How To Write Good Alt-Text

how to write good alt text

No matter how good screen readers get, they still cannot "see" your images.

So telling them exactly what you've represented in your images is the best way to keep your users informed.

Similarly, search algorithms cannot yet "see" your images. However, images are displayed in search SERPs all the time. Therefore, having the right keywords in your alt text is very important.

However, writing effective alt text is a skill that requires attention to detail and a commitment to inclusivity.


Here are some tips to help you create good alt text:

  • Lengthy descriptions should be avoided as they can be overwhelming for users relying on screen readers. Instead, focus on providing a succinct description that conveys the necessary information.

  • If an image is purely decorative and does not add any meaningful content to the page, it is best to use null alt text. This means leaving the alt attribute empty, indicating to screen readers that the image is not relevant to the content.

  • Being specific to the image and its context is crucial. Alt text should accurately describe the image and its purpose within the surrounding content. This helps users understand the image's relevance and aids in comprehension.

  • When crafting alt text, it is important to prioritize conveying critical information. Focus on describing the most important aspects of the image that are relevant to the content. This ensures that users receive the necessary information even if they cannot see the image.

  • Avoid using unnecessary language or excessive adjectives in alt text. Stick to clear and concise descriptions that provide the essential details.

  • Using punctuation to separate elements within the alt text can improve readability and comprehension. This helps users understand the structure and content of the image description.

  • Functional images, such as buttons or icons, should have alt text that emphasizes their purpose. This helps users understand the functionality of these elements and how they contribute to the overall user experience.

  • Avoid adding so many keywords that the sentence does not make sense. This not only confuses the user, but also the crawler. Keywords used sparingly are the most effective.

  • It is crucial to test and review alt text using screen reader software and gather feedback from individuals with disabilities. This ensures that the alt text is effective and provides a positive user experience for all users.

  • Lastly, think of alt text as part of your audio ad strategy. It's particularly important for screen readers and user experience.

Example of a good alt text:

The Argentinean team lifts their captain Messi on their shoulders as he lifts the 2022 World Cup