What is ALT Text?
Alternative text is a Descriptive Text Associated with an image; it Provides Meaningful Information about the Image’s Content to All Users. When an image cannot be displayed, the alternative text is presented, ensuring that disabled users can still comprehend the intended message. It is also essential for SEO, as it helps search engines understand what the image is about and rank it accordingly.
Here’s How ALT Text Affects SEO
Image Search Optimization
Search engines like Google use alternative text to understand the content of an image. When users perform an image search, the search engine relies on alternative text to determine the relevance of images to the search query. Optimized alt text can help your images appear in relevant image search results.
Web Page Relevance
Alternative text provides context to search engines about the details of a web page. Including descriptive and relevant alt text helps search engines understand your page’s overall theme and subject matter, contributing to the general relevance of your content.
Alternative text allows you to include match keywords related to the content of your image. However, using keywords naturally and not engaging in keyword stuffing is essential. The alternative text should accurately describe the image and provide value to users with or without visual impairments.
Alternative text is crucial for web accessibility. When images cannot be displayed, alt text defines the picture to the audience. Properly written alt text ensures that these users can understand and navigate the content, enhancing the overall accessibility of your website.
Improved User Experience
While not a direct SEO factor, providing a better user experience can indirectly impact SEO. Alternative text contributes to a more inclusive and user-friendly website, increasing user engagement and satisfaction and positively influencing search rankings.
Best Practices for ALT Text
Provide a concise but meaningful description of the image. Focus on conveying the essential information. Use keywords relevant to the image and the page’s context. Avoid vague terms like “image” or “picture.”
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
While including relevant keywords is beneficial, avoid overloading alternative text with unnecessary keywords. Maintain a natural and descriptive tone. Be concise and clear. Use as few words as possible to convey the essential information. Avoid unnecessary details or repetition.
Accurate and Truthful
Do not misrepresent or exaggerate the image content. Avoid using alternative text to insert keywords unrelated to the image or the page. Avoid using alternative text that is offensive, discriminatory, or insensitive to people with disabilities or different backgrounds. Use neutral and appropriate language.
Keep it Short
Aim for brevity without sacrificing clarity. Screen readers may need help with overly long alternative text. Use as few words as possible to convey the essential information. Avoid unnecessary details or repetition.
How to Write ALT Text for different types of images
- Good: “Bing logo.”
- Bad: “Image of a blue circle with the word Bing in white.”
Photo of a Person
- Good: “A smiling woman holding a laptop.”
- Bad: “A happy lady with a computer.”
Chart or Graph
- Good: “A bar chart showing the monthly sales of different products.”
- Bad: “A colorful image with some numbers.”
- Good: ” Leave it blank.”
- Bad: “A swirl of blue and green.”
Embracing the power of Alternative text is not just a best practice; it’s a commitment to a more accessible and discoverable digital world. By adopting best practices and recognizing the significance of ALT text, content creators can contribute to a more inclusive online experience while optimizing their content for search engine visibility.