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Alt Text: Enhancing Accessibility and SEO



Alt Text

Alt text, also known as Alt tag or Alternative text, is a small yet mighty component of web content. It’s a descriptive attribute added to images in HTML that serves multiple purposes, from improving accessibility to boosting SEO.

The Power of Alt Text

Alt text is an essential element for ensuring that images are accessible to visually impaired users. It’s read aloud by screen readers, providing context about the image.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

In the realm of web accessibility, alt text is a superhero. It ensures that all users, regardless of visual ability, can comprehend the content.

SEO Benefits of Alt Text

Beyond accessibility, alt text plays a pivotal role in SEO. Search engines can’t “see” images, but they rely on alt text to understand their relevance.

Strategic Alt Text Implementation

Strategically crafting alt text involves succinctly describing the image while incorporating relevant keywords. It’s an art that marries context and image optimization.

Decorative Images and Null Alt Text

For purely decorative images that don’t convey information, using an empty or null alt text (alt=””) is recommended. It informs screen readers to skip these images.

When images are also links, the alt text should describe the purpose of the link. It’s a nuanced way of enhancing both accessibility and user experience.

Images in Content Hierarchy

Images often support content hierarchy. Utilizing descriptive alt text reinforces the hierarchy for search engines.

Alt Text for Image Maps

Image maps can enhance user interactivity, but they need descriptive alt text for each clickable area to be meaningful to all users.

Consistency and Descriptiveness

Consistency in alt text style and descriptiveness across your website fosters coherent user experiences and better SEO performance.

Testing Alt Text’s Effectiveness

Periodically test alt text with screen readers to ensure it’s providing accurate and meaningful descriptions.

Best Practices for Alt Text

  • Be Descriptive: Clearly describe the image’s content and function.
  • Be Concise: Keep the alt text concise and to the point.
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Incorporate keywords naturally; avoid over-optimization.
  • Captions and Context: Use captions to provide context, but don’t rely solely on them.

In Conclusion

Alt text is the bridge between images and users, ensuring inclusivity and SEO excellence. By crafting descriptive, strategic alt text, you cater to both human and search engine audiences. Elevate your web content’s impact with thoughtful alt text implementation.

Hassan Bilal is Founder of Techno Hawks an experienced Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with 10 years of experience, specialized in the integration of SEO, Paid Search, SMM, Affiliate marketing, Content and Analytics for the development of complete and measurable marketing strategies. He worked with brands from around the country including government, non-profit, and small businesses. Over the years he had the opportunity to contribute to the online visibility of several top brands in very com

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