ALT tags (also known as alternative text, ALT text, or perhaps image descriptions), are actually an important part of using images in any document or perhaps webpage at Michigan Tech. Moz does a great job of explaining ALT tags. Do take a few minutes to learn about ALT tags and why they’re essential.
There are many uses for ALT tags. Probably the most popular are:
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Screen readers speak the ALT tag of an image for users who can’t see
If an image can’t be loaded due to some network type or perhaps IT error, the ALT tag displays instead
ALT tags boost search engine rankings and could help a website’s images display in Google search results.
We have to write meaningful ALT tags for all of the images we put into documents or perhaps onto sites at Michigan Tech. Not merely is it a legal requirement, but it’s also the right action to take. When writing ALT tags, please keep these guidelines in mind (borrowed from WebAIM):
Be equivalent and accurate in presenting the same content and function the image serves in your text Be succinct, this means the right content (if there’s content) and function (if there’s a function) of the picture must be presented as succinctly as is actually proper. Usually, no more than a couple of words are necessary, although rarely a brief sentence or perhaps 2 may be appropriate
Stay away from the phrases “image of” or perhaps “graphic of” to describe an image. It’s obvious to the user that the ALT tag is actually describing an image. When the image is actually conveying content, it’s usually not necessary that the user know the image is actually conveying the content, as opposed to text. If the fact that an image is actually a photograph or perhaps illustration, etc., is actually content that is important, it can be useful to include things like this in the alt text.
Other tips include:
A great rule is usually to keep ALT text digestible: between 5 and ten words. In case you exceed this, keep in your mind that some screen readers only support 125 characters maximum.
Rather than using a long ALT, use a brief ALT and also feature a longer image caption (viewable by everyone) or even link to a webpage with more image content. Linking to an additional webpage is particularly useful to explain infographics.
Don’t worry about keywords or perhaps Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Just focus on describing what’s in the photo. SEO must be considered a side benefit and not the goal for writing great ALTs.
Here are a few great examples of Image Descriptions. Note the concept and/or function in each:
Graduate pupil taking notes during a class lecture
Facilities management staff member leading a safety inspection
Chemistry pupils in lab safety gear testing vials of liquid
Aerial view of Michigan Tech’s campus.
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