Alt Text

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Alt Text

What is alt text for images?

Alt text is an alternative description provided to images to make them accessible to visually impaired users. It is a textual representation of the image, enabling screen readers to communicate what is happening within the image.

What makes a good alt text?

The answer is simple: descriptive and concise. Alt text should accurately describe the contents of an image in a few words or less.

Here is an example:

A golden sun setting over a serene beach.

Good alt text: A golden sun setting over a serene beach.
Bad alt text: Sunset.

By including a detailed and relevant description, alt text ensures that website users who are visually impaired are able to understand and appreciate the image. Alt text is not an SEO tactic, it is a critical component of website accessibility that enables visually impaired individuals to enjoy the same level of access and engagement as others, creating a truly inclusive digital experience.

With more than 15% of the world’s population experiencing some form of disability, the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) confirms that alt text is essential to ensuring a website’s accessibility. By implementing alt text in the correct way and according to mandated guidelines, your page ranks higher. Pages do not rank higher if you are manipulating alt text to do something that it’s not designed to do.

In addition to the W3C guidelines, several other rules and laws mandate the implementation of alt text as well. 

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has become a crucial legislation, stating that all online content must be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the implementation of alt text for visual media. 

The European Union has also taken steps to ensure website accessibility with the introduction of the European Accessibility Act (EAA). The EAA mandates that all digital services and products provided within the EU must comply with specific accessibility standards, including the implementation of alt text.

Website accessibility has become more important than ever before, and alt text has become a vital tool to achieve this. Adhering to guidelines such as the WCAG, ADA, and EAA ensure that websites can be accessed and understood by all individuals, regardless of their abilities, resulting in a positive user experience for all.

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