All Images Should Have Alt Attributes

Alt attributes, also known as alt tags or alt text, are descriptions or text alternatives added to images on websites. They serve several purposes. First, they provide a description of an image if it fails to load, ensuring that users can still understand the image’s content.

Importance Rating of 8/10

Alt attributes also provide extra information to search engine spiders during website indexing, improving search engine optimization (SEO) and potentially boosting rankings in image search results.

As of 2024, alt attributes use is still a ranking factor in Image Search, but Google Search does not treat alt text better than other text for ranking.

However it is still important for accessibility, indexing, and certain rich results.

Alt attributes are particularly important for people with visual impairments who use screen readers. When a screen reader encounters an image, it reads aloud the alt attribute associated with that image, allowing the user to comprehend its meaning. Without alt attributes, a screen reader would not effectively convey the image’s content or purpose to the user.

W3.org: Learn how to describe the purpose of the image

Furthermore, alt attributes are beneficial when images cannot be loaded due to slow internet or technical issues. Instead of a blank space or broken image icon, alt attributes display descriptive text, giving all website visitors an idea of what the missing image represents and providing context.

In terms of SEO, alt attributes help search engines understand image content. Keywords included in alt text can improve rankings in Google image search, but it is not a ranking factor for general search. Nevertheless, alt text is treated similarly to other text on the page in general search.

How to add attributes to images?

WordPress

  • Upload the image to the media library.
  • Edit the image details.
  • Scroll down to the ‘Attributes’ section and add attributes like alt text, title, caption, etc.

Squarespace

  • Upload the image to the media manager.
  • Click on the image to open the sidebar.
  • Under ‘Image Settings’, add alt text, title, etc.

Shopify

  • Upload the image to the media library.
  • Click on the image to open the sidebar.
  • Under ‘Image Properties’, add alt text, title, etc.

The key attributes to add are alt text for accessibility and SEO, title for hover text, and caption if desired.

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