People use search engines to find information by typing words into them. Words are used by search engines to find and index relevant material. Words, not images, should be used to design and enhance your website.
Incorporate keywords into the design and development of your website, and the chances are good that you will create a website that caters to a wide range of user types, including search engine robots, as a result of your efforts.
If you think of robots in the same way that you would think of a visitor, using accessibility settings/features and search engine optimization (SEO) should become less difficult concepts to grasp.
A straightforward concept – make use of words.
Putting words on the page is a significant element of the process of creating a search engine-friendly website. For example, if possible, design and develop a website employing the following elements:
• navigational text for the website (even if supplementary to a main, image-based navigation)
• text for the links (rather than a graphical button such as’read more’ or similar), and
• text for the body of the material (not just big pretty pictures)
Images are used for a variety of legitimate causes.
Without a doubt, there are compelling reasons to integrate photos within a website, the most important of which is the construction of a visually pleasing and engaging user experience.
Yet another popular application of photographs is to demonstrate products to the end-user, sometimes in a lifestyle context, in order to arouse curiosity and build desire. Among the other applications of images in a website is its use in the major navigation: (example: apple.com).
An image-based navigation system may be necessary if the visual attractiveness of the navigation cannot be achieved with CSS (which, in most cases, is possible with the help of an expert designer).
When using images, make sure they are accompanied by meaningful alt text (and don’t assume you can pack keywords into the ALT text you’ll be flagged for spamming) and secondary navigation that is based on links if you choose to go this path.
Some may argue that text-based navigation is not the most visually pleasing mode of navigation, but it is beneficial to both the user who is dependant on (or chooses to use) accessible modes of navigation and the user who is not. As a result, search engines can crawl and index a website more efficiently…. to reiterate, “search engines use words and word phrases to index a website.”
Using images to search for information on the internet
Of course, search engines are becoming more intelligent, and in Chris’s recent piece on our blog about the use of image ALT text in search engine optimization, Matt Cutts, the CEO of Google, alluded to some of the difficulties the company is experiencing with image-based search.
However, even the might of Google is now unable to review and index a photograph just on the basis of its visual attributes. Instead, Google recommends that you name the image filename accurately and descriptively, and that you include some helpful/assistive image alt-text in the image.
Keep in mind that search engines employ words because people search for things using words.
Above all, keep your attention on the words on the page. Text-based material is essential; photos should only be used to display the goods or to describe the lifestyle being described. Furthermore, prior to becoming concerned with obtaining links to your website, concentrate on the content of your website first.