Published: 31st Mar 2019 | Words: 350 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
What is image alt text?
An image alt is a HTML img tag attribute that can help visually impaired users understand the content of an image. Screen readers can read the text content of the image alt. This is important for accessibility reasons as visually impaired users should be able to navigate the content on your web page the same as users who are not visually impaired albeit in a different way. Image alt text is a key part of any content strategy. It can also serve to describe an image before it loads to users, as the text will show before the image renders.
Image alt text and SEO
Optimised image alt text improves your page SEO as it helps crawlers understand an image. Just as it describes the content to users, it also describes the content of an image to a search engine. Google image search can be a valuable source of organic traffic and having proper alt text gives you a good chance of your image appearing in image search results.
Best practices for image alt text
Image alt text should be a short, concise, specific, while being a detailed description of the image. It should be less than 125 characters which means like a Meta description, a good deal of though is required when creating it. It should read like natural language and you should avoid using just a single word or a few works, stuffing it with keywords, or describing something unrelated to the image. Most image alt text should include some sort of keywords relating to your page as the images on your page should relate directly to the page content.
Image alt text and links
When an image is placed within a link which is common practice on a web page, the image alt text should relate to the content behind the link. Think of it as replacing the text content you would usually set within the link but taking a slightly different format. Thinking in this way is a good way to create images that relate to the content behind the link.