The Differences between Image Alt Text vs Title

Siding with SEO content, image optimization is also taken into great account on every website. Google highlights images as a significant factor for website SEO. At the same time, images and photos are employed to bring tons of traffic to your site.

Frankly, not every site owners know how to correctly optimize their images and photos for search engines. Some even misunderstand the Image alt text and Titles. Both contribute to emphasizing the meaning of your images. However, each involves web accessibility, search engine optimization, and user experience in a different way.

Our article today centers on the differences between image Alt text and Title attributes. Then, we’ll show you the instruction to set up Alt and Title text in WordPress.

Let’s get the ball rolling!

Image Alt vs Title Text: Definitions and Differences

The title, as its name indicates, is a quick and catchy piece of text that users see when hovering over an image. It lets users know what the image is mainly about. Users can visually find this information right on the web page.

Alt text, on the other hand, aims to describe your image to an alternative source, such as screen readers and search engine crawlers. Your alt text should be short and descriptive while titles can be longer to effectively communicate with site visitors.

Here is the HTML image tag on your website, including the name, alt text, and title.

<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>.

As a matter of fact, image titles are not as important as alt text. They don’t serve search crawlers or contribute to SEO performance and ranking.

While people can view and understand your images without the title, search engines and blind people can’t do the same. If you don’t provide an alt text for these readers, they will just see an empty image.

This is a complete alt text of your site image.

 <img src="image_name_example.jpg" alt="image_alt_example" width="500" height="600">.

When to Use Image Alt vs Title

You need alt text for all images on your site, from a tiny icon file to huge web page photos. An image doesn’t have a chance to take a place on search result pages without alt text. Your page performance is also affected due to poor or lacking images and alt text.

You must attach target keywords in your alt text to boost the image ranking. At that time, Google will know where it should classify your images into.

In terms of titles, it’s not necessary to apply them for every one of your images unless they’re really a must-have.

The table below summarizes the main similarities and differences between image alt text and title.

Alt Text

Title

Other names ALT attribute, Alternative text Title attribute
Finding Search crawlers render Hover over the image on a web page
Serve whom Search Engines, People with visual disabilities Site visitors
Necessity Always Not really necessary
SEO Importance Yes No

How to Add Alt and Title text in WordPress

There are 2 ways to set up all the text and titles for your images. You can either add these attributes right after uploading them to the media library or while inserting them into the content.

Classic Editor

If you’re using classic editor, this is how to get started.

First, head to Media in your WordPress admin dashboard and click Add New.

 

Next, hit the Select Files button, or drag and drop a file from your computer. You can choose multiple files at a time. Bear in mind the maximum upload file size to ensure no error occurs.

Now, click Edit to go to an attachment page where you can enter the Alternative Text for your image.

pda-edit-file-upload

pda-alt-text-attachment-page

Update the page.

In case you’re editing the content, and plan to embed an image there with full alt text and title details, follow this guide.

First of all, click Add Media at the top of the page editing screen, above the toolbar.

 

Pick the image you want to insert or upload a new one from your computer. Then, provide the Title and Alt Text for it on the Attachment Details page.

 pda-attachment-details-page

WordPress, by default, uses your image name as the title. If you already have a descriptive name for your file, keep it for the title.

The last step is to press the Insert into post button.

Gutenberg Editor

For Gutenberg users, adding image titles and alt text is a piece of cake thanks to its Image block.

Simply open a page or post and look for the Image block by clicking on the plus (+) icon.

 pda-gutenberg-image-block

Upload your image file, or drag and drop it into the block. On the right side, you will see a Block settings section allowing you to fill in the alt text.

Please notice that unless you make some changes, this alt text will stay the same when you use the image next time.

Other Image Attributes

Other image factors that should be taken advantage of are image names and captions. As mentioned, WordPress will assign your file name as the title. Although you can customize the title, it’s recommended to give your file a meaningful name before uploading.

You need to embed the target keyword in the title. This will be beneficial to both search engines and users.

Another essential image element is the Caption. It functions similarly to image titles, interpreting what your images are about. Once you add a caption, it will be displayed right below the image on the page.

Google’s Image Recommendations

Besides providing a clear and proper alt text and title, there are a few other factors you should pay attention to efficiently optimize your images.

Original Visual Content – Google loves original images that are not shown elsewhere. You can borrow images from photo stocks if you can’t manage the time to produce some on your own. However, limit using it as much as possible.

Image Context – Your images and photos should be clearly relevant to the page content or at least the section where it’s placed on. This will help bring additional information to the text and make your page more engaging.

Text on Images – Some people make the mistake of displaying text on images, for example, the page title, headings, or menu items. Still, this distracts visitors from focusing on what the photo delivers. Noticeably, tools can’t translate the text on images. Imagine your users come from other countries speaking different languages, they can’t access this text.

Optimize Image Alt Text and Title for SEO

We’ve defined what an image alt text and title are and walked through their main differences. Image alt text opens the door for search crawlers and blind people to “read” your images, while titles are in charge of explaining your photos to users.

You can add the alt text and titles to your images at ease in both classic and Gutenberg editors. It’s possible for you to insert them when uploading or editing the page content as well.

What’s else? You may find interest in exploring other image SEO optimization practices in our article.

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