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What is Alt Text in Digital Marketing?

Learn all about digital marketing, we have built this glossary to help you understand everything to thrive in online marketing and promoting your website or business.

Understanding Alt Text
Alt text, also known as 'alternative text' or 'alt attributes', is an HTML attribute added to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines and visually impaired users. It aids in better image context/descriptions to search engine crawlers, helping them to index an image properly.
Moreover, alt text enhances web accessibility. For visually impaired users using screen readers, alt text provides a description of the image, thus assuring that they're not missing out on vital information. Also, in the instance when an image on a webpage cannot be loaded, the alt text will be displayed instead.
Finally, alt text plays an essential role in keyword optimization. Including relevant keywords in the alt text of your website's images can serve to boost your visibility in Google image searches, providing yet another stream of potential traffic for your site.
Alt Text's Role in Digital Marketing
Alt text plays a significant role in digital marketing, especially in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). As search engines can't 'see' images, they rely on alt text to understand what an image portrays. By correctly describing images in alt text, you can help your website gain better visibility in image search results, positively influencing your overall SEO strategy.
Alt text is also pivotal for web accessibility. Websites that consider accessibility are more likely to engage a larger audience, including those with visual impairments. Utilizing alt text makes graphics and other non-text content accessible to everyone.
From a user experience perspective, alt text also serves to provide context in instances where an image fails to load. This ensures the audience still receives the full message of the page, irrespective of technical errors or slow internet connections.
Alt Text Examples
Bad Alt Text: puppy. The problem with this alt text is that it's too vague. Better Alt Text: Golden retriever puppy playing in a field. This alt text is more explicit, allowing users and search engines to understand the image better.
Another example could be for a company logo. Bad Alt Text: logo. This tells neither the user nor the search engine anything about the image. Better Alt Text: XYZ company logo with blue and white colors. This alt text gives a much clearer picture of what the image represents.
Remember, the key to writing efficient alt text is to be as descriptive as possible while using relevant keywords. Always aim to describe the image in a way that would make sense to a human reader first and then to search engines.