Over time, we have given our reader many blogs dedicated to on page SEO and image optimization tips, but seem to have left a “little” something out. Most SEO services experts have this blind spot of something so obvious to them, that they totally forget to stress it to others.

To rectify this point, we’d like to add this important advice to our list of image optimization tips. And it is a small detail that makes a significant difference.

alt-text-vs-img-titleMost web developers and even webmasters that are not SEO specialists do not recognize the difference between the image ALT and image Title. Most just leave them the same. A recent discussion at Google Webmaster Groups has touched on this topic and provided extensive and detailed coverage on the difference between the two HTML elements, along with best-practice advice on how to put them to good use. And how to avoid costly mistakes in their use, too.

To simplify things and spare you the technicalities while still providing enough information to be able to use them well, we give you the gist of the discussion.

The ALT literally stands for “Alternative Info Source”. It’s there for people who had disabled picture display in their browsers or users who simply cannot see the images. It substitutes the disabled picture with text that makes people want to see it, get them interested. If it’s not there, what the user will get is a “broken image” icon.

Additionally, some browsers will display the ALT text on hover, and, more importantly, Google focuses on the ALT when it indexes a page, to “see” what the image is about. And that is also one big difference to note.

So What is The Image Title About?

The Title provides additional information. This element should be kept short and simple. It is advisory information about the image it is attributed to. When you hover over an image in some browsers, the Title will be displayed instead of the ALT.

So How Do You Use Them, or The Bottom Line

While both tags are there primarily for visitors, they are meant for different visitors and should contain interesting information for each category. Also, keep in mind that crawlers focus on the ALT and make the information there relevant for their indexing.

Do not use the same text in both, especially keywords. It might lead to keyword stuffing and penalties. Use keyword variations in slightly different phrasing. Both should be relevant and meaningful, of course, but as we said – the title should be more of an introduction, while the ALT should be more of a description, and can be more lengthy and detailed.

We hope this small but important addition to our list of image optimization tips is going to help boost your online SEO! And if you wish to get a professional  SEO Services company to work on your search engine optimization game strategy, we are definitely here for you!