Matthew Herchel at Shopify Plus instructing a class on how to add alt tags to images in shopify


How An Agency Adds Alt Tags To Products In Bulk

A Collection of Shopify Guides

Introduction

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This guide will walk you through the steps of adding alt tags to your existing Shopify product images in bulk.

To follow this guide, you must have existing Shopify products which include images AND you must have a G Suite account.

  • Export your products as a CSV file
  • Upload your product CSV to Google Sheets
  • Prepare your CSV for editing
  • Write effective Alt tags
  • Save your CSV file to your computer
  • Import your CSV file to Shopify

Export your products as a CSV file

From your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products

Click Export

From the dialogue, choose All products

Select CSV file for Excel, Numbers, or another spreadsheet program

Click Export Products

If you have fewer than 50 products, you will receive a download link for your CSV file. If you have more than 50 products, your store owner will receive an email with your CSV file as an attachment. Contact your store owner for the CSV file to proceed

Screenshot of shopify product export window
The Google Sheets new document dialogueUploading a CSV to google sheets

Upload your product CSV to Google Sheets

Log in to your Google account

On the Google Sheets page, click Blank in the Start a new spreadsheet section

From the Untitled Spreadsheet page, go to File > Import...

Under Import File, select Upload

Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the CSV, and select the CSV

In the Import file dialogue, select Import action> Replace spreadsheet, Separator character > Detect automatically, and Convert text to numbers and dates > Yes

Click Import

Prepare your CSV for editing

If the Body (HTML) column (C) contains very tall rows, right-click on the Column Header (C), and select Hide Column from the dialogue

At the top of the page, select View > Freeze > 1 row

The Alt Tag Column is located under (AA) Click and drag the scroll bar at the bottom of the page, and scroll right until you can see Image Alt Text (AA)

Image of CSV in Google Sheets with lots of content in the body cellsPreparing a CSV to edit alt tags in Google SheetsA spreadsheet in Google Sheets that is ready for tagging
2H Media's yellow rubber duck with orange beak

Alt Text: 2H Media's yellow rubber duck with orange beak

Write effective alt tags

Effective alt tags describe the relevant contents of an image.

To write effective alt tags for a product image, you will first have to view that product image.

For the first row of the spreadsheet, select the cell in the Image Src Column (Y), and press Alt + Enter to open the image in a new browser tab

Take note of the image's relevant content, and close the image window - relevant content includes all objects contained within the image such as products, product packaging, people, and places. For more information on alt-tag content, see this official Shopify article

From the Google Sheets window containing your CSV, select the cell in the Image Alt Text column (AA)

Enter your alt text. We recommend 4-5 words. The maximum allowed number of words is 16

Repeat these steps for every row in the spreadsheet

If you have to take a break part-way through, don't worry; your progress will be saved automatically in Google Sheets

Save your CSV file to your computer

At the top of the page, select File > Download > Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)

Save the file to your computer and note the location of the file

Downloading a CSV from Google Sheets

Import your CSV file to Shopify

From your Shopify admin, go to Products > All products

Click Import

From the dialogue, choose Browse...

Navigate to your CSV file, and select Open

From the dialogue, click the Replace any current products that have the same handle. Existing values will be used for any missing columns. check box

Click Upload file

Feel free to close the window. When your CSV file is successfully uploaded, your store owner will receive a confirmation email


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