Have you ever wondered what alt text is and why it important? Alt text, short for alternative text, is used to describe images for those who use screen readers or have images disabled on their devices. Alt text not only helps people with disabilities access the content on your website, but it also helps improve your website’s SEO. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the importance of alt text and how you can optimize it on your website.
Alt text is crucial for ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to access your website’s content. Without alt text, an individual using a screen reader wouldn’t be able to decipher what an image is. Additionally, alt text is important for those who have images disabled on their device, whether intentionally or not. By adding alt text, you’re ensuring that everyone can experience your website’s content in the fullest way possible.
Alt text plays a vital role in improving your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). By adding descriptive alt text to your images, you’re providing search engines with valuable information about the content on your website. This allows search engines to better understand what your website is about and rank it accordingly. Additionally, if someone searches for something related to the alt text of your image, your website is more likely to show up in the search results.
Alt text should accurately and descriptively describe the image. This means that it should be concise but descriptive, giving a clear idea of what the image is about. For example, instead of just labeling an image as “photo”, you should describe what the photo is of, like “two people sitting on a park bench”. Avoid being too long-winded in your descriptions, while also making sure that the description is detailed enough to accurately convey the image’s content.
Alt text should be placed in the correct location of your website. In HTML, the alt text should be added in the image’s “alt” attribute. This ensures that the screen reader can read the description when necessary. Additionally, the alt text should be placed near the image it is describing, either above or below, and never used as a caption. This makes it clear to the reader which image the description is referring to.
While alt text is an important aspect of website accessibility and SEO, it’s important to have a balanced approach. It’s not necessary to add alt text to every single image on your website, but rather focus on the images that are integral to the content of the page. Additionally, it’s important to avoid “stuffing” your alt text with keywords in order to improve your SEO. This not only makes the alt text less effective but can also lead to penalties from search engines.
In summary, alt text is an essential component of website accessibility and SEO. Adding descriptive alt text to your images not only ensures that everyone, regardless of ability, can access your website’s content but also improves your website’s visibility on search engines. Ensure that your alt text is concise but descriptive, placed properly, and used thoughtfully. By doing so, you make your website more inclusive and improve its overall quality.