Alt Text: Everything You Need to Know In 2023

Alt text also referred to as alt attributes and alt tags, is used to describe an image on a webpage. It describes the function or action of an image on a webpage and also helps search engines understand the image.

In this article, you will find

  1. What Is Alt Text?
  2. Alt Text Example
  3. What Are The Use Of an Alt Text?
  4. Why Is Alt Text Important?
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Alt Text Is An Important Aspect of SEO and Web Accessibility 
  7. Related Reads

What Is Alt Text?

An alt text or alternative text is used in the html code of an image. This is called image alt text. Screen readers read aloud the alt attribute for visually impaired users as well. It can also help search engine crawlers understand the context of the image and the webpage’s content.

Alt Text Example

example for alt text
Example for alt text

A good example of an alt text for this image would be, ”A woman working on a grey-colored MacBook Pro.”

example for alt text in decorative images
Decorative image

The following image is purely decorative. For decorative images, the alt text should be avoided.

What Are The Uses Of an Alt Text?

Alt text is useful for

1. Improving the web accessibility of a site.

2. Helping people with visual impairments by allowing the screen readers to read aloud the information from on-screen images on a webpage. This is convenient for visually impaired people to hear an image’s descriptions since they cannot see them.

3. An alt text can be used as a backup if the image file is not loading.

4. Providing context for an image. If the image description is better, Google’s search engine crawlers will be able to understand the image’s context much better and help them during indexing. 

Why Is Alt Text Important?

Among the best practices for SEO, including alt text for images ranks very high. When including images in a webpage or a blog post, the image filename and title must be relevant to the content. But the most important part is adding an image alt attribute. This will ensure that the search engine crawlers understand the context of the image.

Alt text is useful for implementing a target keyword in the image. Gaining traffic from images is also a great SEO strategy. You can do this by giving Google the right amount of information through images. An image with a descriptive alt text can help Google identify the image’s relevance and attract traffic potential for it. 

6 Tips To Write Good Alt Text

6 Tips To Write Good Alt Text
Tips for writing a good alt text

Implementing alt text to images is one of the best SEO practices. These are some of the ways you can write a good alt text.

1. Adding Specific Descriptions

The purpose of alt text is to provide a description of an image. Therefore, it is important to give a detailed description when adding alt text to images. This is also helpful for users with visual impairments as they will use screen readers to read aloud the images. The description should also contain the proper context to help Google’s crawler bots better understand the image description. 

2. Keep It Brief

The alt text must be specific in nature, but at the same time, it is best to keep it short. When adding an alt text, try to keep it less than 120 characters. Using 120 characters or less is preferred by most content creators. However, some images like bar graphs and charts require longer descriptions, and there are ways you can still use a relatively short alt text. 

3. Including Main Keywords

Including the target keyword of your content is key. This will enable search engines to identify the image to a relevant search query. For example, if your content is about perfume, you can include the target keyword “fragrance.”

4. Avoid Alt Text For Decorative Images

When adding alt text, it is best to avoid tagging decorative images or special characters. The goal of an alt text is to provide descriptions of an image; however, some images don’t require one. For example, decorative images like icons, line page breaks, etc. Some image icons can be complex and pointless to add alt text to. In such cases, it is best to avoid them.

5. Avoid Including “image of” OR “picture of” In Alt Text

When adding an alt text, do not add what already exists. For example, if the image has a car on a bridge, do not add “image of a car on a bridge.” Alt text is already only for images, so a more appropriate example might be “red car on a wooden bridge”.

6. Avoid Repeating The Caption Of An Image In The Alt Text

If the caption of an image already contains descriptive text, then the next step would be to add the context of the image in the alt text. Avoid repeating the same description as the caption in the alt text.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where should you use an alt text?

    An alt text should be used to describe images. It should only be used in images that can be described and are relevant to the content.

  2. Can you use alt text in decorative images?

    No, it is advisable not to use alt text in decorative images because they are not relevant to the article and don’t require further explanation.

  3. Why is alt text important for SEO?

    Alt text is important for image SEO because 22.6% of Google search results include image searches. Hence, an optimized image alt text is crucial for SEO practices.

Alt Text Is An Important Aspect of SEO and Web Accessibility 

An alt text provides descriptions of images for people with visual disabilities and helps search engine crawlers to understand the context of images on a webpage. Therefore, they are an important part of SEO. Use concise, accurate, and contextual descriptions to get the best results when writing an alt text.

Related Reads

8 Keyword Research Tools for Anchor Texts
Why SEO for Sustainable Brands is of Utmost Importance
How to Increase Website Traffic for Your Business (3 Tips)

If you found this article helpful then join our email list to receive time to time newsletters with valuable reads.

You may also like:

Leave a Comment