Alt-text is a brief written description of your product image. These serve to help people who are visually impaired to understand what your item is. These snippets are also known as “alt attributes” or “alt descriptions.” These won’t be visible as text on the page. They are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. And Assistive Technology (AT) is like screen readers for people with disabilities and the elderly.
How do I add alt text to an image?
Note: As of this writing, not every Etsy shop has this feature yet. To check whether you do, follow these steps. From your Shop Manager, go to Listings, then edit any of your listings. In the images section, hover over an image. If your Etsy shop is eligible for Alt Text then you can see three icons. Look to the left of the familiar icons for “crop photo” and “delete photo.” If you see a little pencil, that is for “edit alt text.” Click on that to add alt text for this image.
Click on it again, and you’ll see this pop-up from Etsy.
You’ll see a text box just below. What you want to do here is describe what’s in your photograph, and then hit publish.
Tips on how to write good alt text
When writing this description, keep in mind its purpose. It will be read aloud to users by screen reader software, and it is indexed by search engines.
Avoid keyword stuffing!
Keep it short and pithy.
Don’t include “image of” or “photo of”.
Instead, just focus on conveying what’s in the photo as you would to someone who can’t see it. Begin with what your item is. Then describe the colors, pattern, What are materials, texture, size, etc.
Etsy advises that we keep it brief. Length can be up to 250 characters.
How important is it for SEO?
Etsy tells us that alt text will factor into where your item ranks (that is, search placement). But bear in mind that there are many factors they consider. Alt-text is only going to be one of them. It’s unlikely to make a substantial difference to any listing. So, if you don’t have this yet in your shop, don’t worry about falling behind others in your niche who do.
And don’t rush to add it to every single image in every single listing you have in your shop! Instead, we recommend that you pick one or two of your best-performing listings and add alt text to your primary photograph. When you’ve got a little time, you can add more. And then going forward, add it whenever you create a new listing. Or when you’re renewing or refreshing the SEO of an older listing. Just make adding alt text to your listing photos a part of your workflow.
If you don’t add alt text, your listing’s title will be used for that image’s description. People with visual impairments won’t have all the information that your product images convey. And Etsy reiterates that you won’t get that extra bit of SEO boost either.