What is the ALT tag?

The alt tag (or more correctly the alt attribute) is used to specify alternative text (known as alt text) for an image when the image cannot be displayed, for whatever reason.

It is also used by screen reader software so that a person who is listening to a website (rather than reading/viewing it), for example if they are blind or partially sighted, can interact with the image without having to see it.

Example alt text for the above image might be

'blue faded jeans in a regular fit tapered from knee to ankle'.

You should, wherever possible, always supply alt text for your product images (we generate alt text automatically for other images on your website).

The alt attribute and SEO

The SEO (search engine optimisation) benefit of including keywords in your alt text is debated amongst experts. Certainly you shouldn't use the alt text as an opportunity to stuff keywords onto your pages where they wouldn't naturally be - you may be penalised for doing so by search engines.

Not supplying alt text for images can lead to your site being marked down for not being compliant with website standards.