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Best Practice

Image best practice: Optimising Images and Alt Attributes

In today’s digital landscape, images play a crucial role in capturing attention, conveying information, and enhancing the overall visual appeal of websites. However, it’s not enough to simply upload images to your website. To ensure optimal user experience, accessibility, and search engine visibility, it is vital to follow best practices when saving images and filling in the alt attributes.

In this article, we will explore the importance of optimising images and providing meaningful alt text. We’ll discuss how these practices not only improve website accessibility for individuals with visual impairments but also contribute to better search engine optimisation (SEO). By following these guidelines, you can create a more inclusive and user-friendly website that engages a wider audience and ranks higher in search engine results.

Let’s dive into the world of image optimisation and alt attributes, discovering the best practices that will enhance your website’s performance and impact.

  • Optimise image file size: Compress and resize images without compromising quality to reduce file size and improve website loading speed.
  • Choose the appropriate image format: Select the right image format (JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.) based on the image content, transparency needs, and file size considerations.
  • Use descriptive file names: Rename image files using descriptive and relevant keywords instead of generic names or random alphanumeric characters.
  • Fill in alt attributes: Provide alt text for each image using concise and descriptive phrases that accurately convey the image’s content and purpose.
  • Prioritise accessibility: Write alt text with accessibility in mind, ensuring that it provides meaningful information for visually impaired users who rely on screen readers.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing: While incorporating relevant keywords in alt text can be beneficial for SEO, avoid excessive keyword usage or spamming. Focus on providing informative and natural alt text.
  • Keep alt text concise: Aim for concise alt text that conveys the essential details without being overly lengthy. However, ensure it remains descriptive enough to be informative.
  • Include important details: Describe essential visual elements, such as objects, actions, and context, that are relevant to the image’s purpose or the surrounding content.
  • Avoid using alt text for decorative images: If an image is purely decorative and doesn’t add meaningful information, it’s best to leave the alt attribute empty (alt=””).
  • Test accessibility: Verify the accessibility of your images by testing them with screen readers or using accessibility evaluation tools to ensure the alt text is correctly read and interpreted.
  • Regularly review and update: Periodically review your website’s images and alt attributes to ensure they remain accurate, relevant, and aligned with any content or design changes

By following these best practices, you can optimise your website’s images for better performance, accessibility, and SEO, creating a more engaging and inclusive online experience for all users.