Alt-Text is an optional component for online content but it should never be neglected. Alt-Text can serve many benefits and should be utilized whenever the option presents itself. Here is what website owners should keep in mind in an effort to write the best Alt-text possible.
Understand The Purpose Of Alt-Text
Alt-Text serves multiple purposes and they are not mutually exclusive. A popular reason Alt-Text exists is to assist visually impaired users. With Alt-Text in place, those who use screen readers can understand the content presented. The best way to understand this version of Alt-Text is to envision someone describing out loud the content on a page. Well-written Alt-Text can benefit visually impaired users tremendously.
Alt-Text is also a contributor to search engine ranking factors. While Alt-Text is not a main ranking factor, it plays a sizeable role in terms of overall SEO. Alt-Text helps search engines understand what type of picture is being displayed. This will then help search engine bots index the content and image properly increasing the chances it ranks high on a specific search engine query.
What Does Good Alt-Text Look Like?
“Good” Alt-Text is considered a descriptive yet succinct sentence. With Alt-Text, it is best to not be too wordy or keyword stuff. Search Engines like Google have smart algorithms in place that can easily detect words being overused in an effort to get content to rank high.
Here are some examples of what would be considered “Good” Alt-Text.
- If the photo is of two people at a party occurring in kitchen, smiling while giving the peace sign: “Two Students smiling for a photo giving the peace sign in a Kitchen”
- If The photo is of students graduating: Students during graduating commencement wearing cap and gown with spectators in background.
With Alt-Text, it is always helpful to describe what is going on in the photo and provide additional details. When writing Alt-Text, a helpful tool is to envision describing a photo to a friend who cannot the photo you are describing.
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