Adding ‘alt’ text to your images on blog posts

You must be wondering as to what is the subject of this post ? Well, it’s a very simple trick that can help you to get additional visitors to your web page.

Is it easy ? Very easy to do.
Does it take more time ? A few seconds extra in most cases.
Why don’t people do it more often ? Well, hard to answer – in some cases, they don’t know; in other case, sheer laziness
What are the benefits ? More people come to your blog / site through image search.
Enough – let me know what to do !

Well, the whole aim of this entire post is to ask you to add a few additional words of text when you are posting an image on the web. How can do you this ? Well, what you need to do is to look at the ‘Alt’ attribute of the image tag. When an image is added, HTML tags are written for the image, and most clients will add an empty tag called alt=””. This is what you need to use. If you are uploading your images to a blogging platform such as Blogger or WordPress, it will not automatically update the alt tag for the image. You need to go into the HTML code, and add some relevant text in between the quotes. As an example, if you have a great photo of a parrot eating something, the tag would become something like alt=”Photo of a beautiful green parrot eating a chilli”; you can extend this to your other photos. The description should be descriptive, cover the important attributes, but you should not go overboard and write a story over there.
What are the benefits ?
– Image search cannot decipher a photo from the actual photo. It looks for associated text, and the alt tag is a great part of that
– There are many platforms where the user only sees the alt text and not the image (think of mobile platforms that would hesitate to show a 4 MB image, but will instead show the alt text almost instantly)
– Another example is text based browsers
– This is important for accessibility purposes. Screen readers cannot read images, but rather read aloud the alternative text assigned to them.
– When a user has been using a normal graphical browser, but with image display turned off (maybe they have bandwidth constraints); then this alt text will be displayed
– Some email clients block image display, but will display the Alt text

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