Do Alt and Title Attributes Help With SEO?

A highly talked about topic is the SEO world is, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” Well to help shed a little light on this topic, I did some research and came up with a few good conclusions. I’m not suggesting these are 100% accurate but from my initial research they seem to be right on target. I welcome all other SEO experts to share their opinions on this topic by posting their comments – because as we all know, every little bit of information can help us all.

Well to start, I want to provide a brief introduction of each attribute to help you understand their “intended” purpose.

The alt attribute is, popularly and incorrectly referred to as an alt tag and is commonly misunderstood to provide a tool-tip for an image. Both of these are incorrect. First of all, the alt attribute is an attribute and not a tag. The alt attribute was always intended to provide alternative information about an element and is generally required for image and image maps and is not meant to be used to display a tool-tip. The alt attribute, can be used for the img, area, and input elements to help provide alternative information to users who cannot display that element in their browser. As an example, here is how you would define an alt attribute for an image: <img src=”imagepath.gif” alt=”this is our company logo”>. If the image is not displayed the text, “this is our company logo” will be displayed in the place of the image.

The title attribute, on the other hand, is meant to provide additional information about an element, which is displayed as a tool-tip by most graphical browsers. The title attribute can be used to describe any HTML element except for base, basefont, head, html, meta, param, script, and title.

An excellent use for the title attribute is to provide descriptive text within an anchor tag to let the users know where the link will direct them if they click on it. When the user places their mouse over the link, it will display a small tool-tip displaying the title text that you’ve provided. An example would be

So as you can see the alt and title attributes have different purposes but how do they affect SEO? This is the true question we all want to know and understand. Do they help with SEO or are they simply ignored by the search engines? I tested several different scenarios, all in Google, and after my research I’ve come to the following conclusions.

Alt attributes seem to be picked up by Google, whether or not there was a link within that element. Some SEO experts have mentioned that if there is no link, then the alt attribute would not be indexed… from my research I’ve found this to be false.

Going further, I noticed in one testing scenario, if there was an image with an alt attribute and a link to a completely other site, that other site was also indexed by Google when searching for the text within the alt attribute. It was difficult for me to verify this multiple times but I definitely verified it in one testing scenario.

I also took this one step further and analyzed my results with what Google Images was displaying. I immediately noticed that Google sometimes takes the alt attribute text and provides this text as the description for the image in Google Images, something that is very valuable to know and understand when doing SEO for your website.

In all of my testing scenarios, the title attribute do not seem to be picked up by Google and adding a link to that element did not seem to affect this result at all. If you really think about it, this makes complete sense. Since you can place title attributes in almost every element of a website, it would be very easy for a user to affect the search engines by keyword stuffing throughout their web pages, something that Google and the other major players do not want, hence why title attributes do not help with SEO.

In my opinion, you should use the title attribute to help with your user’s experience and not with SEO. Since tool-tips provide more useful information to the user about images, links, fields and much more, you will help your users to understand what is happening around the web page.

So from my testing I’ve determined that a title attribute is meant to provide tool-tips to the user for user experience, whereas the alt attribute is helpful in terms of providing alternative information to the user when their browser cannot display an image or input element and helping to increase the SEO of a website. My recommendation is to pay close attention to when, where and how you are using your alt attributes. If they help with SEO, then you should pay close attention to what you are adding.

When adding images always be sure to add an alt attribute to the code of each image. If you do not have one, then just specify a blank one, such as alt=”". Also, be sure to add alternative text that is relevant to that image, the content on that page and be sure not to specify an alt attribute greater than 100 characters in length, as this may be perceived as spamming.

I hope you find my brief overview on the topic of, “Do Alt and Title Attributes Help with SEO?” to be beneficial for you and your business. I’m sure one could dive deep into this topic, spending weeks determining the differences between how Google, Yahoo! and the other major search engines handle title and alt attributes with regards to SEO for a website.

I welcome all comments and/or feedback.

Work At Home Entrepreneurs – Profiting From Micro-Blogging

If you are one of those people who work at home then this article will get you thinking. There is a new kid in the block called micro-blogging. These are social networking sites where users can send short messages to people following them. Unlike blogging where you have to come up with a full article, micro-blogs are like one liner messages; talk of lazy work at home blogger. The amazing thing, you can generate huge traffic from these websites.

Whatever business you are running, attracting customers to your business is the key to your success. Currently, social media marketing is the way to go. But websites like Facebook and MySpace have been given a run for their money. This happened with the introduction of sites like Twitter, Yammer, Plurk and others.

The advantage of micro-blogs is that they are faster means of promoting your online business. Work at home business people have discovered that you can now reach more people through sites like Twitter, identi.ca and Jaiku. This is mainly because the number of people joining these sites is increasing by the minute. To some great extent this is an awesome deal to online marketers.

Early I called this mode of communication "lazy work at home blogger"; This is because all you need to come up with are updates containing 140 to 150 characters. Therefore, now you have no excuse for not succeeding in attracting sales leads to your online products. All you need is to come up with short juicy lines, that will leave people with no choice but to follow your links, which you include within your short messages.

The one thing that crowns it all when it comes to micro-blogging is the fact that it is mobile phone compatible. This means apart from working at home you can work on the go. Big multi-national companies are now spending millions of dollars to communicate to their customers through Twitter. A good example is Dell, which has hired over 100 employees to send hourly tweets to their customers.

Follow the links below to get more insightful content on improving your work at home experience.

Discover How To Boost Trade With E-Commerce Business 2011 Trends

The e-commerce business 2011 trends have moved on significantly from last year. As technology and consumer habits are constantly evolving, the trends also change. If you want to ensure that your business stays ahead of the competition, and goes from strength to strength, it is important to keep up to date with the latest marketing concepts. Although the internet is still at the forefront of advertising in terms of e-commerce, there are new tools, or changes to old tools, that you should be aware of.

More institutions and businesses now take advantage of Twitter. Although the service has been around for a couple of years, it is only in the last twelve months then it has become a must have tool in the arsenal of online marketers. No matter what service or product you offer through your website, Twitter should form an important component of your advertising campaign, it is a simple way to reach out to a massive audience.

Social media continues to be a very useful concept. If you were to integrate certain applications into your portal, you can keep your potential market informed of the latest events. This year, social media is playing a much more important role in the strategies of online marketing campaigns. What's more, social networking is an extremely low-cost activity, this is appealing to both established firms and new startups. You can boost turnover while keeping the advertising budget low.

In these times of a weak economy, more consumers think carefully about price. You can use social media to highlight how affordable your services or products are, and make changes to stay competitive through the year.

Your e-commerce business should make full use of video to reach out to the public. It can now be said that the majority of homes in the country have access to fast broadband connections. Those portals on which videos can be hosted continue to draw in millions of viewers each day. You can use this trend to capture new customers, although you will need to ensure that you upload videos that are informative, interesting, and fun.

It is fundamental to stay on top of the latest search engine optimization (SEO) concepts and techniques. This is a topic that is constantly evolving; the algorithms used by the search engines are not the same today as they were this time last year. If you have not updated your keywords and other dynamics there is every chance your pages would've dropped in ranking over time.

Email marketing still has a place in today's world of e-commerce, but sending out mundane monotonous emails is of no use today. You need to create personalized emails that are more likely to generate an interest in the minds of potential customers. Consider what terminology and images can help to arouse curiosity.

To be successful in e-commerce business today requires a broad understanding of the habits and trends of the market. Social media and personal approaches are the best way of ensuring continuous profit in the months ahead.

4 Ways to Target Mobile Micro-Moments and Boost Your Sales

The goal of every brand is to create a strong bond with customers whenever they need them. Keeping your brand visible before your potential customers during various micro-moments is crucial for your brand success.

Micro-moments refer to a short term of attention any potential customer uses on a mobile device in order to buy, search or watch something.

Mobile is no longer just a tendency and micro-moments are here to stay. Here are some effective ways to target mobile micro-moments and boost your sales:

1- Identify the Right Micro-Moments For Your Brand

As per Cassandra Wesch, Founder of the digital media agency, Upward Ecommerce, “Identifying opportunities to share relevant micro moments with your customer make it easier, faster, and more fun to connect with your brand”.

For a hotel owner, it would be great if the customers are able to check in immediately without having to wait in the queue.

From the customer point of view, the micro-moment happen when they are traveling and wanting to get into a hotel room without having to wait in line to check-in.

Well, you can do just that with the help of Starwood app. The customers are able to check-in right on the app.

As soon as the customers enter the hotel, the beacons recognize that the customer is there. Verification is done with the help of a fingerprint (if you’re on an iPhone), the app provides a room number, and then you simply hold your phone up to the entranceway and can go right into your room. That’s an amazing way for a brand to help the customers in a micro-moment.

2- Your Brand Should Be Seen Whenever the Potential Customer Needs You

As a brand, being present in all phases of consumer journey, not just when someone is ready to buy, is where the biggest opportunities exist. Google has defined four micro- moments that represent the full user needs.

I want to know moments – The consumer is exploring and researching but not yet in the purchase mindset. They are looking for useful information, education resources or an inspiration.

I want to go moments – Consumer is searching for a local business or considering buying a product at a local store.

I want to buy moments – The all important buy moments are when shoppers are ready to make a purchase and may need help determine what, how, or where to buy.

I want to do moments – These refer to moments when shoppers are looking for help getting something done or learning something new.

3- Mobile is the New Shopping Assistant – Your E-Store Must Understand This

Americans are shopping online, allocating their shopping budgets to browsing, expanding a regularly of five hours per week purchasing online.

The telecommunication company sprint discovered that one in four people who click on their mobile search ads actually end up being physically present in a sprint retail store.

As a business, you need to get your website mobile friendly and have an app that will help you to connect with your customers in real time.

It is essential to find out the different mobile search queries that the potential customers are using while locating your brand and further optimize your business presence in order to reap in more sales.

4- Deliver Relevant Messaging and Tap Into the Power of SMS Marketing

In this age of mobile connectivity, it is important to leverage the power of SMS marketing to improve your business visibility and increase sales.

8.6 Trillion text messages are sent every year on average and such messages are read within 5 seconds. This is a tremendous opportunity to explore where people are able to read your message within seconds of receiving it.

Tools like TextMagic are excellent in automating the SMS efficiency and reach. You can easily build one to one dialogue with your customer using dynamic inbound SMS messages.

While sending messages, it is recommended to follow the below tips:

Segment your audience and send the right message to the right customer.

Send messages that have time bound deals which are set of expire soon. This will drive instant actions.

Send triggered messages based on the action of the user. For example, if the customer has placed some items in the shopping cart and didn’t ordered them then you can send a triggered message with a special discount in order to persuade the customer to make an order.

Mobile is no longer in its teens. Your brand must understand the real power of mobile micro-moments and must ensure to be present at all times depending on the needs of the customer.