Images and Alt Text
stands for Alternative text. It is also known as "alt description"
and "alt attribute." It is a feature added to an image tag in HTML to
provide a text alternative for search engines. It helps search engines know
what an image is about as they cannot see or interpret images as they cannot
see, understand, or interpret images.
Alt text is
designed to optimize images for speed and SEO. It appears in a blank image box
when the image cannot be displayed for some reason like slow connection, broken
URL or user is using a screen reader. Thus, Alt tags provide better image
descriptions to search engine crawlers to help them index images properly.
Image Alt Tag Example:
<img src="https://www.cfamily.com/seo/images/images-and-alt-text1.png" alt="SEO Images and alt text 1"/>
Some benefits of putting Alt Text are given below
1. If an
image fails to load or does not render on a page due to any reason, the alt tag
will appear to tell what the image is about. It helps users understand what
kind of image was there.
search engines are designed to understand the text on pages, not for the
images. So, if your image is accompanied by an alt tag, the search engine will
know from the alt tag what the image is showing, and it will provide the right
images to the users.
can include your main keywords in the alt tag if they are related to the image.
It will improve your image search ranking for that keyword.
tags are very helpful for visually impaired as they mostly use screen readers
to browse webpages. The alt tag helps screen readers to identify and interpret
what is being displayed in the empty box on the screen.
How to write good alt text?
- Descriptive: It should be relevant as well as
descriptive. It should provide enough information for people who can't see
- Short: Most of the screen
readers cut off alt text if it is more than 125 characters long. So, you
should keep it within the assigned limit of characters. It should not be
in the form of a sentence or paragraph.
- Use keywords: It
allows you to incorporate your keywords in the alt text, and thus you can
signal to search engines that your page is highly relevant to the search
- Avoid keyword stuffing: Don't
use alt text to stuff keywords that don't relate to the image.
- Don't use images as text: The
search engine cannot read the text, which is in the form of images. So,
don't use images in place of words. If you do this, describe what your
image says within your alt text.
- Don't use words like "image of,"
"picture of," etc. in your alt text: There is
no need to use these words as the alt text already referring to an image.
- Use longdesc: Use
<img longdesc=""> for the images that require longer
- Don't neglect form buttons: A form
on a website that uses an image as its "submit" button should
have an alt attribute. So, all the image buttons should be provided with
an alt attribute that describes the function of the button like,
"search," "sign up", "apply now," etc.