Product images are one of the key components for success when selling online. Awesome images of your items will show them off in an accurate, flattering way to entice people to buy. While this is something that you may already have integrated into your routine, you may not be making the most of your product images. This is because optimising product images doesn’t end with the upload. The essential concept to understand here is what developers call ‘alt text’. But what is alt text? And, why is it so crucial?
What exactly is alt text?
‘Alt text’ stands for alternative text; the name hints what it is used for. While most people who visit your site will be able to view the images you upload, not everyone can. Consumers with a visual impairment will often use a screen reader to help them shop online. Many screen readers will block product images, and this leaves some customers with no way of understanding how your products look or even what your product is. This is not solely an issue around visual impairment either – some web browsers, may not show product images properly which makes alt text valuable here too.
Alt text solves this problem by adding a text description to your images which can be used in place of the images themselves. Once you have added an alt text description, anyone who cannot see your product images for any reason can still get a good description of how something looks – before they buy.
Why is alt text so important for your website images?
There are some very good reasons to start adding alt text to your product images. Firstly, it will help you sell more stuff as customers want to understand how things look before they buy. It will also attract more customers to your online store. Alt text is key to what is known as accessible web design; this is the process that ensures that almost anyone, no matter what their ability, can use your online store effectively if they choose to.
The other main benefit of utilising alt text correctly is the boost it will give to your SEO plans. Although search engines are constantly advancing, they still can not see images on websites as humans do. This means that they can sometimes miss a product image on your site that people might be searching for. By adding a text description, it helps the search engines to understand what the images on your site relate to.
If you don’t have an online store to upload product images with alt text to yet, don’t worry – Go Sitebuilder can help. Our online stores include unlimited product listings so you can use alt text to your heart’s content and reach more consumers. Start with a free trial and start building your online store today.