Question on alt tags for images


Wondering the best practice for this. Say I have a gallery of 10 images from a wedding, and I put the alt tag as “Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer” for all 10, is that bad practice? Should I differentiate all of them somehow?


Yes, that’s bad practice.

This is a really good article which explains the purpose of alt text and how to go about writing effective alt text.

The fact that you’ve posted this in Marketing suggests you’ve completely missed the main purpose of alt text, which is accessibility. However, if you’re asking from an SEO point of view, it’s still bad practice.

See Matt Cutts’ video on this page:

The answer is YES.

Let me give you three reasons although I can think of more

  • Consideration for people with discapacities - To a blind person (and you don’t need to be even close to blind to find this problem) will not be able to notice the difference between the pictures. Very poor experience

  • Consideration for people in general - Again, so-so user experience. Besides, your traffic and retention would benefit if you could tell them the story behind the pic (yes, when they see the text, they should know what’s behind)

  • SEO

I can think of more reasons if you want me to but I think that this is clear enough

Thank you for the replies.

Yes I was mostly concerned about SEO (not saying I have no concern for those with disabilities).

So would doing something like this work?

Pittsburgh Wedding Photo 1
Pittsburgh Wedding Photo 2
Pittsburgh Wedding Photo 3
Pittsburgh Wedding Photo 4

Did you read the WebAIM article, or watch the Matt Cutts video?

The purpose of the alt text is to provide a text equivalent if the image is unavailable, for whatever reason. (e.g. Your visitor has visual difficulties, there’s a problem and the image just didn’t load, your visitor is a search engine bot and can’t understand images.) The alt text should convey the information contained in that image.

Without seeing the images, I have no idea what would be appropriate but “Bride arriving at the ceremony”, “Groom with the three groomsmen” - whatever describes those pictures. Unless you think that the images are purely decorative, in which case the alt text should be empty.


Whenever making alt tags, you should be able to grab a person, read out teh alt text to them, and they should be able to have a decent idea what the image is about.

Descriptive is good. The more descriptive, the better.

Like @TechnoBear says, alt text is not for SEO purposes, and the limited effect it’s going to have on your seo results is not going to matter in the long run.

You may find the correct alt test that have been suggested will give you a greater impact on your seo results than your limited keyword results you’re looking to stuff. You should have those in your site content, so the alt text is superfluous.

Of course it won’t work!

I added SEO to my reasons because most people are concerned about that. But you should not concern about it. You should care much more for the user experience.

So use a descriptive text (but don’t write a book!). something like “a couple watching the sunset” will do.

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