Descriptive text added to an image's HTML tag to provide information about the image. Alt text is crucial for accessibility and SEO.
Imagine you're browsing a website, and you come across an image that doesn't load properly. Instead of seeing the image, you see a short description or text that tells you what the image is about. That text is called "Alt Text." Alt text, short for "alternative text," is a brief description of an image that is displayed in place of the image if it cannot be loaded or if the user is using a screen reader to access the content.
Here's a breakdown:
- Definition: Alt text is a text description of an image that is used to provide context and information about the image's content to users who cannot see the image. This includes people with visual impairments who use screen readers, as well as situations where the image fails to load or is blocked by the user's browser settings.
- Purpose: Alt text serves several purposes, including:
- Accessibility: Alt text ensures that visually impaired users can access and understand the content of images on a webpage.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Search engines like Google use alt text to understand the content of images, which can help improve the website's ranking in search results.
- User Experience: Alt text provides additional context and information to all users, helping them better understand the content and purpose of the images on a webpage.
- Best Practices: When writing alt text, it's important to:
- Be descriptive: Describe the content and purpose of the image in a clear and concise manner.
- Be specific: Provide relevant details that convey the meaning of the image without being too lengthy.
- Avoid keyword stuffing: While it's important to include relevant keywords in alt text for SEO purposes, avoid overloading it with keywords as it can be seen as spammy.
- Use punctuation: Use proper punctuation to make the alt text easier to read and understand.
- Example: For example, if you have an image of a red apple on your webpage, the alt text could be "A ripe red apple on a white background." This description provides a clear and concise summary of the image for users who cannot see it.
In summary, alt text is an important element of web accessibility and SEO. By providing descriptive and relevant alt text for images on your website, you can improve the user experience for all users and help search engines better understand and index your content.