I’ll keep this simple. Hold on to your hats here. I am about to lay some truth on you that is not even close to new and has been said for years now. The reason I have to say it again is because apparently many SMB’s are hard of hearing. Should I type it in caps so you can read it easier? Here it goes ……. IMAGES HIDE YOUR WEB SITE FROM THE SEARCH ENGINES! There I said it …..again, just like thousands of search marketers before me. Apparently, there is some selective hearing going on the SMB world as well as the web design world. Images and the search engines still don’t get along. If you are wondering just how well your site does when it presents itself to the search engines be sure to check out SEMCheck, the low cost search engine optimization tool.
A pretty site that has all these cool looking images and flash components may look nice but it’s kinda like having a great painting but putting on display in your attic. No matter what your web design guru says about all the design elements that will make your visitors go ‘ooooooh aaaaaaaah’ those design tricks are not helping your business. The business of the web happens through the search engines. If no one can find you then you could have the Mona Lisa of web sites but it won’t matter because if no one sees it, then no one knows your services, then no one buys your stuff, then you sit and scratch your head asking “Why s no one doing anything through my site?”
Your helpful hints:
- Make sure every single critical page on your web site has a good balance between text and images. When in doubt use more text.
- Get over your need to have an attractive site and concentrate on the business aspects of your web presence. Usability and conversions trump look and feel ALWAYS.
- Any images that you do use need an alt tag. It gives the engines something to feed on.
- Flash is OK but only in really small doses. It cannot be read by the engines although improvements are taking place. It’s not worth the investment or the headache of trying to work around it when doing search engine optimization (SEO)
Also, never make a design decision on your site without discussing the implications for search engine optimization. I promise you that you will regret the decision to get in the way of your site being useful for attracting prospects that truly want your services. Those are the people who have typed their need in a Google search box and they are asking for the search engine to give them a good answer to their question. If you aren’t there because you have a pretty web site but your competition is because they understood business better than you did then, oh well, at least your site looks nice!
Thanks and have a great day!