Instagram alt tags and how to use them. More alt tags? Come on man! I know, I know those pesky alt tags can be annoying and tedious but they are necessary. Instagram has now launched options to add alt tags to your posts.
We are introducing two new improvements to make it easier for people with visual impairments to use Instagram. With more than 285 million people in the world who have visual impairments, we know there are many people who could benefit from a more accessible Instagram.First, we’re introducing automatic alternative text so you can hear descriptions of photos through your screen reader when you use Feed, Explore and Profile. This feature uses object recognition technology to generate a description of photos for screen readers so you can hear a list of items that photos may contain as you browse the app.Next, we’re introducing custom alternative text so you can add a richer description of your photos when you upload a photo. People using screen readers will be able to hear this description.
Before we dive into why we should use Instagram alt tags for exposure and SEO purposes here’s how you apply them to your posts. Yep straight to the good stuff, no scrolling for days.
How to Add Alt Tags on Instagram
To see and edit alt text for a photo before you post it on Instagram:
- Start by taking a photo or uploading an existing photo to Instagram.
- Choose a filter or edit the image, then tap Next.
- Tap Advanced Settings at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap Write Alt Text.
- Write your alt text in the box, under 100 characters, and tap Done (iOS) or Save (Android).
To change the alt text of a photo after you’ve already posted it on Instagram:
- Go to the photo and tap (Android).
- Tap Edit.
- Tap Add Alt Text in the bottom right.
- Write the alt text in the box and tap Done (iOS) or (Android).
The photo below is from Instagram alt tag help page.
Instagram Alt Tags and SEO
So does it matter for SEO or engagement to use the alt tags? I think it’s too early to tell. First, let’s learn more about alt tags and why they are important. According to Big Commerce:
An alt tag, also known as “alt attribute” and “alt description,” is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines.
What purpose do alt tags serve?
Search engines and other robots cannot interpret images, but images can play a crucial part in how people interpret a particular web page. Alt tags solve for this by providing text which is read by the search engines.
When Googlebot or other search engine crawlers inspect a page, images with properly formatted alt text contribute to how the page is indexed and where it ranks. Alt tags are also useful for users viewing a webpage on screen readers or browsers that can’t process image.
Just like how alt tags help visually impaired people understand what a photograph is about, the same can be said for search engines. While Google does a great job identifying the contents within a photograph, it’s far from perfect, and Instagram is jumping on board.
Alt tags help give your photographs another layer of a description, which could help SEO. The description would come from you and you can target your audience and niche. One way local companies may benefit is incorporating your business name, location, and service within the alt tags. Any way to gain more exposure is good. Especially because this only takes a few seconds and it’s free.
Using Alt Tags on Instagram
Sounds like they are pretty important. I know to be found on Google and Bing it’s a must for my WordPress site. So I am assuming I need to for Instagram too. I could be wrong but I am going to try and track my stats and share them with you as I implement using Instagram Alt tags. I am going to start by adding them to some of my older posts and adding them to all of my new Instagram posts.
I would love to hear if you have tried this before or your results. Comment below and let’s help each other grow on Instagram. If you want to see my Instagram head here. If you want to check out my free business resource page head here. Thanks so much.