Thursday 6th July, 2023

Adding Alt text to your WordPress site – the why, the what and the how?

There are some easy things you can do to improve SEO on your website, and do your bit for accessibility at the same time.

Something that often gets overlooked but can play a significant role in improving user experience and driving traffic to your website is alt (alternative) text. In this article We’ll look at why alt text is important, how it can benefit your users and your SEO, and how you can update your WordPress website with good quality alt text.

Alt Text: Making Images Accessible

Alt text, short for alternative text, is a short description of an image that can be read by assistive technologies (like screen readers) and search engine crawlers, or displayed when an image fails to load. Here’s why alt text is important.

  • Accessibility: Alt text makes your website more inclusive and accessible to individuals with visual impairments or those using screen readers. By providing a textual description of the image, you ensure that everyone can understand the context and meaning behind your visuals.
  • Improved SEO: Search engines like Google rely on alt text to understand and index images. By using relevant and descriptive alt text, you can enhance your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increase the chances of attracting organic traffic.
  • User Experience: Alt text not only benefits individuals with visual impairments but also improves the user experience for all visitors. When an image fails to load, users can still understand the content or purpose of the image by reading the alt text, preventing confusion or frustration.

How can you add alt text to images on your WordPress site?

It’s easy – edit the page in your WordPress dashboard, click on the image you want to add the text to and you’ll see an Alt text box appear on the page. In the box write a short description of the image and save your changes. That’s it!

A screen shot of the WordPress dashboard showing an image and the Alt text alongside it

Here are some tips to bear in mind when considering what to write for your Alt text.

  •  Be descriptive and concise, accurately conveying the image’s content and purpose.
  •  Use relevant keywords naturally, but avoid overusing them
  •  Include alt text for all images, including decorative or non-informative visuals.
  •  Don’t include phrases like “image of” or “picture of” in the alt text.
  •  Think about the Alt text in terms of the context of the rest of the page. If you couldn’t see the image, what would be a helpful description to help you make sense of it?

Spending a bit of time doing this is a great investment in your website’s health.

I’ve just spent the last 2 days ensuring all of the  pages on the Proper website include alt text and meta descriptions (the topic of our next article). I’ll admit it wasn’t the most exciting of jobs, but it’s satisfying to know that our site is now optimised for our users, whoever they are.

Too much work or not enough time? We can take care of it for you. Get in touch with us for a quote.