Sunday, February 25, 2007

Importance of the ALT tag on images

What is an ALT tag ?
By Kayleen West


ALT tags and why should I use them?
Alt tags are text descriptions on web images. These descriptions show up if an image will not display and are accessible to text readers used by visually impaired visitors.
Have you ever noticed a little description pop up when you place your mouse over an image. This may be an Alt tag or a title tag*. In Internet explorer will display an ALT tag as a tool tip*. Some browsers like Firefox do not display ALT tags in this way but they are still there hidden and serving a purpose.

Alt tags help some visually impaired visitors who need to use text readers to understand a page format and so should be used. They can't see the images, but can detect text in ALT tags. In addition to this they also help you rank better with search engines. It also helps your site in another way. When you have images loading up, the ALT tag will show quickly, giving people quick access to image links if you are using them. This speeds up navigation.

Search engines optimisation is all-important to the success of your site.
Search engines do not index images, whether it be text or a picture presents in image format.
Many people use images for their logo, business names and links so they can use more creative style fonts as many browsers will not read these.


To correct the problem we can add ALT tags to our HTML. The ALT tag is a description of the image.
ALT tags filled with keywords can also be used to boost your keyword frequency and by doing so help your rankings. Search engines do not penalize for using ALT tags or even for packing them with keywords. To be safe though you should adhere to the generally accepted rule by not repeating keywords more than 3-7 times.


So how do I make an alt tag?
By simple adding the following code into your HTML: alt=” description goes here”


Example (click on image to read):sample of html code for an alt tag on a image
when your images are loading it can look like this:

Oil painting - Portrait of the Queen by Australian artist Kayleen West


If you are doing this in a text editor on a blog like Blogger you will need to switch over to code view by clicking the HTML tab. See image below:





In saying all this I have my own personal sites to go over. I make sure I do it for others but neglect my own – Not good Kayleen!
*Alt tags and title tags are different. Title tags ensure a tool tip displays in browsers like Mozilla Firefox. See large image for both alt tags and title tag html.

* A tool tip is the little pop up description.

11 comments:

Aurora said...

Hi I tried this on my blogger site--but nothing happened--does the html have to be in a certain spot to make this work? thanks for your help
aurora

The Epiphany Artist said...

Wonderful! Now I understand! Thank you!

Kayleen West.- Stewart said...

Hi Aurora
The
alt=” description goes here”
goes inside the image tage after the inage file name.


Look at the code underlined in red on the big image to see example.

You have to make sure you are on the HTML tab not Compose.

I hope that clears that up.

Thanks for the comment epiphany artist.

Carol Barber said...

Thanks for your help. I already registered my blog with Google before doing the profile do you think I need to do it again?
I will try the alt tags in the future, thanks for the tip.
Also I really like your intuitive "modern gallery" pictures. You should follow that direction, it shows your true spirit.

Kayleen West.- Stewart said...

Hi Carol
Yes it wouldn't hurt. Wait until after your updates and re-register.

Thanks for the comment on my modern gallery at www.kayleenwest.com.au

That is more me now and a glimpse of the direction I am heading right now.
It is authentic and I want to pursue it further
Kayleen

Almagi R. said...

Wow! I am truly an observer who has never done any of this and is considering an Art Blog Site to display my art.

I haven't got the foggist idea what all you are talking about when you speak about the ALT Tags...what are they?

For someone who is just starting..Do i get myself a Blog siet first, Like Blogger.com and then register with Google....How do I do that? Maybe Kayleen West-Stewart, you could run through a step by step procedure for me since you seem to be up with all this. It would really help a novice like me... Thanks, Almagi

Kayleen West.- Stewart said...

Hi almagi r
I have edited my post top and bottom hopefully that helps your querie regards to alt tags.

As for setting up blogger.
Try this link for Google help:
http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=alpha_index.html

I hope that helps with loads of information
Cheers
Kayleen

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for posting this - it is a great tip. I have tried it on my latest post and it worked!yay!

Cheers,
Amanda

Frankie 1337 said...

For people having trouble setting them up using Blogger:

When you're editing the post with the picture you want to make the tags for, click on "Edit HTML" right next to the "Compose" section you should already be on.

Next, look at the HTML for your pic. There should already be a space for putting your alt tags. It should look like alt="" . So, just put your description in between the quotes!

For a title tag, I don't think there's any "proper" place to put them in the pic's HTML, as I've experimented and gotten the same results. Just make sure there's a space before and after everything (or that might not matter, I'm not sure)!

saleel said...

Hi Kayleen, Its not working for me. I don't know. I have did the same way as you said. Hope i will try and do it.

Kayleen West. said...

Hi saleel,
I have responded on your blog and your question about why the images not showing in Google imgages is most likely because google has not picked them up yet - Just a time thing. Keep your blog moving and the search engines will vist mor often.

Happy New Year fellow blogger
Kayleen



 
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