How to Add a Text Alternative to Your Listing Images

Text alternative (or “alt text”) provides an image description to buyers who can’t see what you’re showing in your listing images. If your default shop language is set to English, you can add an image description for each of your listing images so that your content is accessible to blind and low-vision individuals.

These descriptions don’t appear visually on the page. Adding a text alternative to your listing images also positively impacts your listings’ SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

To add a text alternative to your listing images:

  1. Sign in to Etsy.com and go to Shop Manager.
  2. Select Listings.
  3. Select a listing.
  4. Hover over the photo you want to add alternative text to.
  5. Select the pencil icon.
  6. Type your alternative text in the box underneath the image.
  7. Choose Save.

You can add a description for as many images as you want.

How to write a great image description

Follow these best practices to describe your images in text alternatives:

  • Describe the item’s details: what it looks like, the texture, the scale in relation to other items in your photograph.
  • Think about what buyers would lose out on if your images didn’t load on the page.
  • Keep the description concise: up to 250 characters.

Examples of text alternative

Watch display holder rests on a table, made of a long, wooden block base with 3 thick round columns sticking up enough for a watch band to sit sideways. Customizable text etched into the block base. Watch dial etched into top of the middle column.
Photo by MijMojDesign

Text alternative: Watch display holder rests on a table, made of a long, wooden block base with 3 thick round columns sticking up enough for a watch band to sit sideways. Customisable text etched into the block base. Watch dial etched into top of the middle column.

alt_text_earrings.jpeg
Photo by AleishlaLopez

Text alternative: Earrings shaped like tall, thin arches hang far down the model’s neck. Between the arch columns hang a string of small mother of pearl droplets. The pearl droplets are free-hanging and are attached with metal links that match the arch. 

How do I describe size charts?

Describe the sizing chart image in as much detail as possible. An alternate method to include sizing charts in your listing is to put sizing charts in your listing description.

What happens if I don’t add text alternatives to my images?

If you don’t provide a text alternative to describe an image, your listing’s title will be used for that image’s description. This doesn't have the same positive impact for blind and low-vision users who don't gain any context from your images.

Should I add text alternatives to all of my images?

It is especially beneficial to describe different views, details, or variations of your listing. If you provide different descriptions, each image will have different alt text for blind and low vision individuals to further understand what each of your images is showing.

What impacts my SEO?

Adding your shop name, listing title, listing description, or other attributes (tags, SKUs, etc.) to the alt text won’t be an additional benefit to your listing’s SEO as these items are already part of your shop or listing pages. Alt text is used to describe the photo for someone who cannot see it – this can include search engine bots.

Why can’t I see this option for my listings?

We are rolling this feature out. We will announce when it is fully available.

 

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