Website SEO audits have been my best friend lately, so I’ve been learning quite a bit about important steps to take to ensure a website is properly indexed by search engines. Sidenote to PR pros – understanding SEO has become an important part of our job, so I suggest you make it a priority to have at least a basic understanding of how to optimize online content for search engines.
One common error I’m finding during website SEO audits is text that is embedded into images – particularly keyword rich text. An easy way to determine if text is an image is to try to select it. If you can’t highlight the text with your cursor, then it’s an image.
So, what’s the problem with creating text as an image? It’s not search engine friendly. You mean, if I put text into fancy-schmancy images on my website because I want to call attention to the most important content on my page, search engines can’t read that content? That’s exactly what I’m saying.
There are a couple ways to solve this problem. The most ideal solution is to make any keyword rich content on your website plain text. If your site is built in such a way that changing images to plain text isn’t an easy task, then you could either add that important text into the copy on the page and/or add alt tags to images to make the text visible to search engines. If you decide to add alt tags to your images, make sure the keywords you select are relevant to the image. If you insert tags that are not relevant to the image, it could look like you are trying to game the system. You do not want to be on Google’s bad side. Trust me.
I’m not recommending you completely ditch images on your website because it’s important to have a blend of visual aesthetics and informative content. Just be cautious to not put all descriptive text into images.
Keep these tips in mind when advising clients on whether their websites are properly optimized for search engines. I won’t even pretend to be an SEO know-it-all (though it has a good ring to it, doesn’t it?), and I’m sure the true experts out there could add even more detail to the “images versus text on websites” topic. So, please add your two cents in the comments if you have any other recommendations!