ALT Text attribute is one of the most popular classic principles of SEO that still works. ALT text is popular even among fresh SEOs. In this article, we will learn in-depth about ALT text. We will also learn if it is really ALT text or ALT tag or ALT attribute. At the end of this article, most of you will also realize that this information must be learned earlier. Most of you will also realize that you were using ALT text incorrectly from the beginning to some extent.
- What is Correct? ATL Text or ALT tag or ALT attribute?
- Functions and Use of ALT Attribute
- How to Write Perfect ALT Text (Attribute)?
What is Correct? ATL Text or ALT tag or ALT attribute?
The term we are calling ALT text is an HTML element. In HTML, tags are those keywords that define certain information. For example
<h2>, <title>, <img src>, etc are tags. But attributions are those that give additional information about the elements. For example, if you add s
tyle="color:green;" inside paragraph tag as
<p style="color:green;">, it is called an attribute.
Similar to this, ALT text in the image element
<img src="/source" defines the image but this does not define in text form what the image is about. So, to add the additional information ALT element is used. Therefore, ALT is an HTML attribute. The full form of ALT in the HTML attribute is Alternative Text. To understand more about the ALT tags I refer to check this page from W3School and come back to learn how to create a perfect ALT text attribute.
Functions and Use of ALT Attribute
ALTattribute specifies an alternate text for an image if the image cannot be displayed.
- The ALT attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it.
- Search Engines that can not analyze the information on the image, can read the ALT attribute to understand the image.
- This helps the browser understand the image and read the text while using text-to-speech for the visually impaired person who can not see the image.
An ALT attribute is used with three HTML tags: Area, Image, and Input.
How to Write Perfect ALT Text (Attribute)?
The following are the most important points to be considered while creating an ALT text.
Do not miss the ALT attribute on any image
You are not allowed to not to use ALT Attribute. That means you must use the ALT text on each and every image you are uploading or using on your webpage. Even if the image is purely for decorative purposes and has nothing to explain, you must add the ALT attribute. However, the text field can be left empty which the browser and search engine will understand as a null ALT text attribute. The null ALT attribute shall look like this:
<img src="/image.jpeg/" alt="(noting*)">Image Title</img>
/*= there will be noting in between two inverted commas and should look like: ""
From that, you can conclude that the attribute must be present even if there is no text to be included.
Use Less Than 125 Characters and a Maximum of 16 Words
You must complete your image ALT text within 16 words that are within the 125 characters limit. Browsers and some Seach Engines generally do not support or ignore or even discard the ALT attribute texts. This is done to avoid spam activities using invisible elements. Therefore, there is no significance in using longer sentences. You must be concise and able to explain about the image within the word and character limit.
For Google Image SEO, there is a different story. There is no problem using longer texts. It is said that sentences up to 50 words are read by Google for image SEO.
“We don’t have any guidelines with regards to how long your alt text can be. So from a Google Search point of view, you can put a lot of things in the alt text for an image, if that’s relevant for that particular image.”John Muller
Terms to be Avoided in ALT Text
In image ALT text some of these terms are not recommended:
- Photo of:
- Image of:
- Picture of:
- Graphics of:
- Infographics of:
Writing these words is pointless because everyone including human and non-human readers knows this is an image/picture as the ALT attribute is being used for the image.
Concise and Correct Explanation
While using the ALT text, you must concisely explain the context and detail of the image used in the webpage. Most importantly, it must be correct and should not mislead the human reader, as it appears in case of failure to load the image, and it should be most basic, clear, and correct for understanding by the bot like search engines and browsers.
For example, if you are using your own picture while presenting in a seminar you can write
A Picture of a man Jake presenting on the stage about SEO and Digital Marketing instead of A picture of a Digital Marketing Seminar which could be vague. In the above example, man can be more correct if you think the reader of ALT text will not recognize Jake.
Do Not Repeat the Text From the Page or the Image
You should avoid repeating the same text that is already written on the page as the caption of the image or in the title just before the image or paragraph around the image. You should also avoid writing the text that is already written on the image used. But if there are no alternative options, you should not hesitate to use it as it is instead of leaving it empty.