In our opinion, Instagram Alt Text is one of Instagram’s dark horse feature in a way. It is the most useful and overlooked feature. The benefits of adding Instagram Alt text on your images is endless. In this article we will touch on; How to write alt text for Instagram? What alt text is? The benefits of adding Instagram alt text. Why you should use alt text?
What is Instagram Alt Text?
Alt text, alt description, or alt tags as it is often called is the written copy that appears on images. SEO enthusiasts know “Alt” stands for “alternative”. What we understand from this is that “Alt text” stands for“alternative text” which is displayed instead of an image when that image can’t be read. Alt-text is most commonly used to help screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired people. Remember there are over 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments therefore Instagrams Alt Text is useful and thoughtful.
When Alt Text Kicks In
Alt text will kick in if:
- On Instagram, the ALT text is going to show up when your follower has a bad internet connection and the photo can’t load. Importantly, when that happens the Alt tag kicks in and people will view that instead of the image.
- Instagram importantly added this feature because remember we still have screens for the visually impaired and browsers such as MozBraille, EMACSPEAK and WebbIE just to name a few.
Andrei Rebegei states that “ALT tags are almost everywhere online. Each website has a tag, most photos on Pinterest have a tag, you might not see it, but is very important. This ALT text is not going to be a copy and paste description you use all the time. This must represent exactly what your photo is.”
The benefits of adding Alt Text On Your Images
It helps people with a slow internet connection
Maybe you’re in a place or country with a very slow connection, therefore, Alt Text will defiantly help you out.
It helps people with Visual Impairments
Instagram is a visual platform and it is frustrating if you cannot see the image. Now think about the visually impaired that would want to engage with your image. Remember there are over 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments. Alt Text is meant to benefit them.
By adding this feature you tap into their lives and needs. This ultimately helps your feed grow. If you write an ALT text, people will use it to understand what is on your photo. This makes all the difference.
Thanks to the advancements in mobile phones with screen readers it would mean that when the ALT text kicks in it will read Alt Text for them. What this means is that your community grows.
It helps the Instagram algorithm understand what your image contains.
By giving Instagram more data to work with it, therefore, means more important feed time for your image. Remember Instagram has object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers. This means that it may give you a default description but if you take the time to implement this you will further your advantage.
What we understand by this tech is that it helps Instagram to show your post to more people who like your kind of content. This is a bonus. What this therefore means is growth. Instagram is doing free targeting on your behalf. Once again illustrating the benefits of adding Instagram Alt Text on your images.
It helps improves your SEO rankings
ALT text is important to SEO. In fact, it is one of the most important elements in SEO strategy. Adding relevant alt text tags to the images will help with ranking in those search results. You need to use keywords people would type on Google to find your photo. Therefore if your alt text makes sense, you will encounter more visits.
What Alt Text does is push your image beyond Instagram to Google. For example, if you have a Pet Instagram account and you always add Alt Text stating Poodle or German Shephard to describe what type of dog it is, you will grow and appear on Google.
Once again Andrei Rebegei states, Adding an ALT tag is very important for your Instagram growth. The platform wants to be inclusive for everyone. This includes also people with visual impediments. If you don’t add a tag text on your post, Instagram is going to add one automatically for you. I bet you probably are more creative and know your stuff better than Instagram does.
How to add Alt Text to your Instagram posts
Step 1. Taking an image or uploading an existing image to Instagram.
Step 2. Edit the image, then tap Next.
Step 3. Tap Advanced Settings at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4. Tap Alt Text.
Step 5. Write your alt text in the box and tap Done.
Let’s Look at the process below:
Image Courtesy Of Andrei Rebegei
How to add Alt Text older photos.
Step 1. Go to the photo and tap the three-dot menu icon.
Step 2. Tap Add Alt Text in the bottom right.
Step 3. Write the alt text in the box and tap Done.
Let’s Look at the process below:
Image Courtesy Of Andrei Rebegei
17 Crucial tips on how to write ALT text:
- No need to say “image of ” or “Photo of”, WE ARE ON INSTAGRAM, OBVIOUSLY ITS AN IMAGE, your wasting 100 character limit.
- Add emojis to your alt text descriptions if they align with your brand or message. (they may save you much-needed character space!)
- Remember Instagram added a limit of 100 characters so be clinical and straight to the point
- Don’t copy-paste your caption. It is lazy and not beneficial.
- Include branding elements and relevant search criteria for your products or services. For example, we would state “Social Media Presentation with Heropost Social Media Scheduler”
- Describe the image precisely don’t romanticise things. If there is a piece of chocolate say chocolate.
- If you’re a small business selling goods describe that good.
- Use keywords, for example at Heropost we would use Social Media Scheduler.
- If text is present in your image (e.g. a quote), write it in your alt text.
- Share colours when possible. Eg Golden Labrador or Black Labrador.
- Think about the visually impaired person, imagine that you wanted to grasp the image, how would you go about it. Clarity, clarity and more clarity.
- Describe your photo as if no one has seen your photo before.
- Tell your audience what is happening in the photo. eg is the dog running or barking……
- Colours, patterns, and descriptions of objects.
- Include your company’s name or your name in the alt text.
- If your image is cornerstone content add Alt Text. For example, if we unveil new features or something huge Alt Text is a must.
- Go back and fill Alt Text to those images that you believe had strong content. WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS.
The benefits of adding Instagram Alt Text On Your Images is powerful. Alt Text enables you to bring more people into your community. If you are crazy about SEO then Alt Text is a great addition. I hope you found this article useful and that you try out this dark horse of a feature.