In this lesson, you will learn how to:
- What is an ALT tag on your images
- How to write image descriptions in your Bigcommerce store
- Why they’re helpful to your SEO

You might hear the words “ALT tags” or “ALT text” a lot when talking SEO, specifically around images. Don’t overthink this term. This is just short for “Alternative Text.”
At Bigcommerce, we’ll refer to this as a “Image Description,” but it’s typically known as “ALT Text”.
The image description will help you in a lot of ways.
First, search engines don’t have eyes, they cannot see what’s in an image. You need to provide a basic description of that image using text.
Also, the image description gives the visually impaired the ability to know what’s on the screen.
Finally, some people may have something weird going on with their computer or browser, and they are unable to see your images; a description will tell them what should be there.
Think of ALT Text or image descriptions as another way for search engines and potential customers to better understand what it is YOU sell.
Without ALT text, missing images show up as broken icons, instead of detailed descriptions.
So, ALT Text not only allows the page content to be indexed and ranked through a web search, but it also helps images to be found in an Image search. Image Searching has gotten much more popular over the past decade due to a more visually demanding audience. Sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter thrive on visual content.
Creating image descriptions with strong keywords will help your images be found and drive more traffic to your site.
Your image should absolutely, most definitely have something to do with your product, store, or industry, therefore it probably has some of your keywords associated with it.
Use them!
But whatever you do, don’t “keyword stuff“.
If you’re selling horse saddles you wouldn’t want your ALT tags to look like this.
This is known as keyword stuffing, and it’s bad. Everywhere. Don’t keyword stuff.
A good Image descriptions will look like this.
This description gives us several good keywords that customers might be searching for.
Remember, words do not have to be right next to each other to help you result. So, if someone searches “Western Saddle” without the word “Ranch”, we’ll still result. If they search “ranch saddle” we’ll have even better results!
It’s ideal to put image descriptions or “ALT text” on every single image in your store.
Let me show you a few examples.
You can create ALT text on web page images and banners within the WYSIWYG editor.
It’s really easy. Just click the small tree icon here...then click Appearance...and just type in the description of that particular image.
We also see a “Title” field here. This refers to the Title of the image.
Best to fill it out wherever you can.
Image Title Text will show up as a pop-up, or “Tool Tip” when you hover an image in most browsers.
You’ll also want to put keywords in the title text, but it can be less descriptive, as the ALT text has greater importance to the Search Engines.
So bottom-line make sure you’re filling out your ALT text and your Image Title where applicable. These should contain pertinent keywords related to that product or content, making your store and your products easier to find in the search engines!