How to compose Alt Text for WCAG 2.1 Compliance and Screen Readers

How to compose Alt Text for WCAG 2.1 Compliance and Screen Readers… regrettably, it’s more complex than you believe.  We produced these standards for our own site customers to assist them comprehend the intricacies of Alt Text, how it affects screen readers, when to compose alt text and when not to compose alt text, how to compose alt text for complicated images like resort maps and what to do if you are informed to get rid of alt text that exists for SEO functions.

Adding alternative text to pictures is very first and primary a concept of web ease of access. Visually impaired users utilizing screen readers will read an alt credit to much better comprehend an on-page image. Alt text will be shown in location of an image if an image file cannot be packed. In addition, alt text offers image context/descriptions to online search engine spiders, assisting them to index an image effectively.

How to Optimize Alt Text

Describe the why of the image not the what of the image as particularly as possible. Alt-text is, most importantly, created to offer text descriptions of images for users who are not able to see them. For example, you don’t explain a resort map with “resort map” however rather inform what it reveals for the spotted individual.

Keep it (fairly) brief. The most popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters, so it’s suggested to keep it to that character count or less unless the image is complicated like a resort map or infographic (see listed below)

Use your keywords. Alt text offers you another chance to include your target keyword on a page, and therefore another chance to signify to online search engine that your page is extremely pertinent to a specific search inquiry. While your very first top priority must be explaining and supplying context to the image, if it makes good sense to do so, include your keyword in the alt text of a minimum of one image on the page.

Avoid keyword stuffing. You will see unfavorable outcomes if you utilize your alt text as a chance to things as numerous pertinent keywords as you can consider into it, this will make the alt text

Don’t consist of “image of,” “picture of,” and so on. in your alt text. It’s currently presumed your alt text is describing an image, so there’s no requirement to define it.

Don’t forget longdesc=””. Explore utilizing the longdesc=”” tag for more complex images that need a longer description.

When You Shouldn’t Use Alt Text

There are cases where an image need to have a blank alt tag. These circumstances are:

  • Decorative images, a quite horizontal bar, it might be an image of an individual that holds no significance to the page, it might be a style component or a graphic. Sometimes designers will utilize an individual pointing towards a type or a button that needs action, that is simply ornamental so explaining a stock image that exists simply to drive the eye to an area of the page is undoubtedly ornamental. Eye sweet images that are not connected to the product and services used.
  • Images that become part of links where there is text listed below the image that is likewise part of the link

Special Cases: When you aren’t sure if you should utilize Alt Text

  • Is it truly ornamental? If you aren’t sure if the image is simply “decorative”, compose a description, it will still pass.
  • Maps – Campground Maps, Resort Maps. Use sound judgment to attempt to explain the design to the very best of your capability. For example, camp areas 1-50 (evens) are on the left hand of the roadway taking a trip north with a bathhouse in the basic location of x-z. Text options require to explain “why” and not what. Make sure there is some bearing for the reader, ie: “if you are coming through the main gate…. Xyz is to the left”
  • Infographic design images: If there is currently a post that explains what remains in the infographic, there is no requirement for alt text as that would produce redundancy. If there is not a post, either compose one or consist of the info in the alt text.
  • Think Text Alternatives vs. Alt Text: Don’t believe I should have “alt text” believe exists a text option on the page for what is currently in the picture. If so, alt text would be redundant.
  • What about my wonderful SEO Alt Text? If your site is ranking high and you don’t wish to run the risk of getting rid of all the redundant alt text, professionals suggest including function=discussion and keeping the alt text.You can discover more about what is thought about an ornamental image here. This choice tree can assist you identify when to utilize alt text or not.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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