Ever thought about how those who can’t see well use the web? Alt text is the answer. It makes websites more accessible and helps with SEO. But what is alt text exactly? How do you write it to really make a difference? Learn how to give your images a new power and boost your online presence.

Alt text, short for alternative text, is a written description of an image. It explains what the image looks like, its context, or what it does on a webpage1. This text is crucial for screen readers, helping blind or visually impaired users understand images. When a screen reader encounters an image, it reads the alt text out loud1. This way, users get an idea of the image’s role in the page without seeing it. Good alt text makes websites more user-friendly, improves SEO, and makes content accessible to all1.

Key Takeaways

  • Alt text is read by screen readers, allowing access for the visually impaired.
  • Well-crafted alt text is crucial for website accessibility and SEO.
  • Screen readers may cut off alt text after 125 characters.
  • Keyword stuffing in alt text can lead to penalties from search engines.
  • Alt text can be useful for those with certain sensory or learning disabilities.

Understanding Alt Text: What It Is and Why It Matters

Alt text, short for alternative text, is key for web accessibility and SEO. It’s a description of an image shown when it can’t be seen. This happens for those with sight issues or when the image doesn’t load2. Many website platforms have a spot for alt text, so you don’t usually need to change the HTML directly2.

Accessibility Benefits of Alt Text

For those who use screen readers, alt text is essential. It describes the images, allowing these users to understand what’s on the page. It should be under 250 characters for the best experience3.

It’s vital that all images have accurate alt text. This makes websites more welcoming for everyone3.

SEO Advantages of Using Alt Text

Alt text also helps with SEO. Search engines rely on it to ‘see’ and rank images on websites. This means using alt text well can boost your site’s visibility and its positioning in image search results2. By including keywords in alt text, your images can do better on Google Images and other searches23.

Optimizing alt text is good for both accessibility and SEO. It helps you reach a broader online audience2. It can pull more visitors in through image searches, especially in places like Google Images2.

The Dos and Don’ts of Writing Effective Alt Text

Writing good alt text matters a lot for both people using search engines and those who need accessibility4. Many Google searches look for images. So, write alt text well to boost your image’s search result rank4.

Be clear and short when you describe the image4. Alt text should be no longer than a tweet. Don’t start with “image of” or “picture of.” Instead, tell what’s in the image in a helpful and interesting way.

Choosing the right keywords is key but tricky4. Use keywords wisely to tell search engines what your page is about. Still, don’t overdo it with too many keywords. It can make your text hard to read4.

Don’t include details that don’t matter4. Be specific about the image. Skip alt text for images that are just for show. This keeps things clean for users.

Obey these rules for great alt text4. Upgrading old images can increase traffic a lot. So, updating alt text is really important4.

Alt text should clearly describe the image. It helps everyone enjoy your site better. Keep these tips in mind to make your visual content shine and connect with your viewers.

alt text what is it and how to write it

how to write descriptive alt text

Tips for Writing Descriptive Alt Text

To write good alt text, aim for specific details. But make sure to keep it short. You want to describe the image well, without going overboard5.

Alt text should not be longer than one or two sentences. Remember, screen readers can handle about 125 characters5. Think about what the image is for. If it’s a button, say what it does5.

When talking about complex things like infographics, try to cover the key points. Describe the start, middle, and end. This helps someone who can’t see know what the image is about5. The same goes for videos. Describe the video’s contents and aim5.

For tables, the alt text should be brief and clear. Even if Microsoft’s checker doesn’t warn about them5. But things like design details should be labeled as “decorative” without any alt text5.

Remember, not everything needs alt text. For example, some features in Microsoft 365. You can choose to let the system generate alt text automatically. This depends on what’s best for the content5.

Following these hints will help improve your content’s accessibility. It’s also good for SEO. Aim to make your alt text both descriptive and concise567.

Optimizing Alt Text for SEO

alt text SEO

Alt text not only helps users with sight issues but also boosts a site’s SEO. Search engines use it to understand images, which can better your site’s image search results8.

Google Images sees over 1 billion searches a day. In 2019, image searches made up 20.45% of all searches. So, good alt text can get your site seen by more people8.

Use keywords in alt text that fit your page’s content. But don’t overdo it with too many keywords. This might hurt your site’s ranking. Make sure the text describes the image well and keeps it under 125 characters. This helps with screen reader use8.

For product images, include the full product name and ID in the alt tag9. Aim to use your keyphrase in about 30% to 70% of images. This is best for SEO9.

By doing alt text right, your site becomes more accessible and visible. This can increase your site’s organic traffic and improve your search rankings. Ultimately, it brings more customers to your business8.

Adding alt text to images in WordPress or Shopify is easy. It’s part of a good SEO strategy9.

To wrap up, well-made alt text can really change the game for your site. It boosts your online presence and draws in a broader crowd. Stick to using clear, keyword-packed alt text to follow the best practices. This will help grow your site’s visibility and drive more traffic, benefiting your business in the end.


Alt text is a powerful tool without limits. It helps make websites better for everyone. It does this by making websites easier to use and easier to find on search engines10. By knowing how to use alt text, website owners can make the web more welcoming for all users1011.

Anyone who makes digital content can use alt text wisely. This could be a writer, designer, or marketer. Adding good alt text can really boost your content’s success101211. Just remember, keep it short but descriptive. This way, your pictures will be seen by more people and by search engines12.

As time goes on, alt text is becoming even more important. It is key for making websites easier to use and for ranking better in searches. So, using alt text well today will help your online space thrive in the future. It’s a win for both your visitors and your presence online1011.

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