Ecommerce Alt Attributes

What are Alt Attributes?

Alt Attributes are also known as ‘Alt Tags or ‘Alt Text, the Alt Attributes provide a description of the content of an image in a website.

One of the most common uses of them is to provide text for the visitors of your site who:

  • Are not able to see images in their browsers
  • Are impaired visitors
  • Use screen readers

The Alt Attributes describe what is on the image and the function of it on the page, and it is just one element of an image tag.

Why are Alt Attributes Important for Your Ecommerce site?

One of the main reasons that you should include images on your Ecommerce sites is because people like to see what they are actually buying, and of course to make your site more attractive. By doing this, you can also inform the search engines robots that you have a great picture there. This way the crawlers will understand your site correctly and they can show relevant information about your products to the person that is searching.

Alt attributes facilitate the accessibility of your website to the search engine robots. The purpose of alt attributes is to provide a description of the content of an image file (.jpg, .png, .jpeg) and to provide text for visitors who can’t see images in their browsers. They provide the same functional information to the search engine robots as a visual user would see.

How Should You Use Alt Attributes for Your Products?

It is important to mention that the alt attributes on your site should show the text equivalent to the same information or purpose of that image. For example if you have a picture about a ‘pink dress’, your alt attribute should not be: ‘the advantages of having a new puppy’. The information about the picture and the alt attribute should be the same.

When adding a new product to your site, you have to remember that your Image_tag should have the correct structure and some other important elements such as:

  • img src=
  • alt=
  • title=

The Image_tag that you will use should have the following structure:

<img src="image.jpg" alt="image description" title="image name"/>

For example, if you have this picture:


The complete image tag structure for the previous picture could be:

<img src="black-woman-tshirt.jpg" alt="womens black t-shirt" title="Womens Black T-Shirt"/>

Please note that in the previous example we used a descriptive alt attribute, which provides the users with important information about the product; in this case, that the product users are seeing is a women's black t-shirt.

Google recommends to have friendly names on your pictures files like in the previous example. Instead of having “06489.jpg”, we renamed it to “womens-black-tshirt.jpg”. Descriptive filenames are good for users and your Ecommerce site, because if you forget to put an alt attribute on your image, search engines will use the filename as the image’s description in their search results.

You have to remember that each image on your Ecommerce site should have an alt attribute, and the filename should have the correct file extension, for example: “.jpg” for photos, “.png” for icons and “.gif” for graphics.

How Can Alt Attributes Help Your Ecommerce Site?

Alt attributes help your SEO performance because the search engines robots are not able to read images. Instead, the search engines robots crawl the alt attributes of each picture on your site.

Also, the alt attributes are a great place in your site to utilize your existing keywords and help increase your chances of showing up in image searches.

Finally, the alt attributes provides the search engines, like Google, with useful information about the content of the image. The search engines use the information provided to help determine the best image to return when a user is performing a search. 

The alt attribute is a key element in Ecommerce sites that sometimes is not taken into consideration, but if you do it correctly it might be an opportunity for your site to improve its rankings in the SERPs and to drive more relevant traffic into your Ecommerce site.