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A beginner's guide to Alt text

When you add an image to your website, it is important to provide contextual information about the image.

By adding more context around images, results can become much more useful, which can lead to higher quality traffic to your site.

Google

This can be done by adding Alt text to the image tag. This text helps search engines identify what is in the image. It also improves accessibility. If your user is using a screen readers (perhaps due to visual impairment, or a slow connection) the text can describe what is in the image.

 

Writing good quality Alt text

The Alt text should describe what is contained in the image. For example:

<img src=”espadrille-shoe.jpg” alt=”Navy suede mens espadrilles” />

It is important to add Alt Text for every single image. Where possible, include relevant keywords for the page (although it is important to avoid keyword stuffing). Your Alt Text should be no more than 125 characters.

When planning a site it can be useful to setup a spreadsheet listing all images, their file names and Alt text.

 

Adding Alt text in WordPress

If you’re uploading an image in WordPress, the Alt Text can be added when uploading the image to the media library.

 

Structured data

It is also possible to provide context by providing structured data. Currently, Google images support structured data for the following:

1. Product
2. Video
3. Recipe

If your image relates to any of these, you can add structured data to improve the chance that the image will be displayed in rich search results.

 

Further reading:

Google Image Publishing Guidelines
The importance of Alt tags (video)

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