The primary use of alt text is to describe an image to users which are unable to see them for whatever reason. This is useful for screen readers, browsers that block images, and of course for making the content available to the sight-impaired individuals. This also makes your content more widely accessible to everyone, regardless of their visual ability.
Another benefit of including alt text, other than the improved user experience, is Search Engine Optimization. Including a descriptive alt text along with your images helps crawlers identify them correctly and improves the website ranking.
For best results it’s important to have a good alt text structure. You should pay attention to the following:
- Description – Make sure that your description is specific and portrays the image in a proper way. Keep in mind that this is primarily meant for users who are unable to see images, so your description should be as accurate as possible, clear, and it should convey the content of the image precisely.
- Length – Make sure that the text isn’t overly long. It’s best to keep its length below 125 words, as this is the limit at which most text readers cut off alt text. On the other hand, it’s also a good idea to avoid using single word descriptions, since in most cases they can’t translate the image content properly, which in turn impairs the UX.
- Keywords – Alt text offers a great opportunity to add a keyword to your page, signaling to search bots that your page is relevant to a specific topic. However, this is a double edged sword, since overusing keywords can lead to your page being indexed for irrelevant topics. Make sure that your alt text describes the image suitably, and if possible, try to add a keyword – however you should give your best to include only a relevant keyword.
- Efficiency – Leave out ‘image of’, ‘picture of’ and similar phrases - they are unnecessary as it is already implied that the alt text refers to an image. One way to add the alt text to your images is to use the Media Library. Make sure to fill out the alt text field when uploading or editing an image. You can find this field on the right hand side of the screen, along with other information about the image:
One way to add the alt text to your images is to use the Media Library. Make sure to fill out the alt text field when uploading or editing an image. You can find this field on the right hand side of the screen, along with other information about the image:
Another way to add the text is by editing the image:
Title text is another attribute that provides additional information about an image. This attribute however isn’t as important for SEO, as it is not used for search ranking. You can set it up much like the alt text, in the image settings found in Media Library:
Alternatively, you can also do this while editing the image:
Once you’ve added these values, they will be rendered as part of the image attributes on your site.
Make sure that you’ve added your alt text to the correct image in your library, especially if you have several different sizes of the same image.