What is Alt Text for images?
The alt text (alt tag), which is a hidden attribute that describes the nature or content of an image, plays an important role in SEO optimization. Search engines use it to understand what the image contains.
Why Alt Text is important for SEO?
An image on a web page receives a reference to it in the page’s HTML code. This code is then accessed by a search engine crawler to determine the object on the image. It is important to give a clue to the automated search engine algorithms which search query best fits its description.
For example, your store sells a smartwatch by Samsung. A search engine will try to guess the object on it using visual analysis, but most likely mark the image as a photo of a generic watch. This will exclude your page from the search query results of people looking for buying a smartwatch.
How Image Optimizer will help you with Alt Texts?
Manual SEO Alt Text optimization can be a time-consuming task, especially if you have lots of images. Image Optimizer can automate this process by using predefined templates and, consequently, improve SEO and Google Image Search rankings.
To do so, click the "Settings" button on the Image Optimizer dashboard and scroll down to the "Alt Text Optimization" section. Here you can decide which images to optimize (either all or only those without Alt Text) and choose any of the available templates. You may also like to create your own.
A template may consist of one or several variables, which are automatically substituted by Image Optimizer with the data from your store products database.
Here's the full list of variables available for a customized product template:
- [product_title], [product_type], and [product_vendor] replaced with the corresponding information about your product.
- [variant_option1], [variant_option2], and [variant_option3] substituted with the product's variant name if the image linked is to its variant as in the screenshot below:
- [variant_barcode] and [variant_sku] allow you to place the product's barcode data or SKU number if your product has them.
If no information is present for any of the variables, they are replaced with an empty string. In case you are not getting proper substitutes for [variant_optionX], make sure that the images are properly assigned to the product variants by following this Shopify guide.
For example, when the template "[product_title] [product_type] [product_vendor] [variant_option1] [variant_option2] [variant_option3]" is applied to an image of the green medium-sized shoes by Nike titled "Solar Running Shoes", the Alt Text for it becomes "Solar Running Shoes Shoes Nike Green M". Note, that as there is no information for [variant 3] variable, it was omitted.
Image Optimizer allows you to see how the new Alt Text will look on your products before proceeding with the changes. Scroll down the page to see the optimization example. The first available product is displayed, but you can choose your own by clicking the "Choose another product" link.
Image Optimizer also works with the images for collections and in blog posts. You can customize templates for those types of images too. Just head to the "Collections" or the "Blog Posts" tab.
By default, the only available variable [collection_title] is used for Collection images.
For the Blog Posts images, you can choose from two variables — [article_title] and [blog_title], which will be replaced by Image Optimizer accordingly.
If you have any other questions, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help you the best way we can.