An image is worth a thousand words, so goes the cliché. The rules of the World Wide Web, however, do not always adhere to clichés. In fact, words are so important online, that if you upload images to a website without adding several words for the “alt-text,” then you’re doing this whole internet thing wrong.
Alt-text is short for “alternative text.” The term refers to a brief description of an image, yet this text is not displayed on the site itself (like a caption), but rather it is a part of the site’s “backstage” or meta information. Despite the fact that only few site visitors will read the actual alt-text, it is still highly important for two main reasons:
- It’s an SEO booster: Search engines still can’t read visual content, they can only read textual content. Adding alt-text to images makes them visible to search engines. This means that you can use alt-text to introduce optimized and targeted content that will improve your search results ranking.
- It makes your site accessible: Site visitors with vision impairments rely on screen readers to help them surf the web. These readers, like search engines, cannot read images. Alt-text can help in such cases by describing the image and its role in the full site’s context, making it comprehensible even to visitors who cannot fully view it.
Now that there’s no doubt that alt-text is valuable for increasing traffic and for making your site more accessible and friendly, let’s delve deeper into alt-text best-practices to guarantee your best results:
- Keep it short: Alt-texts should not exceed 15 words and usually work absolutely fine with much less.
- Be coherent: When you’re adding alt-text to an image, you are essentially describing an image to a friend who cannot see it. Make sure your friend can actually understand what’s in the image based on your words.
- Think about context: The alt-text often depends very much on the role that the image has on the page. An image of a happy couple cooking dinner together has one role on a nutrition blog and a completely different role on a dating site. Make sure your alt-text makes sense within the right context.
- Don’t spam: Even though it’s tempting to use this space to sell your website with more keywords and meta tags, resist the temptation! Instead, be clever and find a way to genuinely describe the image while inserting valuable terms for SEO.
- Focus: With so little room to describe an image, you need to prioritize and focus on the most significant elements of it. Is it the location? The people or objects that appear in it? The person who created the image? The colors or vibe that it’s projecting? Don’t get scattered and stick to what’s important.
Adding the alt-text to the images on your Wix website is really simple. Just follow these easy steps:
On a Wix Website:
- Click the image.
- Click the Settings icon .
- Enter a description of your image under What’s in the image? – that’s what search engines will read!
On a Wix Blog:
- Open a new or existing post in the Post Editor.
- Click an existing image or add a new image.
- Enter the text in the Alt Text (optional) field.
- Click outside the field to return to the editor.
NOTE: These instructions apply to the New Wix Editor. For instructions on how to add Alt Text in the Old Wix Editor, click here.
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