Alt Text’ stands for alternative text – it provides a text fallback for your images if they cannot be loaded.
When you go surfing the net, reading articles, looking at websites, scrolling down your favorite Blog. Most of the times you’ll find at least one image integrated to this cases, but, what happens when you cannot see this image?. SEO tell you that adding an Image to your post or page will improve the likelihood of you being seen and so, catching the attention of your prospects. Here, we invite you to explore the benefits of going just one step further and expand your knowledge about images and their hidden potential.
Alt text can easily be added to all images on your site through WordPress, when they are embedded on the page. When you choose your image from the Media Library, you can enter custom text on the right hand side.
Ideally, alt text should simply describe the subject of the image. So, for a picture of a cat sitting on a bench, the text would be ‘a cat sitting on a bench’. Where custom text isn’t added WordPress will fallback to the name of the image file. This could be helpful if you have named your file after the subject of the image, however, DSC2035.jpg isn’t very useful!
As well as providing a helpful piece of text to describe an image if it hasn’t loaded, alt text is also important for search engines. A search bot will be able to understand the subject of an image by it’s alt text and index it as such. This will help to boost the SEO of your page or post, and your website as a whole.
Lastly, alt text is incredibly useful for those who are visually impaired and use Screen Readers. Screen Readers are browser extensions that will scan the contents of the page and read it out to the user. If images on the page have alternative text, it will also be able describe these.
By simply adding a few descriptive words to your images, you could help to improve your website in a number of ways.
Who uses alt text?
Alt text helps people, for example, who:
- Have a slow connection
- Have turned off images in their web browser
- Use a screen reader due to visual impairment
What else uses alt text?
Alt text also helps search engines.
Search engines like Google and Bing read alt text to better understand what’s pictured.
You can place relevant keywords in alt text to improve your website’s SEO.
How do you write alt text?
When writing alt text, keep these tips in mind:
- Be brief – Describe the image in 10 words or less. If your description is too long, it will get cut off.
- Be accurate – Ultimately, you want your alt text to be helpful. Only use keywords that truly describe the image.
- Avoid keyword stuffing – Inserting a large number of keywords, according to Google, is unethical and ineffective.