Image Alt Text - Letting the images speak for themselves


Image Alt Text is a brief description of an image on the web. It helps with accurate indexing of an image with search engine crawlers by providing context to the image.


Search engines index all the images they find on a website. In the absence of an alt text, search engines can’t tell what the image is about. They won’t know if the image is of a pack of gums or of a can of pop soda. Alt text fixes that. It tells the search engine crawlers exactly what it is that they are looking at.


It sharpens a website's SEO and improves Google Image Search rankings. For those users who use image search to find exactly the products they want, Alt text in an image can help store owners to get their products visible to these customers.


Alt text is further useful in a couple of other ways. It improves web accessibility for visually impaired users who use screen readers to browse the web. Screen readers will read an alt text to describe the image. Also, when an image fails to load, alt text will be displayed in the image placeholder.


Examples of Image Alt text:





Elements of good alt text descriptions:


  1. No stuffing of keywords. It defeats the purpose of an alt text description.

This: Dr. Pepper soda in cherry flavor, 12 oz. can.


Not this: drpepper soda drpeppersoda soda can cherry


2. The description is kept to the bare minimum.


This: Black and grey flip flops with white throng strap, and layered foam in the sole.


Not this: A pair of black and grey flip flops having a white throng strap and a layered foam in the sole, placed on a sandy beach with water in the background and seagulls flying.


3. They are properly punctuated.


This: Red sweatshirt with white Adidas logo, a zipper on the front, side pockets, and a hoodie.


Not this: Red sweatshirt with white Adidas logo zipper on the front side pockets and a hoodie.