What is Alt Text on Instagram?

Alt text is an important part of your SEO strategy, with most digital marketing experts recognising alt text as a…

Alt text is an important part of your SEO strategy, with most digital marketing experts recognising alt text as a way of backing up visuals and images so that search engines can read what they are and determine their relevance on a webpage.

Fixing alt text to images on your website is essentially a way of letting Google know what the image depicts, so that the search engine’s algorithm can determine the relevancy and subsequent ranking of your page and site.

But how does this SEO tool translate over to Instagram?

In this article, we’re looking at the importance of alt text on Instagram and what it does.

What Does Alt Text Do on Instagram?

Just like in SEO across your website and other platforms, alt text on Instagram is designed to explain the contents of a photo or image, to make that visual assert more accessible.

If your image does not load for whatever reason, or Instagram’s algorithm wants to read what’s in the image, the alt text will show in place of the image. The alt text is also useful if Instagram users suffer from visual impairments, with an on-screen reader tool using the alt text to describe the image. Thus, alt text isn’t just good for the browsing experience of users but also boosts your in-app SEO and makes Instagram more likely to rank your content as relevant for your target audience.

The more time you spend creating and attaching alt text to your images, the better the chance of this description being both accurate and complimentary to the image.

NOTE: If you don’t add alt text then Instagram will do it for you. This can lead to inconsistencies and mismarketing issues if you are not careful, which is why taking control of your own alt text is so important.

How to Add Alt Text to Instagram Images

Now that you know why alt text is important on Instagram, let’s look at how to add it.

  1. Head to your Instagram app and follow all the usual steps to upload a new image
  2. On the final editing screen, which is where you add your caption, tag other users, and perform other tasks, click on ‘Advanced Settings’ at the bottom of the screen
  3. Under ‘Accessibility’, select ‘Write Alt Text’
  4. A box will appear that looks a little like your caption text box, into which you can input your alt text

TOP TIPS: When it comes to writing alt text, be as descriptive as you can. Look at the image that you are describing and include everything that makes that image what it is – including the overall setting or scenario and the features that make it unique. If it helps, close your eyes and then think about what you remember about the image, then use this as the foundation for your alt text.

How to Add Alt Text to Old Images

If you weren’t aware of this feature until now, don’t worry – it’s not too late to enhance your existing posts and old images with alt text!

Find an image that doesn’t have tailored alt text and click on the three dots in the top right hand corner of the image. Select ‘Edit’.

In the bottom right hand corner of the photo or visual, you will see a clickable option to ‘Edit Alt Text’. Click on this and enter the alt text for your image.

If you are adding alt text to a carousel of different images, you will see an alt text caption box for each individual photo. 

And there you have it! Great images, combined with compelling alt text and an overarching social strategy will help your content to perform well and spark great engagement. For more advice and for other guides like this, follow our updates!