You may have seen it on different social media platforms when you’re uploading an image, but what is alt text?

alt text uses and meaning

Alternative text, also known as alt text is a form of text included in HTML code, which describes the visuals of an image on a page.

Quite simple, isn’t it?

It exists for a number of reasons, which we will run through in this blog…

Alt text is for: search engine crawlers

search engine crawler robot telling the user he is indexing your images

When it comes to search engines, like Google and Bing, they use bots called crawlers to scour the web to identify sites, and overall organise them for search engines to understand.

Now, alt text comes into the crawler’s path when an image appears before them: as since bots can’t see the image, they need the alt text to describe what the image actually is.

Crawlers also come in handy for SEO (search engine optimisation), as you can pop some of your chosen keywords into it, which gives you bonus points from the crawlers.

But, only put them in if it’s actually applicable to the image, or else they will view it as keyword stuffing, and you do not want that.

Let’s do an example with the above image, saying our keywords are “crawler”…

Bad text:

<img src=”crawler.png” alt=”robot crawler crawling robot crawls for alt text for crawlable images done by crawling robot”>

Just, don’t do that.

Good text:

<img src=”crawler.png” alt=”graphic of search engine crawler who is indexing your images”>

This is good, as you’re accurately describing the image, including the keyword whilst also making sense, and keeping it simple.

Accessibility

accessibility imagery of a visually impaired person asking the user to tell them what the image is

Accessibility is the key focus for alt text, as those who may be visually impaired should still be able to appreciate any imagery online.

Giving an accurate & clear description of any images you post online is very important for this reason: make your online presence as accessible as you can!

Quite a few different social media platforms now give users the option to add alt text.

Instagram includes it as an option for example, so make sure to describe your images on all your posts.

Unloaded images

unloaded image icon stating it needs to be described in alt text form, as it can't load

Finally, we have unloaded images.

This one is quite self-explanatory.

You’re on a website, and their images aren’t loading, you can “inspect” the images and it’ll appear with the description.

This is helpful when certain images aren’t loading on a site, but you need to find out what is in the pictures.

Alt text saves the day, again! It’s incredibly important for all the above reasons and beyond, so make sure you’re partaking in using it.

If you’re still unsure on alt text, visit our website: as always, we’re here to help.

You can also check out our last blog post here, which includes some marketing tips for small businesses.

The Skyzack Team