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Thursday, August 6, 2009

How to Add "Alt Text" to Your Blogger Images

"Alt Text" - what is it?

AltText is something many people might have heard of, but equally as many don't really know what it is, or what it's purpose is.

When you upload an image to your blog, the "alt text" is the stuff you normally won't see, but it describes your image to those who can't visually see your image.

And there are other purposes - a search engine bot (robot) is what crawls through your website or blog and indexes your pages and posts. These bots can't "see" images, they only read text. If your image doesn't have alt text, the bot doesn't know it's there, so your article or website might look like it has a lot of big spaces to the bot, and very little actual content.

This is particularly a problem for those whose sites contain a large number of images - such as mine do. If you want to be indexed properly and have your sites and pages show up well in search engine results, you need to optimize your images by using alt text.

Another good reason for using alt text is your visitors themselves. Some people still do have dialup connections, and some can be pretty slow when they need to load a lot of images. Because of this many dialup users turn off image loading in their browsers, which means they will only see a blank page if you have no text, or very little text and a lot of space where the images should be, or simply a bunch of boxes with red "x"s in them in place of your images. If you use alt text, these browsers will see that text so they will at least know what the image is.

And then there are those browsers who are blind, or classed as "legally blind". And before you ask, yes the blind do surf and enjoy the internet. At least when people consider them and use alt text for the images. There are voice programs which read text on internet pages that are used by the blind. Their computers read to them, but this software can usually only recognize text, just like a search engine bot. If there's no alt text, there's nothing for the software to read.

Lastly, if you own the image (and you should if you are uploading it) or if the image is being posted with permission of the owner, you can also add this text in the alt text area so people are given proper credit for the images.

Those who don't use alt text as often as they can could be missing out on a lot of visitors.


Newer update for 2014 - Blogger has finally made it a lot easier to add both the title and the alt text to your image.



So, how to put the alt text on your images? If you use a blog service like wordpress, they have a box right in the imager uploader where you can type your alt text. Blogger doesn't have that, but it doesn't mean you can't still add it. You just have to use the "edit html" tab to insert it.

image showing the html tab in the blogger dashboard for accessing the html code in your blog posts

  • upload your image
  • click html tab and find the image code
  • type description between alt= " "

image showing the location of alt text area in the image display code - this is where you type your alt text

One you've found the area with alt=" " you type your information in that space and you're done. You've suddenly added a great deal more content for search engine optimization and other visitors.

Make your blog or website more accessible by using the Alt Text whenever you upload an image!


Anonymous said...

Super helpful! Thank you!!!

J. said...

Nice tip! Thanks for the info,

Lindsey said...

I don't know how it's possible, but in html mode, my images don't have the alt section in order to add text! What do you suggest?

Gracey said...

Hi Lindsey - I added a bit of an update to this article because Blogger has updated their methods for images.

You can find it here:


Jennifer M. said...

I've only been blogging for 2 months and out of 104 images, 85 were missing the alt text. This article is amazing. I am in the process of adding alt text for all images. Thank you for posting.

wallpapers, sports, tutorials said...

very useful tip, thanks

Stephanie said...

Thank you for explaining how to add alt text so clearly! Now I've got to go "alt-er" all my images!

Rainer Unsinn said...

Thanks a lot! That was the information I´ve been looking for the last three months!

D7ana said...

Thanks! Your tutorial helped me understand where to place the ALT= attribute.

Now if I could figure out how to add the ALT attribute to the Subscribe widget ... that's my next goal. I'm trying to make my blog more accessible for a blind reader.

Gracey said...

I've been trying to set up one of my other blogs for compliance - can't seem to get the "wrenches" logo alt to take in the 508 compliance checker. It's just about the only thing I haven't been able to manage.

That blog doesn't have the widget, but I think the only place you'll be able to edit that is through the html of the template - if that widget doesn't show, select "expland widgets" at the top of the html for the templat.

Life Speaks said...

Helpful.....common TO DO ... but mostly ignored by all.

Christy said...

Thank your for your help!

Danielle said...

Just found this great tip thank you! I wanted to let you know that I featured this in my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post - stop by and see.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

I'm a designer/design blogger and I use my blog as my website. I know this will be immensely helpful in bringing people to my site and I appreciate you sharing this information!