Alt Text - Make Your Website Accessible To All - Then Reap The Benefits
Alt text (alternative text), is used within an HTML code in order to describe the function and appearance of an image present on a webpage.
What are the uses of alt text?
- Applying alternative text to images is, above anything else, a principle of web accessibility. For visually impaired users, they can use screen readers that reads the alternative text, to better understand the content of the webpage.
- Alternative text will also be displayed in place of an image, should the image file not load.
- Alt text provides additional image descriptions and context to search engines, so when webpages are crawled the alt text helps them to index images properly.
Why is alt text important?
As mentioned above, alt text is a principle of accessible website design. Its primary purpose is to explain the image content to website visitors who are unable to see them. This takes into account those with screen readers and internet browsers that block images, but it also includes users with impaired sight and unable to visually identify the image. By using alt text with your images, you can ensure that all users, regardless of their visual ability, can appreciate the content of your site.
By utilising alternative text on your images you can help to improve user experience, as well as produce both explicit and implicit SEO benefits. By implementing image title, image file naming, and including alt text – you will be doing the utmost with regards to image SEO contribution.
Although search engine image recognition has made significant improvements over the years, search crawlers still cannot “see” the images on a web page like we can, so its best practice not to leave the interpretation solely in the hands of the search engines. This is because if they don’t interpret it correctly, you could be ranking for unintended keywords or miss out on rankings entirely.
Therefore, alt text offers you yet another opportunity for you to include a target keyword. With keywords within page content contributing as a search engine ranking factor, it is in your best interest to implement alternative text that both describes the image, and where possible, includes a keyword or phrase that you’re targeting.
Get yourself ahead of competitors by doing that bit extra. Alt text will improve user experience, and more than likely boost your SEO rankings