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Alt Text: Optimizing Images for Accessibility and SEO

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Jamie Dowis
Head of Product
February 7, 2024
5 min read
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Alt text, or alternative text, is a crucial component in web design that enhances how you communicate content with visually impaired users. Understanding and implementing effective alt text can significantly enhance the user experience and improve your website's visibility.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text is a concise description written in HTML code that accompanies an image on a webpage. It provides a textual alternative to the image for screen readers used by visually impaired users. This description is also displayed in place of an image if it fails to load.

The importance of alt text lies in its dual role: it makes web content accessible to individuals with visual impairments and assists search engines in better understanding and indexing the image content. Effectively, alt text contributes to creating an inclusive digital environment while boosting SEO performance.

Alt Text and SEO

Search engines use alt text to comprehend what an image is about. This understanding can influence how a webpage is ranked in search results. Including relevant keywords in alt text can improve a website's SEO, but it's vital to balance keyword usage with clear and accurate image descriptions.

Alt Text Best Practices

When crafting alt text, there are several best practices to follow:

  1. Be Descriptive: Clearly describe the image's content and context.
  2. Keep It Concise: Aim for brevity while being informative.
  3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Use relevant keywords naturally and sparingly.
  4. Skip Redundant Phrases: Avoid using phrases like "image of" or "picture of."
  5. Consider the Content: Tailor the alt text to complement the surrounding content.

The Complete Webflow SEO Checklist

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Alt Text Examples

To better understand how to write effective alt text, here are a few examples:

A joyful golden retriever playing fetch in a sunny park

Alt text: A joyful golden retriever playing fetch in a sunny park.

A woman with curly hair holding a brown poodle puppy against a tan background

Alt text: A woman with curly hair holding a brown poodle puppy against a tan background.

Implementing Alt Text in Webflow

Adding Alt Text to Images on Static Pages

  1. Select the Image: Click on the image you want to add alt text to.
  2. Access Image Settings: Go to the 'Settings' panel.
  3. Enter Alt Text: Find the 'Alt Text' field and enter your description.

Adding Alt Text to Images on CMS Pages

  1. Navigate to the CMS Collection Settings: Hover over the collection you’d like to update and click on the cog icon to open the settings.
  2. Create a field for the alt text: Create a new plain text field and give it a name like ‘alt text for thumbnail image.’ Save the field, then save the collection.
  3. Connect the new field to the image’s alt text: Navigate to your CMS template and click on the image you’d like to add alt text to. Go to the settings panel and check the box next to ‘Get alt text from [collection name].’ Select the CMS field you just created from the dropdown.

In summary, alt text plays a vital role in making web content accessible and enhancing SEO. By following best practices and implementing alt text correctly, you can ensure your website is inclusive and more visible in search engine results.

Jamie Dowis
Head of Product
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