Every so often Google will offer some advice on its ranking considerations that we like to pay close attention to. Recently a Webmaster video offered up some advice on website design and specifically the use of images and that of text.
We encourage the use of text on websites for a lot of reasons, namely because it helps to get indexed within the search engines and because it fulfills the business purpose of a website- to be a reference for products/services/entertainment and the like. Search engines will only index your website for something that you offer if it deducts, by “reading” your text, that you have content on those specific items. Furthermore your job as a business is to showcase to your consumers that you are in fact a great resource for this information and are authoritative.
Let’s get back on track as to what Google said about website design. With the knowledge that search engines like text, let’s say that your business decides that imagery is the best way to showcase your products or services. Let’s also say that after looking into the data on website interactions by potential consumers, the pages with more pictures, video or imagery have more traffic, better conversions, and indicate that people spend the most time on these pages. You might say to yourself that “All of our pages should be graphical and less textual as the data is indicating better response from these pages.” You would be half right but would need to consider some key points.
Google Still Needs Hints
Your website data indicates that images are your friend and that text is less important. You have now considered taking this website design characteristic to all the pages of your website with the thought that it will continue to reap the benefits of what you are thinking is positive user-experience. Before you embark on your quest of image-rich only content remember that Google needs text to get an indication of what your web pages are all about. Search engines cannot yet “read” images so they leave it up to you to identify what is contained on your pages.
To both increase the user-appeal of your website and make the search engines happy there are a few things you can do or should be doing. First and foremost, labeling your picture files ‘alt tags’ will allow search engines to “read” your pictures or at least the descriptions you are giving them. Also, use keywords to appropriately title your pictures so that they may get indexed in picture searches. Google also recommends the use of creative imagery like Google fonts which can be used to snaz up your site and allow for indexing at the same time.
We Suggest a Mix
It is our experience that all large companies will have something to talk about and can share information on their sites in text form as well as graphically. We suggest having textual content on many pages and having purely graphical content on the pages if it is decided that this is what users want to see. Always remember that the user experience should be the foundation in which you provide information.
For an example on great user-experience check out this blog.
Google mentioned that a good site design helps people to use your site more efficiently. If you think that more images can convey the message you are seeking better and your data indicates that this is true, then by all means make the changes.
Additionally, remember that many of the things you place on your site should also be compounded through social sharing such as through your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest pages. Images, videos and text-based articles will all work well when shared with your network in an engaging way.
To learn more about website design that is based on user experience and how to develop a content strategy for your website and social media, contact Success Agency today.
Thanks for reading,