Alt Text On Images | Questions Answered

May 19, 2022

Alt Text On Images

Alt text also known as “alt attributes” “alt descriptions” or “alt tags” are used within HTML code on any website you are visiting to describe the image you are viewing. Adding alt text on images has various purposes however the most common reason why alt tags are added to images is because

Alt Text on Images Also Helps The Visually Impaired

Adding alt text on images helps people who are visually impaired to understand what the image is about. People who are visually impaired who use screen readers will be able to hear the alt text on the image. The alt text will be read allowed which will help them understand the context of the image better. This is why it is very important to put as much (relevant) description into your alt text as possible to give a person who is visually impaired as much information about the image as necessary.

Many people think that adding alt text on images helps with the SEO ranking of the image itself, while it does help in terms of indexing it is also important to name the image on your PC/MAC as the keyword you want to rank for. See example:

SEO Example:

You want to rank for a black cat wearing a pink collar. You have researched your keywords & competitors and have found that the keyword “black cat in pink collar” has 1000 searches a month. Therefore before you upload the image of the black cat wearing a collar to your website you should change the file name on your computer to “black cat in pink collar”. See example of how you should name this file on your computer below:

Alt Text On Image Example:

When you are adding alt text to the image this will not normally be done on the file on your computer but alternatively there will be options to add this alt text to areas on the website you are uploading it too. You can see this option on the wordpress site here.

In this box you should provide as much detail about the image as you can (that is relevant). So for instance if we take the same example of black cat in a pink collar you could describe this image as “this is a picture of a black adult cat wearing a pink collar with a pink bow”.

What you wouldn’t describe it as is “This is a bright and cute picture of a black kitty in a super cute pink collar that also has a medium sized pink bow also attached”. That is overkill.

Alt Text On Images Help Describe An Image If The Image Does Not Load

The second thing that alt text does is that it describes an image if the HTML on your site has failed to load. So instead of seeing a mismatch of code which won’t make sense to your visitors or a blank space that has failed to load anything, if you have filled in the alt text box on your platform when you uploaded the image (as shown above) before making it go live then all of your visitors will still be able to understand what the image is about (even though it has temporarily disappeared).

Alt Text Provide Better Image Context When Your Site Is Being Crawled

Website crawling is the process when Google or other search engines “crawl” your site basically reading the information on your site so that it can decide where it should categorize your website within the search engine. Google searches for keywords on your website to see what your content is about and how relevant or beneficial it feels it would be for it’s users when they enter certain keywords. That is why it is important to keep your site regularly updated and to make sure you are using keywords that are appropriate to what you do.

Search engines also crawl alt text on images. When there is appropriate alt text on images search engines can understand what your image is about and again categorise it to make sure its users are finding the best images for their keyword research. This helps search engines index your website better and if you are in a competitive playing field is just another reason why you should be adding alt text on your images!

How Do I Know If I Have Implemented the Alt Text On My Images Correctly?

Trying to find out if all of your images have been set up correctly for alt text can be a time consuming task. If you need help going through the processes of reviewing all of the images on your website why not drop me an email and we can review it together! Email me at and I would be happy to help!



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