Back in 1998, I started a website of my favorite boy band at the time, Hanson. I look back and the internet in 1998 was nothing like it is today, and I had to learn HTML. I love that I learned it back then because alt text wasn’t foreign to me. Though, if an alt text is foreign to you, I hope this guide helps you through what it is, why we use it, and more.
What is an alt text?
Alt text is an attribute you add to HTML images to describe them in the code. It helps search engines find your website/image. It is sometimes referred to as, ”alt attributes”, “alt descriptions”, and “alt tags”.
Key reasons to use it
There are two specific reasons to use it.
- It shows the text to those who are visually impaired or can’t see images on their website
- Image searches in search engines, like Google.
The key to using it is to avoid keyword stuffing your image and making it look spammy. Keyword stuffing is smashing all keywords into the text. No one will see it, but it doesn’t make it ok because it’ll hurt you in searching. For example, here’s a picture of kids running. Examples: Good alt text: kids running track Bad alt text with keyword stuffing: kids running, fitness, the name of my gym, cheap kids fitness, the track is the best. Also, always title your image with the name of what you want. For example: kidsrunning.jpg, instead of DETIF45.jpg.
How to Add Alt Text To Images
Adding it is a process you should be doing in your SEO strategy for your website. First, look at your blog host and see where it is on your platform. Can’t find it? Google it “Adding alt text to ___ blog”
- Then, check your image editor
- Finally, check the HTML view and search for <img src = “imagename.jog> add alt text by adding alt = kids running
Length of It
Don’t make it too long because searches may exclude your images. Stick with 125 characters. On the contrary, if you have an image, like an infographic, you may want to add in a longer description.
Add to All Images
Every image should have an alt text. If you are having a hard time adding it to your image because you can’t think of exactly what you want to say, try this tip: Close your eyes and picture your image, put yourself in someone’s shoes who can’t see it. Don’t use “image of” or “picture of” in your alt text (you’re using up those 125 characters for no reason). Overall, adding it to your images will help you rank in search engines. Everyone wants a bit more traffic, and adding alt text can help. I hope this helps break down this technical term to a simple, easy to read guide.
Like what you’re reading? Take a listen to our podcast called The Savvy Scribe Podcast!
Interested in taking your health writing business further? Join us in the Savvy Scribe Growth Lab!