'Inbound & Down'
Question of the Day

Published December 26, 2019

What is alt text?

  1. An alternate description added to text, typically when the main text is describing a complex subject.
  2. Used to indicate copyright of images used on your website.
  3. A text description of individual images on a website.

The Answer is C.

Alt text is a description of images on a web page, added within the code of your site.

Also known as “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” these are important indicators to include on your site, for purposes ranging from SEO to accessibility.

Unlike an image caption, which is text that typically appears beneath an image on a page, alt text is generally not visible when viewing a site.

Broken Image Links

Have you ever visited a website where an image did not successfully load, instead displaying a broken image icon and a few words of text describing it? This is alt text.

This is the alt text describing the example of a broken image's alt text. Meta, huh?

Alt text is added into the code as follows:

<img alt=“Alt Text Goes Here” src=“www.ImageURL.com" />

SEO

Have you noticed how frequently images tend to display at the top of Google search results? This component has become an important part of a website’s SEO. When search engines crawl your site, they pick up on the alt text, providing yet another opportunity to optimize your content and increase your website's ranking. 

Accessibility

The alt text helps screen-reading tools describe the images to visually impaired users.

When writing alt text for an image, it's important to be concise and include relevant keywords that search engines can link back to your product or service.

For example, let’s say your organization works specifically with digestive health and you use the following image on your website:

Doctor reviewing digestive health exam results with patient

The alt text "Doctor" is not  specific enough to make an impact SEO-wise, nor descriptive enough to express the purpose of the image to an individual using a screenreader. A better alt description could be: "Doctor reviewing digestive health test results with patient."

Note: When an image is uploaded to a website, many web builders will automatically set the file name as the alt text. Unfortunately "image1234.jpg" is not nearly descriptive enough. So make sure to go in and update it yourself!

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