Images are one of the most integral parts of web design. They are used to convey information, break up large blocks of text, and create stunning displays that can engage visitors. Accompanying these images, however, should also be alt text, which provides an additional benefit to users who cannot view them.
Alt Text is used to describe an image to the user, giving the reader a better idea of what information is being conveyed or what actions should be taken. This article will discuss the importance of alt text and methods for writing good alt tag descriptions.
What Does Alt Text Mean?
Alt text, or alternative text, is a term used by screen readers that refers to the textual representation of an image. Screen readers will read the alt text aloud to describe the contents of images for the visually impaired. Alt text can be very beneficial for those with poor vision as it provides additional information about what appears on the screen.
Often, websites are inaccessible because many designers neglect to include alternative text for their images. When this happens, screen readers provide no description or information about an image, making it very difficult for visually impaired users to understand the site’s content.
How Do You Use Alt Text?
There is no one standard for writing good alt text. The description should be concise and clear yet still provide information about the image itself. Writing compelling alt text descriptions cannot be easy, but it is unnecessary to include every detail in your alternative text.
The best thing to consider when describing an image with alt text is the role that the image serves on your website. If an image is not necessary to convey your message, then it should not be included in the first place. Redundant images that do not add information and could easily be replaced by text can usually be eliminated without affecting your design or content.
If you cannot delete a redundant image from your site, you should consider finding another way to describe it. Suppose you are using an image as a header. For example, you could use the header’s text as the alt tag. This will not affect your search engine ranking because these keywords will appear in your header.
Why is Alt Text Important?
The importance of alt text lies in its ability to make your site accessible to screen readers. These are used by individuals who cannot view images on the page, whether because of poor vision or an old monitor that does not support images. By providing alt text descriptions for all of your pictures, you can ensure that even these users will be able to enjoy your website. The following points will assist you in comprehending its crucial importance more quickly.
Since Alt text is an alternative way for users with images disabled to get the content of your page, you must use them to provide accurate information. The different browsers and screen readers should also be logical for easier comprehension.
Search Engine Optimization
A few years ago, many web designers believed that search engines could not read Alt text and therefore it should only include the set phrase “image (number).” This does not help your page rank, as search engines can now recognize keywords within image descriptions.
The picture descriptions should not include words for decorative images but rather content critical to the user’s understanding of your website. This will help you maintain a consistent design throughout all pages of your site.
Ensure that image alt tags are clear and do not contain abbreviations or industry jargon. They should also specifically describe the image and not the information surrounding it. This ensures that all users will access your site with ease, thus increasing traffic.
What Should my Alt Text Be?
It is difficult to determine what your Alt text should be without knowing the purpose of an image. Ask yourself, does the image convey important information or help illustrate a point? If so, alt text is necessary and can provide additional depth to your page’s content.
If you use images for stylistic purposes, you can include “image (number)” as your alt text description. However, this does not provide any information about the image and can diminish its presence on your site.
It would help consider how important the image is to your website’s theme and what message you would like it to convey.
If an image serves as a logo for your business, it should be easy to identify and skimmable. It should also include text that fully describes the image and aesthetic of your company, such as “Company X – Celebrating 15 years in business!”
What Does Alt Do for An Image?
Alt-text is necessary for the pictures on your site because it will help search engines understand what an image includes. This helps them determine the page content’s relevancy to users’ requests. For example, if a user were looking for information about turtles, an image of turtles would help find that page. Alt text can also provide important information about the image, such as who it is by. For example, “Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup can painting.” Alt text will also improve readability on your site.
How Do I Get Alt Text From An Image?
Several different online programs can help you generate alt text for your images.
After uploading the pictures, take the original filename of each one and paste it into the appropriate field. Then click “Ok.” This will generate both a title and alt tag for every picture.
Another option is to use an online tool to generate your alt tags as you upload them automatically. These programs will also automatically link the image to its description, which is a handy feature if users on your site cannot see the image.
What is the Alt Attribute?
The alt attribute is used when applying the data-attribute=”alt” to elements. It will display a small informational pop-up when users hover their mouse over an element. This can be useful if your website does not have a lot of images and you want to provide extra information for users without them having to open a new browser window.
By default, this function is turned off in most browsers. If you are unsure how to turn it on, click Ctrl + the I key simultaneously. If your browser supports this function, you will see an information window appear near the top of your screen.
What Should Alt Text Include?
1. Unique, Descriptive Text
It should be unique to each image and describe it specifically and transparently. This will allow screen readers to read the content aloud for users who cannot see your images.
2. Correct Punctuation
Be sure to include correct punctuation when using alt text because this can change how your site looks in various browsers.
3. No Special Characters
Do not include any HTML tags, such as links or italics, in your alt text because this can confuse screen readers.
4. File Names Whenever Possible
If the image’s subject is clear enough to make sense when taken out of context, try including the original file name in the description so that screen readers can more easily reference it.
What is Alt Text on HTML?
The HTML <img> tag supports an attribute used to define alternative text for displaying the image.
You need to use the Alt property in VB or “alt” in HTML to create alt text. You enter it as a string, with no spaces inside it.
What is the Alt Attribute on a Website?
The alt attribute on a website lists the keywords that need to be optimized for in an alt tag.
The alt attributes on a website are used when an image fails to load or cannot be seen by users viewing the site. They can also be used with CSS design to display images when they are unavailable.
If you want your website’s alt attribute to be optimized for search engines, your text should include relevant keywords that relate to the picture in question. However, these keywords should not match any of its filename or caption.
The alt attribute is a crucial part of a website’s SEO strategy. When properly implemented, it helps users and search engine crawlers find their way around your image-heavy site with ease. Hope this blog post proved to be helpful to you.
Sources & External Links
Pages that search results are linking to (excluding internal links):
Microsoft Edge can now generate alt text for images on the web - XDA DevelopersMarch 18, 2022 - XDA Developers
Microsoft Edge can now generate alt text for images on the web XDA DevelopersMicrosoft Edge can now add 'Alt Text' to unlabelled images ummid.comMicrosoft Edge Screen Reader Gets Azure API to Describe Images within Alt Text WinBuzzerMicrosoft Edge now automatically generates image labels for screen readers The VergeMicrosoft Edge Auto Alt Text Image Feature To Help Browser Users With Low Vision—Even Blind Individuals Tech TimesView Full Coverage on Google News...
The Hidden Image Descriptions Making the Internet Accessible - The New York TimesFebruary 18, 2022 - The New York Times
The Hidden Image Descriptions Making the Internet Accessible The New York Times...