2. Don’t Confuse The Search Engines With Graphics
Search engines are really good at reading text. But they’re very easily confused. And if Google gets confused when it crawls through your site, you won’t rank very high in search results. Search engines, for example, can’t read words that are contained in graphics or flash animation. So if your company’s name is only contained in a graphic on your site, this content is ‘invisible’ to a search engine. Same thing goes for product or service names.
The root of the problem lies with graphic designers. Graphic designers are really good at building graphics. Don’t take this to mean I don’t like graphic designers (I employ a bunch of them), but they sometimes don’t know how to create SEO-friendly design. Most websites, however, are designed by graphic designers who are really good at building graphics, and less interested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It takes a bit more time to have content placed in text, and use a stylesheet to format it so that a search engine can read it. Especially when it’s so easy to create a good looking graphic in Photoshop. Here’s an example of a graphic:
Here’s how it could be formatted, instead, using text and a cascading stylesheet (CSS): See the title of this section (above) for a live example.
EMAIL MARKETING: Here’s an example of a site that uses all flash (and is invisible to search engines). While it looks pretty to humans, to Google the content is completely invisible.
Even if you’re not worried about organic search positioning, but are doing paid search engine marketing (like Google Adwords), it’s important that the content on your site is easily digested by a search engine. Why? Google Adwords ranks the pages on your website, and compares it to your keywords and ad copy. The more relevant Google ranks the text on your site, the less you’ll have to pay for a sponsored ad on Google (and the higher your position).
In Summary: Don’t confuse search engines by keeping your content ‘locked up’ in graphics. It’s a small little detail in the web design process, but one that will pay dividends for a long, long time with increased search results.