Two Important Reasons to Use Alt text for Images
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Including images on your webpages and blog posts engages people, breaks up text, and helps to communicate your message. In fact, research suggests that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text! So, using images is crucial for your website. In addition, we have two reasons why it’s also important to include alt text for every image on your site.
Before we get to that, let’s clarify what alt text is.
What Is Alt text?
Alt text (also called “Alt attribute”) is text that is paired with an image that Google and other search engines can understand. This text will also appear on a user’s screen if for some reason the image won’t load. Alt text should not only describe the image, but it should also describe the function of the image on the page. So, even images like the ones users click to “buy now” should include alt text. For example, the alt text might be “button to buy product XYZ.”
Note that alt text is different from title text (or “title attribute”), which is text that appears when a user hovers over the image. Title text not as important as alt text, and in fact, it’s often wise to omit title text.
Why Include Alt text for Every Image
We promised you two reasons alt text is important, and those reasons are SEO and accessibility. You want people who are searching for you to find you, and you want to reach users of all abilities.
Alt text Is Important for SEO
The alt text tells search engines what is depicted in the image, as well as how that image is related to the nearby text. As search engines are trying to find the best match for the user’s search, descriptive alt text – for images placed in the proper context of the page – boost the search engine’s “confidence” in your content.
What to Add as Alt Text for SEO
Therefore, the value of alt text is ranked comparatively high by Google and other search engines. If you’re not using alt text on all your images, you’re missing information you could be feeding to hungry search engines. Search engines need this “fuel” to match you up with the people who are looking for what you offer!
When creating your alt text, add useful, descriptive content, use keywords appropriately, and make sure it’s in context of the content of the page. Don’t overdo it with keywords, though! Cramming keywords into alt text is called keyword stuffing, and it can make Google identify your site as spam.
At the same time, if a keyphrase may be useful for finding something on that image, include it in the alt text where possible. For specific product images, use the product’s ID number, as well as the full name of the product, in the alt text. (Your file image names should also describe what’s on the image.)
Alt text Is Important for Accessibility
Alt tags aren’t just for search engines but also for anyone who can’t see images on the web. For some, a low-bandwidth connection could be the reason the user can’t see an image. The images simply don’t load for the user to see them. The alt text can provide some of the information they’re missing because the image didn’t come up for the.
Even more importantly, alt text is picked up by screen readers, which are special browsers used by those with visual impairments. The screen reader tells them about the image by reading the alt tag to them. If you’re missing alt tags, visually impaired users won’t know what the purpose of the image is. In fact, they may not even know they’re missing image information at all if you leave out alt text! This is why every image on your site should include alt text. You want all users to have a good experience on your website.
What Alt Text Do I Use for an Image without a Purpose
Uh, if you have images without purpose, you’re doing it wrong! It’s important to have images and image alt text, but images for the sake of images are not helping your site.
All images on your site should be placed purposefully. Use your images wisely!
how to add alt text to your images
Now that we’ve shared the reasons why it’s important to add alt text to your images, let’s make sure you know how to add alt text. As always, there’s more than one option in WordPress.
From the Block Editor: You can add your alt text to images you’re uploading to WordPress directly from the block editor. Add your image block, as you normally do, and click the Upload button when the block appears. Once you select the image you want from your device, the block sidebar includes a text box where you can type your alt text.
From the Media Library: You can also add alt text to new or existing images in your media library. Click on an image in your video library, and you’ll see the same image options on the right-hand side of the screen.
If you haven’t been using alt text for your images, you can go into your media library and add them at any time.
at the end of the day
It’s important to use alt text for all of your website images. Search engines and your visitors will thank you!