Being a small detail on the backend of a site, alt tags often get overlooked. However, they’re quite beneficial and can be the missing piece that will boost your site.
What is an alt tag?
An alt tag is the text that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load. It can boost SEO and is also beneficial for screen-reading tools that will read the description to visually impaired users. Alt tags are typically short descriptions that are associated with the photos on a site.
Why you should use alt tags
Whether or not you work to enhance SEO on your site, alt tags will create a better user experience for your site’s visitors. If an image doesn’t load properly, this text will show up in its place. This will give the user a better understanding of what was supposed to be there and how the layout would typically appear.
On the other end, you have the accessibility feature that using alt tags gives the user. Alt tags are designed for visually-impaired users. Programs like screen-readers will read the content of a webpage out loud. This is the primary way of providing context to help someone understand the appearance of the site – even if they can’t physically see it for themselves.
How to add alt tags
Adding alt tags is simple and quick to do. At Compulse, we build all of our websites through WordPress. If your website is built through WordPress, these instructions will be helpful.
If you log into the backend of your site, you will see a section called “Media” on the left-hand side of the dashboard. Clicking on that will take you to the media library where all of your photos are uploaded and stored. If you click on an image, the first box that will appear is labeled “Alternative Text.” This is where you will add your alt tags.
Examples of Alt Tags
The most important thing to keep in mind is to be as descriptive and specific as possible. However, the alt tag has to consider the image’s context, and you want to avoid keyword stuffing. Keep the description short and to the point rather than trying to create a lengthy description. Below are some examples of good versus bad alt tags.
Imagine you are using this image of a woman walking down the street:
Bad alt tag: “woman in a flowy pink cardigan walking down the street while talking on the phone with cars parked along the street”
Okay alt tag: “woman”
Better alt tag: “woman walking”
Best alt tag: “woman walking down city street”
The first alt tag is an example of keyword stuffing. There are too many descriptive words involved and it’s too lengthy. The next two are short, but could still work. The last alt tag is an example of what would be the best to use. It’s brief, but still descriptive and would allow for the user to understand what would be in the photo’s place if it does fail to load on your site.
Whether you use them for SEO purposes or to boost user experience, alt tags are simple and easy to incorporate into your site. The more images that have alt tags, the better your site will be moving forward.
For more information on alt tags, contact us by visiting www.compulse.com, or call us at 844-821-2154.