Table of contents
- Why is alt text important?
- Difference between image alt text and image title
- Best Practices: How to write an alt text
- How to add alt text in WordPress
- How to add alt text in Wix
- How to add alt text in Shopify
- Some plugins that can help you expedite your alt text needs
Alternative text, “alt attribute” or “alt text” is an HTML attribute that describes an image as a text. Alt attributes are not seen by users but by search engines to help define what that image is about.
Why is the alt attribute important?
Alt attribute text is also used by screen readers to convey information while image titles cannot be displayed by screen readers. It helps display text in case an image cannot be rendered by the browser.
A picture is worth a thousand words. However, images without the alt attribute become irrelevant to search engines since it is used by their image recognition software to identify what that image is about.
If search engines don’t know what’s in an image, there’s no way for them to tell how it relates to the page content. They also won’t be able to figure out if it’s relevant to an image search query. With machine learning and A.I., search engines are getting closer to identifying what an image is supposed to be, understand actions, and identify objects within images. Yet, images explained by the actual owner allows technology to process the information faster.
Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple way to solve this problem to improve your SEO and user experience: image alternative text. By providing alt text, you are helping search engines identify and categorize the images to provide users with relevant information.
Difference between image alt text and image title
Alt text is the HTML alt attribute and it gives more information about the image. Image title is displayed as a popup when you hover your mouse on an image. If the image fails to render, the alt text is provided, but not the image title.
Best Practices: How to write an alt text
Images are content, which requires them to be high-quality, attractive, and engaging; alt text requires the same level of quality. To learn how to write the best alt text for your images, here are some guidelines:
An image description can include nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Description of what is happening in the image, or what has happened, or what is going to happen must be written so that search engines can process that information effectively.
- Enable the user to visualize the image if and when an image fails to load
- No more than 1 or 2 sentences
- Avoid using phrases such as “graphics of” or “image of” and unnecessary information that can lengthen the text.
Avoid keyword stuffing
You’ll need the same amount of dedication in creating rich information for users to identify your images as you do with title tags and meta descriptions.
Below are some example guidelines to help you identify what search engines are looking for in alt text:
- Bad (missing alt text): <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=””/>
- Bad (keyword stuffing): <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy dog baby dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier puppies dog food cheap dogfood puppy food”/>
- Better: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”puppy”/>
- Best: <img src=”puppy.jpg” alt=”Dalmatian puppy playing fetch”/>
How to add alt attribute in WordPress
There are three ways to add alt text in WordPress.
- If you are uploading an image directly onto the page itself:
- You can edit the image by clicking on the image and select the Pencil icon.
- Go to Library and select the image you want to add the alt text to.
How to add alt attribute in Wix
You can add alt text images once you’ve added the image to the page. If you’ve already added the image, you can click the Gear icon.
Highlight the image, then click the first option on the right side named Title (Alt text), where you can add your description.
How to add alt text in Shopify
Shopify does have a media library located in Settings > Files. However, you won’t be able to add alt text to your images from here. There are three places where you can edit your image descriptions.
If the uploaded images are product images, you can click on the “ALT” feature located on the bottom of each image.
Or, add your alt text directly onto the image here:
If you’re creating an actual page with the image added to your page, there’s a three-step process to adding alt text. You’ll need to click the image icon to upload an image, then click on the actual image, and then click on the image icon again.
You can also add your alt text to the image URL:
Featured images are important to identify on each page, collection or post. Once you’ve added an image, you’ll need to click on Update to be able to add your alt text for that specific image.
If you’ve already uploaded hundreds or thousands of images, the best way to implement alt text to all images is to either go to each product individually, or possibly download a plugin. As an e-commerce, most alt text has to do with products, specifics, and types. These plugins can help you add the main description, however, you should focus on providing high-quality descriptions and avoid streamlining and automating alt text.
Some plugins that can help you expedite your alt text needs
This Lion Apps plugin won’t help you add descriptive alt text to your images, but it does allow you to add Product Title, Type and Vender to your images to describe a product.
SEO All in one
The Softpulse Infotech SEO All in One app provides another variable for you to choose from. “Variant title” allows you to add more than one variant of the product, such as color, size, and style to your alt text descriptions.
SEO Image Optimizer by Booster Apps
SEO Image Optimizer by Booster Apps is the most popular plugin, since many Shopify users use their apps. However, all are created equal and do the same things for alt text.