What does the Alternative Text Test do?

The test checks whether a website defines text alternatives for purely visual elements, so called alternative text (or alt text). For example, pictures, audio or video should have a text equivalent.

Why is Alternative Text important?

Including alternative text on each image or video means that search engines and users with visual impairments are able to identify the content. This is particularly important where an image contains text that is unavailable elsewhere, such as a phone number or company name.

Including alternative text is one of the most crucial first steps towards making a website accessible, optimised for search engines and compliant. It is also remarkably easy to address. All visual elements of a page should have a text equivalent, for the benefit of those who cannot see the image (e.g. visually impaired or blind), and for search engines, which cannot understand images like people can.

How do we measure ?

The use of alternative text is measured for every element of every webpage that could use it (typically images, audio and video). The score is taken from the proportion of alternative text that is specified for each of those elements, weighted for the relative importance of the pages they appear on. The best possible score would come from using alternative text everywhere that could use it.

How will the Alternative Text report help you to improve your website?

The test give a percentage score, but more importantly, the test shows the location of any images/video without 'alt' text.