Why are image alt attributes important?
The image alt attribute is part of the HTML image tag. It should describe what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page, like this:
<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description”>
They improve the accessibility of your website
Image alt attributes are used by screen readers, which are browsers used by blind and visually impaired people. Screen readers tell them what is on the image by reading this attribute. So, if you don’t add alt text to your images, blind and visually impaired people won’t know what the image is about. To make your website accessible for everyone, it’s important to add a description of your images and their purpose to the alt attributes.
They help search engines find out what your content is about
Search engines need the alt attributes of your images, too. They use it to determine what the image shows and how it relates to the surrounding text. So, these attributes help search engines with finding out what your content is about. And search engines need that information to determine your place in the search results. Therefore, adding alt attributes can help you rank higher.
The image alt attributes assessment in Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO helps you remember to add relevant alt text to your images. The plugin comes with an image alt attributes assessment, which checks if there are images in your post and whether these images have an alt attribute containing the focus keyphrase, to make sure your alt text reflects the topic of your page or post.
The Yoast SEO plugin will then give you feedback: it will tell you whether your images have alt attributes and if the alt text is relevant to the topic of your page or post. The only thing left for you to do is add some relevant alt text. This will not only make your site more accessible; it will also help with your rankings!
Adding image alt attributes
Not sure how to add alt text to your images in WordPress? In this article on image SEO, we explain how to go about this.