Find Missing Alt Text and their Attributes

How to find missing Alt text and attributes

It is used within the HTML code to describe an image and provide relevancy to the contents contained within that image. Originally designed for the blind or visually impaired to know what is within an image, or if it cannot be displayed for a particular reason.

Nowadays, search engines use alt text to better understand what is within the images. More so when it cannot be displayed.

Why is this important? Well in order to increase the visibility of your website you can also be indexed and found via your images. All assets online help draw your audience into your brand so it is worthwhile describing your images to meet the intent of what the user is searching for and improve your chances of ranking on page one above your competitors.

From your existing crawl, click on the ‘Images’ tab to display just the image URLs. Clicking on any URL will reveal its details below.

Displaying all images within your website from Screaming Frog

Clicking on any one of these URLs will reveal the granular view below which details all attributes associated with the image URL. Such as the missing alt text.

Find missing alt text with associated attributes with Screaming Frog

Clicking on the ‘Images Details’ tab will show the page the image lives on [under the ‘From’ column] and the address of the image on the server [under the ‘To’column]. In the third column, you will see the ‘Alt Text’ and it is here it will be empty if it is missing the alt text description.

Alongside this bottom granular view, you’ll also see the relevant image too.

Alt text with image in the granular view window page of Screaming Frog

To find the missing Alt Text there are two methods.

Method One: To view missing alt text, click on the filters below the main tabs and select ‘Missing Alt Text’.

Method One to find missing Alt text with Screaming Frog

Method Two: Clicking on the right-hand window pane under the ‘Images’ section you will see a field called ‘Missing Alt Text’. Clicking this will also reveal your images missing alt text.

Missing alt text from the right window pane in Screaming Frog

Please note: images can have many URLs referencing them, so they therefore can have multiple alt text too. So please be aware of seeing different alt text in the image details below the main window.

Some images are referenced more than once, such as icons that may be used on various pages and therefore have several alt text descriptions. To sort the most used images into a hierarchical order click on the ‘IMG Inlinks’ tab and this will place the ones with the most links first.

Images that are referenced more than once should be your priority to fix via Screaming Frog

Technically each reference of an image can have a separate alt text description depending on where it is placed on the website.

How to export the list of missing alt text

You can export in two ways.

The first is with the main Export button but this will not export the source data.

Export missing alt text list from the main menu in Screaming Frog

The second method is to go to Bulk Export > Images > Images Missing Alt Text Inlinks and this will export both the image URLs and their source data which will contain more references to what each image is linked to.

Bulk export missing alt text list with its attributes from the main menu in Screaming Frog

Please note: not all images may be pulled into the crawl, this is due to the images being served by Javascript or CSS, or they might be blocked by the Robots.txt file. To ensure you glean these, come to Configuration > Spider > Rendering > choose Javascript and press ok.


Further support

The guide above should help illustrate the simple steps required to get started with Screaming frog SEO Spider.

For more information check out the videos on Youtube.

Likewise, if you have any further questions, then please get in touch via our contact page.