Alt Text

What is Alt Text?  

Alt text, short for alternative text, is a textual description that provides information about an image on a webpage. This text is read by screen readers, allowing visually impaired individuals to understand the content of the images. 

Alt text also plays a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) by providing additional context to search engines about the image content. It improves the accessibility and usability of a website, helps with SEO rankings, and ensures that all users can effectively engage with the content, regardless of their visual abilities. 

Remember, alt text is not just an afterthought but a valuable tool for creating an inclusive and optimized online presence. Take the time to craft meaningful alt text for your images, and you'll open the doors to a more accessible and discoverable website.

Alt Text best practices 

Whether optimizing your website for better SEO or ensuring inclusivity for visually impaired individuals, implementing alt-text best practices is a must-have skill.  Here are some of the best practices: 

  • Be descriptive: Provide concise descriptions that convey the image's content and purpose.
  • Use keywords wisely: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into the alt text without keyword stuffing. This can improve your image's visibility in search results.
  • Consider decorative images: For purely decorative images that don't provide meaningful content, use empty alt text (alt="") or CSS techniques to hide the alt text.
  • Keep it brief: Aim for concise alt text, typically under 125 characters, while still conveying the necessary information.
  • Consider context: Take into account the context and surrounding content when writing alt text to ensure it aligns with the overall message.

Optimizing anchor text is crucial for effective digital marketing. By using clear and descriptive anchor text, you enhance the user experience and improve website visibility in search results. Relevant keywords in anchor text help search engines understand the context of the linked page, leading to higher rankings. Compelling anchor text attracts users' attention and increases click-through rates, driving more traffic to your site. Additionally, descriptive anchor text benefits visually impaired users who rely on screen readers. 

By employing natural and relevant anchor text, you can ensure that your alt text is effective, improves accessibility, and provides valuable information to both users and search engines.

Common Alt Text mistakes 

Despite its importance, alt text is often overlooked or misused, leading to accessibility issues and missed opportunities for improving search engine optimization (SEO). When it comes to alt text, some common mistakes can hinder the accessibility and usability of your website: 

  • Non-descriptive or missing alt text: Failing to provide alt text or using generic phrases like "image" or "picture" without describing the content or purpose of the image. This leaves visually impaired users without context and hinders their understanding of the page.
  • Keyword stuffing: While incorporating relevant keywords is essential for SEO, it's crucial to maintain a balance and ensure that the alt text remains informative and concise. Overloading alt text with excessive keywords or irrelevant information can negatively impact accessibility and user experience.
  • Lengthy alt text: Writing excessively long alt text that may be difficult to read or understand, especially for screen reader users. Aim to keep alt text brief while conveying the necessary information accurately.
  • Redundant information: Replicating the same text from the surrounding content or captions in the alt text provides little value to users. 
  • Using "image of" or "picture of" phrases: Starting alt text with phrases like "Image of" or "Picture of," is unnecessary since screen readers already announce the image.
  • Lack of updates: Forgetting to update alt text when images or their context changes lead to outdated or irrelevant descriptions. Regularly review your alt text and make updates whenever necessary to maintain accuracy. 

Final words

Remember to provide descriptive and concise alt text that accurately represents the image's content and purpose. Strive for a balance between SEO optimization and providing valuable information to all users, including those with visual impairments.