Any expert in website management and accessibility will tell you how important it is to designate an ALT text or alternative text to each image you post.
In order to make you appreciate ALT text better, allow me to put it this way: website indexing usually revolves around reading of texts – most search engine crawlers do not recognize or understand images.
How to Find ALT text and the Process to Make One
If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, it is quite easy to see an image’s ALT text. Try hovering your mouse over any image and the alternative text that is designated for that image will pop out automatically (yes, the one in the yellow tool tip). Other browsers, however, do not reveal the ALT text for the images in this manner.
In order to make one, the following is the proper HTML that you should insert:
<imgsrc = “filename.gif” alt=”Put your alternative description here”>
It might sound easy to do – placing and designating an alternative description for your pictures on your website. However, despite the fact that it is not a complicated process, some people are not able to do it right. For this reason, I thought of coming up with a thorough discussion of the guidelines that needs to be followed.
- All spacer images should be designated with an ALT text that is empty or null: ALT=””. This way, the presence of the spacer image won’t even be detected; hence, it will not even be announced in the process. Most websites use spacer images in order to create images in the website.
- All icons and bullets, like spacer images, should be given a null or empty alt text: ALT=””. Assigning another ALT text for these, such as “bullet” or “icon” will only make it more difficult for readers to generate and work the list through.
- Decorative images should also be given an empty alternative text: ALT = “”. Decorative images need not to shout out it presence or announce its self-declared significance. It simply works as an eye candy on your screen, so leave it at that.
- Text embedded and navigation texts within the images do not have any other choice but to embed the same text within the given image. ALT text for such images must repeat the text embedded in verbatim – meaning you have to follow what’s written in the text – every single word in it.
- For company logos, the best option is to assign it with the name of your company: ALT=”Company name”. This way, the significance of the image is maximized and the screen reader will only shout out the core reason for the inclusion of the company logo in a certain page.
After all, writing the best ALT tag is not that difficult. You just have to remember which images should be assigned with the null description and which ones require otherwise. Regardless of the case, always remember that you should not ever delete any image’s ALT tag attribute. When describing any image, on the other hand, you should proceed without exceeding the purpose of laying out the description – nothing more and nothing less.