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The importance of ALT attributes in images

A guide to how, when and why to use the appropriate ALT text on images.

Deepa Prabhu avatar
Written by Deepa Prabhu
Updated over a week ago

This article aims to introduce you to ALT attributes and explain their importance. ALT attributes are helpful for accessibility reasons, which means to help participants with physical or vision impairments to navigate your site. It also helps to increase your search engine optimization.

This article helps you to understand ALT attributes, how to create them, and the importance of using these correctly in your website for effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

What are ALT Attributes?
Alt attributes also known as alt tags are alternative content to describe what’s in your image. These are not visible to visitors of your website. However, these are very useful to people who cannot view images in their browsers. For example, users who use browsers that cannot display images, those with a slow internet connection, those that have image display disabled or use screen readers, and the visually impaired who use audio-based software to access the internet.

Importance of ALT Attributes in Search Engine Optimization
Unlike text, search engines cannot access images on a website, thereby making the website less search engine optimized. To increase the ranking of your website with search engines, it is good to add an alt attribute to every image on your website. Wondering how this happens? Search engines select the best image in response to a search query based on the alt text information. This improves your site’s placement in search engine result pages and displays images of your website in image search results.

And not just SEO, but the alt text of your images helps vision-impaired visitors to understand what exactly the images in your website are all about. As alt text of images is not immediately visible to visitors of your website, it will be of great advantage to include them in every image. Adding alt text in images does not take much time and the benefits are huge. However, ensure that you include appropriate alt text for an image. For example, do not label an image of a house with alt text like ‘Automotive Industry in Australia’. It’s always good to enter the apt alt text to enhance search engine optimization. Therefore, in short, we can say ALT attributes are important for the following reasons:

  • Increase in significant search traffic to your website

  • Increase the number of visitors to your website

  • Information and images accessible to the visually impaired

How to Create Effective Alt Attributes
It is very important to provide an apt alt text to your image for effective search engine optimization. And the best way to do this is to provide contextual information pertaining to the image. Images with apt alt text are highly beneficial to users.

Listed below are a few tips to create apt alt text and drive more significant search traffic towards your website:

  • Shortlist the image that you want to use. This image must relate to the information that you are documenting.

  • Shortlist keywords that you want to use in alt attributes. Ensure that these keywords are apt to describe your image as well as rank your site higher in search engine optimization. However, do not misuse these keywords.

  • Keep it short and simple.

  • Images with alt text must be inserted next to the text related to it. This is of great assistance to the visually impaired.

Note: While adding an image through the text editor, if you open the alt text option and save the image, it adds an empty alt text. However, if you do not open the alt text option then no alt value is set for the image.

It is recommended to always open the alt text after adding an image and save it as empty if the image is presentational or add the relevant alt text and save it.

Using ALT Text in EngagementHQ
Administrators can add alt text to different images of EngagementHQ easily and without wasting any time. Some examples are given below to help you to understand how to use ALT text in EHQ.

Example 1:

In the Homepage Editor Section under Appearance Editor, click on the Banner card and enter the alt text in the Image Alternative Text field. 

As you can see in the figure below, ‘Banner’ is the alt text specified in the Image Alternative Text field.

Example 2:

On the Appearance Editor, click on the Freestyle Content section and enter the Alternative text. As you can see in the figure below, ‘Community icon’ is the alt text specified in this field.

Example 3:

On the Appearance Editor, click on the Slider section and enter the Alternative text. As you can see in the figure below, ‘Slider Image’ is the alt text specified in the Image Alternative Text field.

Contact our support team if you need any further assistance via chat or email

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