Image Title vs Alt Text: Understanding Their Roles in SEO and Accessibility

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In the realm of digital marketing and web development, optimizing images for search engines and enhancing user experience are crucial tasks. Two key components in this process are the image title and alt text. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they serve distinct purposes in SEO (search engine optimization), accessibility, and user experience. This article delves into the differences between image title and alt text, their roles, and best practices for using them effectively.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text (alternative text), also known as an alt tag or alt attribute, is a description added to an image in the HTML code. Its primary purpose is to describe the content of the image to visually impaired users who rely on screen readers, and to search engines that cannot interpret images directly.

HTML Implementation: The alt text is added within the img tag as an alt attribute.

<img src="image.jpg" alt="A description of the image, aka image description">

Accessibility: Alt text is crucial for web accessibility, providing descriptions for screen readers used by visually impaired users.

SEO: Search engines use alt text to understand the content of images, which can help in image search optimization.

Best Practices:

  • Be descriptive and concise.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Ensure relevance to the image content and context of the page.


<img src="flower.jpg" alt="A red rose in full bloom">

What is an Image Title?

Image title (title attribute or image title attribute) provides additional information about the image, typically used to offer more context. When a user hovers over the image, the title text appears as a tooltip.

HTML Implementation: The title is added within the img tag as a title attribute.

<img src="image.jpg" title="Additional information about the image">

User Experience: Enhances user experience by providing extra details when hovering over the image.

SEO: While not as impactful for SEO as alt text, image titles can contribute to overall page optimization.

Best Practices:

  • Use to provide supplementary information.
  • Keep it brief and relevant.
  • Avoid redundancy with alt text.


<img src="flower.jpg" title="Red rose, symbol of love">

Differences and Roles

Alt Text vs Image Title:

  • Purpose: Alt text focuses on describing the image for accessibility and SEO, while image titles provide additional context and enhance user interaction.
  • Visibility: Alt text is read by screen readers and used by search engines, but not visible on the page. Image titles are visible as tooltips on mouse-over.
  • SEO Impact: Alt text has a direct impact on SEO, helping search engines index the image content. Image titles have a lesser but still positive impact on SEO.

Best Practices for Both

1. Relevance and Accuracy: Ensure both alt text and image titles accurately describe the image and its context on the web page.

2. Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Use keywords naturally and sparingly to prevent penalties from search engines.

3. Enhance User Experience: Use alt text for accessibility and image titles to provide extra information without cluttering the interface.

Practical Application in E-commerce

For e-commerce websites, optimizing images with appropriate alt text and image titles can significantly enhance accessibility and SEO, leading to higher conversions. Product images with clear alt text can help users with disabilities understand the product, while image titles can offer additional product details or promotional information.

Example in an E-commerce Setting:

<img src="red-dress.jpg" alt="Red cocktail dress with floral pattern" title="Available in sizes S to XL, perfect for evening wear">


Understanding the distinct roles of alt text and image titles is essential for optimizing images in web development and digital marketing. By implementing best practices for both, you can improve accessibility, enhance user experience, and boost your website’s SEO performance.

By carefully crafting alt text and image titles, you ensure that your web content is accessible to all users, including those who are visually impaired, while also making your site more attractive to search engines.

Additional Resources

Incorporating these elements correctly into your web design and development workflow, especially on WordPress websites, can significantly enhance the functionality and reach of your website.


  • Do image file names affect SEO?
  • What is the difference between a title tag and an alt tag?
Posted in SEO

Published on: 2024-06-16
Updated on: 2024-06-16

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.