2H Media

Bulk-Adding Alt Tags

How An Agency Adds Alt Tags To Shopify Products In Bulk
Intermediate Shopify
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Introduction

What To Expect

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 that include images AND you must have a G Suite account.

Audience

This guide is intended for intermediate Shopify Merchants.

Timeline

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Steps: 80 minutes
  • Total: 90 minutes

Tools

Results

  • Complete alt tags for all Shopify product listings

Step 1

Export your products as a CSV file

Step 2

Upload your product CSV to Google Sheets

Step 3

Prepare your CSV for editing

Step 4

Write Effective Alt Tags

Step 5

Save Your CSV File To Your Computer

Step 6

Import your CSV file to Shopify

Step 1

Export your products as a CSV file

The first step is to get the product data out of Shopify.

shopify alt tags csv export
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 yout 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

Step 2

Upload your product CSV to Google Sheets

Next, you need to open your exported file in a spreadsheet editor. We recommend Google Sheets.

shopify alt tags google sheet document creation
Log in to your Google account
On the Google Sheets page, click Blank in the Start a new spreadsheet section
shopify alt tags google sheets csv upload
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

Step 3

Prepare your CSV for editing

We recommend cleaning up the spreadsheet to make it easier to navigate. We do this by hiding irrelevant fields.

shopify alt tags large cells in spreadsheet
If the Body (HTML) column (C) contains very tall rows, right-click on the Column Header (C), and select Hide Column from the dialogue
shopify alt tags google sheets document setup
At the top of the page, select View > Freeze > 1 row
shopify alt tags google sheets prepared document
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)

Step 4

Write Effective Alt Tags

Effective alt tags describe the relevant contents of an image. 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.

2H Media's yellow rubber duck with orange beak 2H Media's yellow rubber duck with orange beak
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
shopify alt tags google sheets rubber duck example alt tags
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

Step 5

Save Your CSV File To Your Computer

If you're editing in Google Sheets, you need to download your spreadsheet before you can upload it to Shopify.

shopify alt tags google sheets csv download
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

Step 6

Import your CSV file to Shopify

The final step is to import your updated products back into Shopify.

shopify alt tags csv import
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

Congratulations on completing this guide.

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This guide was written for 2H Media by Aron Murch with contributions by Matthew Herchel. Based on official Shopify Resources. This guide is maintained by 2H Media.