If you follow @logicalmix on Twitter, you already know Logical Mix is a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. There was no way to avoid the SEO pun that is alt…Doug Ault.
Doug Ault hit the first home run in Toronto Blue Jays history way back in 1977, but I bet you couldn’t pick him out of this grainy 1978 team photo. Frustrating right? Think of an individual with low vision on a daily basis having to deal without being able to see the image being shown. You can hit the first SEO home run for your company and be seen (unlike Blue Jays in the team photo), by providing incredible accessibility for those with visual disadvantages at the same time.
ALT image text or ALT tags or more accurately: alt attributes allow those with a visual impairment to understand an image.
Joost de Valk is the founder and CEO of Yoast and says, “the alt tag is used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element…”
Always remember, screen readers will be used for your website. Build your website to accommodate the blind. This is a win-win for all parties involved.
The beauty of helping create a more accessible website for people with blindness or low vision is getting the benefits of search engine optimization as well. As time goes on, it will become more common practice to properly label images (as it should be already).
Be a responsible web developer and design your websites with proper alt attributes. All you ever have to remember to say to yourself when publishing an image, “if I was blind, how would I want that image to read?”