Two of the main reasons that alt text tags are considered important for Shopify stores is that:
- Adding alt text tags can help with image search: More and more people are using Google images for their search, and images also tend to appear on the normal web search interfaces. So, optimizing your images - i.e. adding alt text, will improve your chances for them to rank higher on Google.
- Adding alt text to product images gives Google a better indication on what the product page is selling. Google uses several meta tags to understand what a page is about, and alt text tags could be one more signal for this.
Editing Alt Text for product images via the Shopify Admin panel:
Shopify has made it really easy to update alt text tags from the Shopify admin panel.
- From your Shopify admin, go to Products.
- Click on the name of the product you want to edit.
- From the product page, click on any of the images you want to edit.
- Click on Add ALT text
- Enter you alt text, and then click Save ALT text
Bulk editing Alt Text for Shopify product images
The problem with Shopify's alt text tags is that it takes a long time to update alt text tags for thousands of product images. It is almost impossible to do this manually if you have a large store.
Instead it is faster and less error prone to do it in bulk via a bulk alt text editing app.
- From the Shopify app store, install the app.
- From the home page, click on View bulk product image alt editor
- Set the conditions: Choose All products, if you want to update the alt text for all the product images in your store. Else, filter the products by title, or vendor, or status, or tags, or product type, or created at/updated at dates to select only specific products.
- Set the alt text format: It is recommended to keep the alt text tags same as the product title. This assumes that your product title contains the relevant keywords that the page is trying to rank for on Google.
- Preview the sample product images, and verify that the alt text tags are set to the correct format.
- Click on Create Optimization
- Click on Start updating product images alt
You will then see the alt text tags are being updated for thousands of product images in the background. Once this background job has completed execution, you can see the report on the home page.
The advantage of using bulk editing app to update alt text for all your product images is that it does this automatically, and without any errors. If you try to do this manually for thousands of product images - it will take a lot of time to complete, and you may introduce human errors.