Google Explains Alt Text for Logos & Buttons

In a Google Search Off the Record podcast, Google’s Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller focus on the easiest way to deal with alt textual content for logos and image-based buttons.

There are greatest practices for including alt attributes to logos and buttons.

The guidelines can appear a bit of sophisticated at first however they’re truly easy to know.

Getting the alt attributes proper is sweet for customers and in the long term it’s nice for earnings.

Adding Alt Text to Functional Images

Lizzi Sassman begins the dialogue by making a reference to practical pictures, pictures which have a practical objective on the webpage.

She asks if the alt textual content ought to describe what the button does or what the picture on the button is within the scenario during which a button is an icon.

Lastly, she asks if there’s an web optimization objective to including alt textual content to practical pictures like buttons.

“Lizzi Sassman:…The stage of care during which we spend on the visible asset, we also needs to put the identical stage of power into the phrases that describe that asset as effectively. Which I believe is nice.

Another class of pictures is just like the practical factor, which generally might be a button.

Like it’s a graphic that additionally capabilities as one thing.

So ought to the alt textual content inform me what’s about to occur?

If you click on this, then it’s going to take you right here?

It might be like a picture of one thing, that then additionally capabilities as a button.

And do you describe the perform, or like additionally it was, I don’t know… like an arrow image?

And additionally, does it matter for web optimization?

John Mueller:Yeah. I believe…

Lizzi Sassman:It might be like a brand.

John Mueller:For accessibility, that most likely is smart, to only do one thing round that.

But for web optimization, individuals are not going to look for the checkout button, or one thing like that.”

Alt Text on Buttons Are For Accessibility Not web optimization

John Mueller makes it clear that there isn’t any web optimization objective for including alt textual content to buttons.

But he additionally noticed that the alt textual content for these sorts of pictures are primarily for accessibility causes.

Lizzi continued the dialogue:

“Lizzi Sassman:…But perhaps they’d for the emblem, or one thing like the emblem. When you click on it, it takes you to the homepage, or one thing.

But it’s additionally, “Oh, it’s a logo.”

So do you say, “This is the logo for Google Search Central.”

John Mueller:Sure.

Lizzi Sassman:Or like what can be descriptive textual content.

It’s Googlebot within the brand, however is the factor that’s most necessary to know concerning the picture the truth that it’s a brand?

Or what the emblem appears to be like like?

I suppose from that angle, individuals are most likely wanting for the emblem.

John Mueller:Yeah.

Lizzi Sassman:

Like what’s the brand for X firm, perhaps?

John Mueller:Yeah. I imply it goes again to type of that technique that we’re attempting to keep away from.

What do you wish to be discovered for?

Lizzi Sassman:Yeah, however that’s an important query, I suppose, as a result of then it kind of steers…

I can get carried away with all these rabbit holes, so it kind of, I don’t know, prioritizes what are the issues that we ought to be considering of, since you don’t essentially want to jot down all of the issues for this stuff, I suppose.”

The Proper Use of Alt Text on Logos and Buttons

The proper means to make use of alt textual content on pictures like logos truly will depend on if the picture is a hyperlink or not a hyperlink.

If the emblem picture capabilities as a hyperlink again to the house web page then it’s right to label that picture with the perform that it has, so {that a} website customer utilizing a display reader can no that this brand is a hyperlink to the house web page.

The official HTML normal making physique, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) publishes an explainer on deal with logos.

Logo Homepage Link

A brand that capabilities as a house web page hyperlink ought to comprise alt textual content that tells a display reader consumer that the emblem is a homepage hyperlink.

The W3C makes use of this instance of the code:

W3C home

The above code is for a brand that one would possibly encounter on the high of the web page that additionally serves as a hyperlink again to the house web page.

The instance alt textual content offered by the W3C merely says, “W3C home” but it surely might be extra descriptive if you need.

Logo and Text Homepage Link

There are other forms of brand hyperlinks the place there may be a picture brand and a textual content proper subsequent to it or beneath it and each the picture and the textual content are coded throughout the identical hyperlink code.

In different phrases, there aren’t two hyperlinks equivalent to one hyperlink for the emblem and one hyperlink for the textual content, it’s only one hyperlink for each the emblem and textual content collectively.

In that case, as a result of the textual content describes the perform of the hyperlink, it could be repetitive to repeat the perform of the emblem hyperlink.

So for that case the most effective follow is to make use of a null alt textual content.

This is the instance that the W3C supplies:

W3C Home

Note how the alt attribute is coded for the picture:

img src=”” alt=””

The empty citation marks for the alt textual content known as a null alt attribute (or null alt textual content). A display reader will merely skip it.

The motive a null alt textual content is sweet is as a result of there may be textual content that describes what the hyperlink perform is:

W3C Home

Alt Text for an Icon Link

Sometimes a hyperlink is within the type of an icon, with no textual content to clarify what it does, for instance an icon within the type of an envelope (representing e-mail or message) or a printer (which signifies the hyperlink prompts a printer).

For this example it’s a nasty follow to explain what the picture is (like an envelope or a printer).

The greatest follow is to explain what the picture does (provoke an e-mail or print a webpage).

The W3C makes use of the instance of a printer icon with the next code and alt textual content:

Print this page

As you’ll be able to see, the icon within the form of a printer has the phrases “Print this page” because the alt textual content. It tells what the icon does. That’s useful.

Alt Text for a Button

Similar to the instance of the icon, the alt textual content for a button picture ought to describe what the picture does.

The W3C makes use of the instance of a search field that has a magnifying glass for a submit button.

The unhealthy approach to do it’s to make use of the alt textual content to explain that the picture is a magnifying glass.

The greatest follow is to make use of the alt textual content to explain what the picture does.

This is the instance code that the W3C reveals for instance:

As you’ll be able to see, the alt textual content for the search button is the phrase, “Search” which describes what the perform of the button is.

Alt Text for Buttons and Logos

Lizzi and John didn’t get into the main points of deal with the completely different situations for logos and buttons.

However John did level out that there isn’t any web optimization worth for alt textual content for buttons and logos, it’s for accessibility.

It’s a greatest follow to appropriately serve webpages which might be practical for customers that entry webpages with display readers.

As talked about earlier, individuals who use display readers may be prospects or advocates for your enterprise or web site.

So it’s good for the underside line to make use of accessibility greatest practices.


Learn extra about accessibility for buttons and logos on the W3C

Functional Images

Combining adjacent image and text links for the same resource

Using alt attributes on images used as submit buttons

Listen to the Search Off the Record Podcast on the 15:57 minute mark:

Featured picture by Shutterstock/Evgeny Atamanenko