Alt text is an essential element of website accessibility and SEO. If you're wondering how to write good alt text, you've come to the right place. Alt text is an HTML attribute that describes the contentof an image, which is crucial for visually impaired users who use screen readers to navigate the web. Additionally, search engines rely on alt text to understand the context of images and rank them accordingly in search results.
Alt text is essential for website accessibility because it provides a description of the content of an image. Visually impaired users who use screen readers rely on alt text to understand the context of an image and navigate the web. Without alt text, they may miss out on important information or even misunderstand the content of a page.
Furthermore, alt text is required by law in many countries, including the United States, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Failing to provide alt text can result in legal action and could harm your website's reputation.
In addition to website accessibility, alt text is also important for SEO. Search engines like Google rely on alt text to understand the content of an image and rank it accordingly in search results. Without alt text, search engines may not be able to properly index your images, which can result in lower search rankings and less traffic to your website.
Furthermore, using descriptive alt text can help improve the relevance of your content and attract more targeted traffic to your website. For example, if you have an e-commerce website selling shoes, using descriptive alt text like "black leather high heels" can attract potential customers who are searching for that specific product.
Now that we've established the importance of alt text for website accessibility and SEO, let's take a look at some best practices for writing effective alt text:
How To Write Great Image Alt Text And Get More SEO Traffic
Alt text should provide a clear and accurate description of the content of an image. Use descriptive language and provide enough detail to help visually impaired users understand the context of the image. Avoid using generic phrases like "image" or "photo" and instead focus on describing what the image depicts.
While it's important to provide enough detail in your alt text, you also want to keep it short and sweet. Screen readers will read out the alt text for every image on a page, so long descriptions can become overwhelming and frustrating for users. Aim for a concise description that accurately describes the content of the image.
Using keywords in your alt text can help improve the relevance of your content and attract more targeted traffic to your website. However, it's important to use keywords in a natural and relevant way. Avoid keyword stuffing and focus on providing a clear and accurate description of the image.
Avoid including phrases like "image of" or "picture of" in your alt text. Screen readers already announce that the content is an image, so including these phrases is unnecessary and can make the description sound awkward.
When writing alt text, use proper punctuation to make the description clear and easy to understand. This includes using periods, commas, and hyphens where appropriate. Proper punctuation can help visually impaired users understand the context of the image and improve the overall accessibility of your website.
- Bad alt text: "Dog in a park"
- Good alt text: "Golden retriever running through the grass in the park on a sunny day"
- Bad alt text: "Infographic"
- Good alt text: "Infographic illustrating the benefits of meditation, with icons representing reduced stress, improved focus, and better sleep"
- Bad alt text: "Person in a wheelchair"
- Good alt text: "Person using a wheelchair entering a building through an accessible ramp, with a sign indicating wheelchair accessibility"
- Bad alt text: "Red dress"
- Good alt text: "Sleeveless red dress with a V-neckline, made of soft cotton fabric and featuring a flowing skirt"
By providing descriptive, concise, and accurate alt text that conveys the purpose and context of the image, you can make your website more accessible and user-friendly for everyone.
In addition to being helpful for accessibility purposes, using good alt text can also improve your website's search engine optimization(SEO) by providing search engines with valuable information about your website's content.
The purpose of alt text in web design is to provide a description of the content of an image for visually impaired users who use screen readers to navigate the web. Alt text is also important for SEO, as it helps search engines understand the context of your images.
When writing alt text for complex images, provide a detailed description of the image's content, as well as its purpose and context. Consider using additional elements such as long descriptions or links to provide more information as needed. It's important to strike a balance between providing enough information for accessibility and keeping the alt text concise and user-friendly.
One way to test if your alt text is working properly is to use a screen reader to read your website's content aloud. You can also check your website's HTML code to ensure that the alt text is properly coded and that there are no errors. Additionally, you can use accessibility testing tools such as the WAVE tool or the Lighthouse accessibility audit to check your website's accessibility and alt text usage.
In conclusion, knowing how towrite good alt text is crucial for making your website accessible to everyone, including visually impaired users, and for improving your website's SEO. By following best practices such as using descriptive, concise, and accurate alt text, providing additional context for complex images, and testing your website's accessibility, you can ensure that your website is inclusive and user-friendly for all.