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What Is Web Accessibility And How To Optimize Website Images

You would like all the content on your site to be understood by every visitor who lands on the pages, right?

There is no point in attracting qualified traffic if not all the content presented is clear.

And a portion of these visitors have a special need in relation to images: the visually impaired audience.

According to MEC data , in Brazil alone there are more than 6.5 million people with some severe vision problem, about 3.5% of the population.

Web accessibility transforms their experience and you can provide that possibility.

Keep reading to understand how.

What is web accessibility?

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Web accessibility is related to the elimination of existing barriers on the internet, including making all published materials, whether texts, videos, images or other formats, accessible to anyone, such as those who have some type of visual impairment.

What are the web accessibility standards?

To ensure accessibility, a combination of programming, technology, design and content is required, with standards recommended by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) .

These standards are divided into three groups:

  • Web accessibility for blind people;
  • Web accessibility for people with disabilities; and
  • Universal web accessibility, a web for everyone.

Some points to meet the standards are semantically correct and validated code, content separation, layered presentation and behavior, and image accessibility.

You can check all the details of the standards on the Legal Accessibility website .

Why make materials accessible?

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Imagine the experience of a visually impaired user when entering an e-commerce, for example?

If the site's images are not accessible to him, much of the content cannot be understood.

That consumer will then likely look for another site that better suits their needs.

Making your brand's materials accessible is essential to ensure access to a greater portion of the population, as well as guaranteeing them autonomy and a complete shopping experience.

This is also a competitive advantage, since, still, few sites use web accessibility features.

According to Movimento Web para Todos , only 1% of Brazilian websites are prepared for browsing by people with disabilities.

How to make images accessible?

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Images can be optimized for the web in a number of ways, one of which is making them more accessible.

Visually impaired people can use screen reader or audio description tools to access the content of different online pages.

In addition to reading the texts, these tools can also describe the images, if they comply with accessibility parameters.

Write alt text for your images

Alternative text is text used to describe the content of the image.

It is inserted in the alt attribute and is useful for people with visual impairments, as well as being displayed to all users in case of image loading error.

Most website platforms, such as WordPress, for example, already offer the possibility to include a title, alt text and description for all images included on the website.

How to make a quality alt attribute

We've put together some tips for composing this alt text, so that it really serves the purpose.

Be descriptive and specific

A good alternative text should not explain what the image is, but describe it with what can be observed.

What is visually available in the image?

This should be described naturally and in great detail if necessary.

Remember, you will describe the image for those who cannot see it, but the interpretation of that content is up to each user.

Be relevant

Take into account the context of the image to better describe it and use synthesis to make it relevant and interesting.

Do not make content long or boring, as there is no need for that.

Be unique

As with the rest of the content produced by your brand, the description of the images must be original, so as not to generate punishment from search engines as published content.

Also be creative and put effort and intention into creating this type of content: it is very important to your audience and should be treated as such.


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Ready to make your site an example of web accessibility with the tips in the post?

In addition to making all the content on your website accessible, you also improve SEO results, as the inclusion of keywords in the alt attribute is one of the evaluation criteria of search platforms such as Google.

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