If you are a business, you must know the importance of complying with the accessibility laws. Whether it’s a digital document or website, it’s essential to make them accessible to be read by people using assistive technologies. Making digital content accessible includes arranging the reading order, ensuring the content follows proper navigation, and keeping the color/contrast combination appropriate. Moreover, when talking about what makes a PDF accessible, alt text for image accessibility shouldn’t be excluded.
What is Alt Text?
Alt text, or alternative text, is a written description of an image or graphic element that appears on a webpage or computer application. They are meant to provide users with additional information about an image and make images more accessible to those relying on assistive technologies like screen readers.
Alt image texts are especially important for people with impaired vision who may not be able to see the images on the page otherwise. In this case, this text allows them to access the same content as everyone else by providing descriptive information about what’s being presented visually, including things like product names and descriptions, illustrations of concepts or processes, graphs and charts – basically, anything that would normally appear as an image instead of text.
Why is Alt Text Important?
Having alt texts for images is not only beneficial for people with visual impairments but can also be useful for businesses that want to enhance their readability and reach as many individuals as possible. Here are some reasons that describe the purpose of alt texts:
- Improves SEO
For website owners, creating alt texts for their images, either on their website or blogs, can be beneficial to their SEO efforts because it helps search engines identify and rank the content of web pages better. It provides more context about the image, allowing search engine algorithms to understand what the page is about. These texts increase the chances of your webpage being displayed in Google Image Search results and attract more organic traffic from users searching for visually-related content.
- Enhances Digital Accessibility
Alt texts for image accessibility are essential to make the digital world more accessible for all users. These short descriptions of images are embedded into the code of a website to provide additional information about an image. Importance of website accessibility has increased due to the rise of web accessibility laws and regulations that require websites to meet specific standards.
Alt image texts provide valuable assistance for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers to access digital content. By including helpful descriptions about the images on the page, the text can quickly inform these users what’s being displayed without waiting for the entire page to load.
- Explains Images That Are Not Loaded
When images fail to load, alt texts briefly explain what the image should display. Adding alt text to images allows users to understand the context even when they don’t have access to visuals. This is especially beneficial for those who rely on assistive technology such as screen readers and voice search technology. Alt texts are also useful in cases where an individual may have low bandwidth or poor internet connection, as they enable users to understand the purpose of an image without having it displayed correctly.
- Boosts User Experience
In addition to making your website more accessible, using alt texts can also enhance your user’s experience by creating more accurate search engine results pages (SERPs) for images related to your business. If your website or PDF users have poor connectivity to bandwidth or use assistive technologies like text-to-speech, they would want to know what the image contains if they don’t have access to the visual. Writing alt texts for images can allow readers and technology users to understand what’s in the image even without the visuals, making the website or digital document user-friendly.
Bottom Line By adding alt text for image accessibility, you comply with the website content accessibility guidelines and give your users a better digital experience. And the benefits of adding alt texts to images don’t just end here; you can even improve your website’s SEO and reach more audience!