In today’s digital age, web accessibility has become a crucial consideration for website owners and developers. To make your website accessible to everyone, including visually impaired users, is both a moral and legal obligation in many areas.
One of the key elements of web accessibility is the proper use of alt text, also known as alternative text. In this blog, we will explore the significance of alt text, provide alt text examples, discuss how to add alt text to images and highlight best practices for creating alt text that improves accessibility.
What Is Alt Text?
Alt Text for Images Best Practices
Before delving into the details, let’s start with the basics. Alt text, short for “alternative text,” is a concise written description of an image on a web page. This description serves as a textual alternative to the visual content of the image. This is mainly for people who can’t see images, like those using screen readers or when images don’t load.
Why Is Alt Text Important?
Alt Text Ensures Accessibility
Alt text plays a pivotal role in making web content accessible to a wider audience. Here are some key reasons why alt text is important:
- Accessibility: Alt text ensures that visually impaired users can understand the content of an image, providing an inclusive online experience.
- Text Alternatives: Alt text provides text-based alternatives to visual content, making it possible for users to grasp the information presented within an image.
- Improves SEO: Search engines use alt text to better understand the content of an image, which can positively impact your website’s search engine rankings.
- Decorative Images: Alt text can differentiate between decorative images (those that don’t convey meaningful content) and informative images, helping screen readers skip over non-essential visuals.
- User Experience: Alt text enhances the overall user experience. When images are described properly, it helps all users, including those with slow internet connections or who choose to disable images, to comprehend the content better.
How to Write Alt Text
What Is Alt Text for Accessibility?
Writing effective alt text is essential to ensure accessibility. Here’s how you can create meaningful alt text for your images:
- Be Descriptive: Describe the image accurately. Consider what information the image conveys and convey that in your alt text.
- Keep It Concise: Alt text should be concise, typically no longer than 125 characters. Aim for clarity and brevity.
- Use Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords, such as “alt text examples” or “alt text generator,” to improve SEO.
- Avoid Redundancy: If the surrounding text already describes the image adequately, you can use empty alt text (alt=””) to indicate that it’s decorative.
- Consider Context: Think about the context in which the image appears and tailor your alt text accordingly.
- Avoid Repetition: If an image is used multiple times on a page for the same purpose, you can use the same alt text for each instance.
- Don’t Include “Image of”: There’s no need to start alt text with “Image of” or similar phrases. Simply describe the image.
Alt Text Examples
Edit Alt Text Like a Pro
Let’s explore some alt text examples for better understanding:
- Image Alt: Alt text for a logo: “Company XYZ Logo.”
- Descriptive Alt Text: Alt text for a product image: “Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.”
- Alt Attributes: Alt text for a button: “Click Here to Learn More.”
- Web Page: Alt text for a screenshot of a webpage: “Homepage of example.com.”
- Text Description: Alt text for an infographic: “Bar chart showing sales growth in 2021.”
How to Add Alt Text to Images
Alt Text Is Important for Web Accessibility
Now that you know why alt text is crucial and how to write effective alt text, let’s discuss how to add it to your images on different platforms:
- WordPress: In the WordPress editor, simply click on an image, and you’ll find an option to add alt text in the image settings.
- HTML: When adding images to your website using HTML, include the alt attribute within the <img> tag, like this: <img src=”image.jpg” alt=”Descriptive alt text”>.
- Content Management Systems (CMS): Popular CMS platforms like Joomla, Drupal, and Wix also provide easy ways to add alt text to images.
- Alt Text Generator: Consider using an alt text generator tool for large sets of images, which can save you time and effort.
Best Practices for Alt Text
Alt Text for Decorative Images
Not all images on a website provide meaningful content. Some are purely decorative and serve no informational purpose. In such cases, it’s essential to provide alt text that conveys this to assistive technologies. For example, you can use alt text like “Decorative border” or “Spacer image” to indicate that the image is not essential to understanding the content.
Alt Text for Important Information
Images containing vital information, such as charts, graphs, or infographics, should have alt text that accurately describes the content. Consider what message the image conveys and provide a detailed description.
Alt Text for Linked Images
When an image is a link, the alt text should describe the destination or action associated with the link, rather than just the image itself. This helps users understand the purpose of the link.
Editing Alt Text
It’s essential to review and edit alt text regularly, especially when content is updated or images are changed. Ensure that alt text remains accurate and relevant to the image it describes.
In conclusion, alt text is a fundamental component of web accessibility. By following best practices and adding descriptive alt text to your images, you not only ensure that your content is accessible to all but also enhance your website’s SEO.
Remember that alt text is not just a technical requirement; it’s a way to create a more inclusive online environment, making information available to everyone, including visually impaired individuals. So, the next time you upload an image to your website, don’t forget to add meaningful alt text—your audience will thank you for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Que:1 How important is image alt text for SEO?
Image alt text is essential for SEO because it helps search engines understand the content and context of images on a web page. It also provides accessibility benefits for visually impaired users.
Que:2 What is alt tag or alt text in image SEO?
The alt tag, also known as alt text, is an HTML attribute used to provide a text description of an image. It serves as a replacement for the image in case it cannot be displayed and is crucial for SEO and accessibility.
Que:3 What are the best ways to phrase alt tags for SEO images?
Alt tags for SEO should be concise and descriptive, accurately reflecting the image’s content and purpose. Avoid keyword stuffing and prioritize clarity.
Que:4 Can I use keywords in all alt text images?
While it’s important to include relevant keywords in alt text when appropriate, it should be done naturally and not excessively. The primary goal is to describe the image accurately.
Que:5 How to do ALT text for SEO?
To create alt text for SEO, describe the image in a concise and informative manner, focusing on its content and context within the page.
Que:6 How to alt tag images to contain keywords?
Incorporate relevant keywords into alt text when it makes sense and enhances the description of the image. Ensure it remains natural and not forced.
Que:7 How to use both ALT and TITLE Attributes In Image Tags?
You can use both the alt and title attributes in image tags to provide additional information. Alt text is essential for accessibility and SEO, while the title attribute can offer supplementary information or tooltips for the image.
Que:8 Why do eCommerce SEO experts use image alt tags?
eCommerce SEO experts use image alt tags to improve product visibility in search results, enhance user experience, and ensure compliance with accessibility standards.
Que:9 Can you list the reasons for using alt tags on your images?
Reasons for using alt tags include SEO optimization, accessibility for visually impaired users, compliance with web standards, and providing context for images.
Que:10 What is the purpose of alt text in image optimization for SEO?
The purpose of alt text in image optimization for SEO is to help search engines understand and index images, improve page rankings, and enhance the overall user experience.
Que:11 When should you use an image as a link (alt text)?
You should use an image as a link when the image itself serves as a clickable element. In this case, the alt text should describe the purpose or destination of the link.
Que:12 Can we use an ALT tag in a website logo?
Yes, using an alt tag in a website logo is recommended. It helps describe the logo for users who cannot view images and is good for SEO.
Que:13 Why alt tag is important in SEO?
Alt tags are important in SEO because they provide textual context to images, making them understandable to search engines. This helps improve the relevance of images in search results.
Que:14 Are keyword tags and image alt crucial for SEO?
Keyword tags and image alt text are both important for SEO, as they help search engines understand and index content. However, keyword tags are less commonly used than alt text.
Que:15 Can you give some examples of bad alt text on images?
Bad alt text examples include using generic phrases like “image123,” providing irrelevant descriptions, or overloading with keywords that don’t accurately describe the image.
Que:16 What is alt text? Does Google use it?
Alt text is a text description of an image in HTML. Yes, Google uses alt text to understand image content and context for indexing and ranking purposes.
Que:17 What does Google do with alt text on websites?
Google uses alt text to determine the content and relevance of images on websites. This information influences image search results and enhances overall SEO.
Que:18 What is the difference between an alt text and an alt attribute?
Alt text is the textual description of an image, while the alt attribute is the HTML attribute that contains the alt text. They are essentially the same thing referred to differently.
Que:19 What is alt or title for SEO?
Alt and title attributes are both used for SEO. Alt attributes are for describing images, while title attributes provide additional information or tooltips for elements like links and images.
Que:20 Can I change alt text on images after post-indexing?
Yes, you can change alt text on images after post-indexing to improve SEO or reflect updated content. It’s a good practice for maintaining image relevance.
Que:21 Can we use the same ALT tag and title for a given picture?
Yes, you can use the same alt tag and title attribute for a given picture if they serve the same purpose and provide relevant information.
Que:22 How do image alt tags work with dynamic content?
Image alt tags work similarly with dynamic content as with static content. They should be generated dynamically to describe images as they appear on the page.
Que:23 Does alt text affect SEO?
Yes, alt text affects SEO by helping search engines understand image content, improving image search rankings, and enhancing overall page relevance.
Que:24 What is the best way to optimize an image tag?
The best way to optimize an image tag is to use descriptive alt text, ensure the image is relevant to the content, and compress the image for faster page loading.
Que:25 What should you do if your image alt text is too long?
If your image alt text is too long, try to condense it while retaining essential information. Keep it concise and relevant to the image.
Que:26 How to describe icons in alt text?
To describe icons in alt text, focus on their visual appearance and purpose. Mention their shape, color, and function within the context of the page.
Que:27 What is alt text for image accessibility?
Alt text for image accessibility is a text description that ensures visually impaired users can understand and interpret images on a website using screen readers or other assistive technologies.
Que:28 What is the alt text limit for accessibility?
There is no specific character limit for alt text, but it should be concise and descriptive. It should convey the essential information without being excessively long or verbose.