As a Shopify merchant, you're likely juggling a multitude of tasks to keep your online store running smoothly. While you're focused on inventory, customer service, and digital marketing, there's one often-overlooked element that can substantially boost your Shopify's SEO: Alt text for images. Not only is this a simple tweak, but it's also one with far-reaching benefits. Here's why you should be prioritizing alt text in your SEO strategy.
Alt text (alternative text) is a brief description that you can add to the HTML of image files displayed on your Shopify store. Though it may seem inconsequential, alt text plays an essential role in enhancing website accessibility, improving search engine rankings, and delivering a better user experience.
One of the most important aspects of alt text is making your Shopify store accessible to visually impaired users. Screen readers read out the alt text to describe images, providing an inclusive browsing experience. Search engines like Google consider store's accessibility a ranking factor, meaning your site stands a better chance of being ranked higher if it's accessible to a broader audience.
Alt text can make your content more relevant to the keywords you're targeting. By naturally incorporating your focus keywords into the alt text, you signal to search engines that your content is a suitable match for specific queries.
Search engines can't "see" images, but they can "read" alt text. This context helps search engines better understand what's on your page, which, in turn, can improve your rankings in search results.
Well-optimized alt text can make your images rank higher in image search results. This gives users an additional way to find your Shopify store and products.
If an image on your site fails to load, the alt text will display in its place, which still provides value to the user. Good user experience is a positive ranking factor in the eyes of search engines.
In the broader context of on-page SEO, alt text adds semantic value to your web pages. It helps search engines understand not just what's on the page, but also how various elements relate to one another.
Images with proper alt text are considered part of the overall content. Since quality content is a significant ranking factor for search engines, you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone.
While it's critical not to overuse keywords, including them naturally in your alt text can help improve your Shopify store's SEO.
When users understand all the content on a page, they are more likely to stay longer, reducing the bounce rate. A lower bounce rate is viewed favorably by search engines.
Search engine crawlers move through websites to collect data for indexing. Alt text makes this process more accurate, potentially boosting your rankings further.
By now, it should be clear that alt text is not just an "optional extra" but an integral part of your Shopify store's SEO strategy. It enhances accessibility, provides search engines with valuable context, improves both webpage and image rankings, and overall, boosts the user experience. So the next time you upload a product image or create a new page, make sure to add well-crafted alt text. Your SEO metrics will thank you.