongst your images for results and can cause cannibalisation within your site's rankings. You don't want generic images to take precedence over relevant images that you want visitors to see. For this reason, although you need to add alt text to every image, you should only add keyword related alt text to the most relevant and valuable images that explain the context of your site best to Google's algorithms. In general, the best rule of thumb is to add alt text to icons and decorative background images stating exactly what the icon is. For example, if the icon is a tick, name the alt text as 'tick'.
How to write SEO-friendly alt text
There are four key steps to take to ensure you are writing relevant and helpful alt text:
1. Have clear SEO goals
One single image can rank for a multitude of things depending on your website's context. You need to figure out which images are the most important based on the objective of your website and business. Different site goals will result in different alt texts. For example, a tourism site will describe a scenic mountainside differently from a photography website. While tourist guides will prioritise the depicted image, photography guides will prioritise image quality and describing the clarity.
2. Use correct keywords
When performing keyword research, you will discover key terms and phrases that your target demographic will search for. The first step to good SEO is to utilise these keywords in a natural, fluid manner within your site content in order to rank and acquire this demographic, and this includes within your alt text. Pick relevant and specific keywords that you want your images to rank for, but beware of oversaturation. Each page on your website should be optimised for keywords that match the same intent. You would naturally add an image to a specific page which matches that page content. You then just need to use the alt text that matches what the image is about. You also need to keep a balance of keywords and original content, or you will risk being marked as spam. You also don't want to prioritise keywords over writing clear, concise descriptions that Google bots can understand.
3. Write accurate descriptions of the images
Alt text is not the place to write your novel. Cut to the chase and keep your descriptions as basic as your can, in accordance with your goals. This means using common and widely understood words rather than overly flowery or advanced language. Only use specific terminology if it is important to your SEO goals.
4. Prioritise brevity
Regarding accessibility, it will not help visitors to have overly long descriptions, especially if visitors are using screen readers. Keep your content consumable and easy to follow by prioritising brevity. The golden character number for an alt text description according to Wix is 125. Much like metadata, search engines prioritise direct descriptions and keywords due to being easier to display and read. Much like when using complex language, you risk confusing Google's algorithm by writing overly long descriptions, and your site may accidentally start ranking for keywords you don't want to target.