Keep Context in Mind
When creating alt-text the context of the photo is also important. Referring to the photo above of the girl riding the horse, this same photo could be used in a blog on the importance of using safety helmets. If that were the case the alt-tag should read:
<img src=”safetyhelmetshorsebackriding.jpg” alt=”child wearing a safety riding helmet on a horse”>
How to Write Alt-Text for Accessibility
When it comes to writing alt-tags for accessibility the rules are the same as outlined above. What is important though, is to keep in mind how the alt-text is being interpreted by the user. If someone is using a screen reader they are fully reliant on your alt-text description of images. Create descriptions that will let the user know exactly what the image is depicting and how it is relevant to the page’s content so they can get the full user experience when using your website.
Icons and Alt-Text
It’s important to note that there are some instances when alt-text is not needed. Icons are one example of this. If you are posting a link to your Facebook or other social media page generally there is a label for that icon. If this is the case adding an alt-tag would make it redundant and would show up as “Facebook icon” “Facebook”.
Don’t Rely on Machines to Create Alt-Tags
One final note on alt-text is this: do it yourself. While there may be plugins or other website integrations that can create alt-text for you, you are risking quality over a minute of your time. Machines are not great at interpreting images properly and have no way of incorporating the correct context in relation to your content. It’s an added step in your process, but the benefits far outweigh the time it takes to create them.
If you would like to book a free Digital Marketing Consultation with a Smek Digital Consultant to learn more about improving alt-tags, please contact us today.