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Shopify SEO mini-course, DAY 4: Setting the "alt" attribute on your images.

Time to implement: Several minutes to maybe an hour or so (depending on how many images you have, and want to update).

"Alt" attributes on images are our next area to optimize. It turns out that every content image on your site can have an invisible underlying word or phrase associated with it, that invisible text is called the "alt" attribute (named because of how it is handled in the HTML code). One reason this functionality exists is so that site visitors who are vision impaired and are using screen reader software can "see" what an image is about. It turns out that this text can also help your SEO. It's not a huge deal, so if you can't do every image on your site don't sweat it, but it's an opportunity to send Google another signal regarding what your site is about. Google claims that doing this will better help their image search feature better understand your images, which should improve their chances of showing up in searches.

Product images

Let's head back to our product page in the admin and take another look at our product images. Below each image you'll notice a little text entitled "ALT."
![alt text example] (http://d.pr/i/PfRd+)

Click on that and a text box will appear where you can edit the alt text.

Alt text dialog box

You can add this text for each of your product images. Again, I would avoid putting the same thing for multiple images, and be sure to keep it brief, but descriptive of your product image as I've done in my example above. If you don't have the energy to do it on every single product image right now, you might set an initial goal of doing each of your featured images.

Note: Some themes use the alt attribute to connect colors to specific images for display on your product page. If this is how your theme works, I'd just leave it be, and focus setting the alt attributes of your content images as covered next.

Content ("Page" and "Blog") images

On each of your content pages and blog posts you have the ability to add images when composing the page or post. Each of these images can have an alt attribute as well.

Here's how you add an alt attribute:
After you include an image on a content page, select the image by clicking on it, then click on the "edit image" button at the top of the editor, it looks like this:
edit image button

After you click that button you'll get a dialog box like this one:

editing an alt attribute

The "Description" field populates the alt attribute. Set your descriptive term here, and you're all set.

There, that wasn't so bad was it? The first half of this course is where we do most of the heavy lifting, and you've done it. Good job. Tomorrow we'll go back to school and learn about links - Google's favorite signal. Catch you then.


TOC | Introduction | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7