This article aims to introduce you to ALT attributes and explain its importance. ALT attributes are helpful for accessibility reasons, that means to help participants with physical or vision impairments to navigate your site. It also helps to increase your search engine optimisation.
This article helps you to understand ALT attributes, how to create them and the importance of using these correctly in your website for an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What are ALT Attributes?
Alt attributes also known as alt tags is 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 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.
When visitors check out the images on your website, they can view the alt attributes by hovering on images. Sometimes, even though the images are not displayed in a browser, the alt text is still displayed, thereby giving a brief idea of what the image is all about.
Therefore, an alt attribute not only increases the accessibility of your website, but also provides information about an image in it, irrespective of whether the image is visible to visitors, or not.
The above figure illustrates the image and the alt text. Due to some reasons, if the image is not displayed, the user will still be able to view the alt tag on hovering over the image. Another example of Alt tag is given below.
(Please note: Image is picked from https://9clouds.com/2014/01/23/the-importance-of-alt-attributes-aka-alt-tags-or-alt-text/)
Wondering what the HTML code for an alt text looks like? Well, the code for the above image is given below.
<img alt=”photo editing tools for non-designers google search results”src=”https://9clouds.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/photo-editing-tools-search.jpg” width=”558″ height=”389″ /></a>
(Please note: Code example is picked from https://9clouds.com/2014/01/23/the-importance-of-alt-attributes-aka-alt-tags-or-alt-text/)
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 help 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 an 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:
- Short list the image that you want to use. This image must relate to the information that you are documenting.
- Short list keywords that you want to use in alt attributes. Ensure that these keywords are apt to describe your image as well as ranks 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.
- Go through the draft copy and check the alt text by hovering over the image.
Using ALT Text in EngagementHQ
Administrators can add alt text to different images of EngagementHQ easily and without wasting any time. Some examples given below help you to understand how to use ALT text in EHQ.
In the Homepage Manager tab under Site Management, click on the Banner card and enter the alt text in the Customize Alt Text field.
As you can see in the figure below, ‘Banner’ is the alt text specified in the Enter alt text field.
In the Homepage Manager page, click on the Freestyle card and enter the alt text in the Customize Alt Text field. As you can see in the figure below, ‘Registration Banner’ is the alt text specified in the Customize Alt Text field.
In the Homepage Manager, click on Project Card and enter the alt text in Customize Image ALT. Here the alt text entered is the name of the project i.e., ‘Plants and Animals’.