So, what is alt image text anyway?
Alt image text, or alternative image text is the copy that describes what the image is all about.
Why is alt text important?
1 // It helps with SEO, or search engine optimization.
Search engines have a hard time "reading" images because they are what they are. When a search engine crawls your website, it is reviewing all of the copy content to decide if your site is relevant and authoritative.
But you want images to make your site pretty, right?
Go on and add images but make sure that they all have alt text. The alt text is written in the code and is readable to search engines.
So, I can insert a photo of a cute dog yawning and make the alt text "cute dog yawning, bored with your choice of Netflix movie" so that search engines know what the image is depicting.
2 // It is captured when visitors share your content on social media.
It's all about sharable content these days. When someone shares your article, they will probably use the share buttons or hover over the image and use the pin it button. With this awesome hidden alt text, the title pre-populates with what you've already written! Sure, people can change the copy when they finalize their share, but it gives them a guide. Plus, if they don't change it, you're guaranteeing that the item has a clear description. When it's out in the social universe, people will know what your content is about.
How to Add Alt Text to Images in Squarespace
All web platforms are a little bit different, but here is a step by step guide to add alt text to images in Squarespace. I launched this site on Squarespace last year and I've been on cloud nine with the platform. More on that later.
Use the content block to add an image.
Upload your file.
Make sure "caption below" is selected, for now.
Type your caption under the image.
Note: sometimes it shows as all caps. I recommend typing it into a document or notepad and for easy copy / paste formatting. I don't recommend any captions with ALL CAPS! (Unless that's your typical style, of course.)
Change your caption settings back to "do not display caption"
Then click "apply" and you're done!
When someone shares your content, say on Pinterest, the hidden caption shows up in the description box, like this:
That's it. Follow these quick steps and every image that you add to your Squarespace website will have alt image text that tells search engines what you're posting and shows up as a description when someone shares.
This is the first of many tutorials that I'll be sharing on the blog. Stay tuned!