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2009-07-28 23:33:55

Tips About Using Graphics in Your Website


Websites that use huge Flash multimedia or large graphics are detrimental to your SEO, right? WRONG. At least not necessarily. Here are some thoughts to think about when you look at your website.
ALT Tags Tell the Search Engine About the Graphic
The first thing to know is that with every graphic, you should have what is called an “Alt Tag” (also called an “Alternative Tag”) that describes what the graphic is all about. In addition, this short comment should have your best keyword phrases that you are trying to get seen in the major search engines. One caution is to not get carried away with writing on and on here nor to duplicate the same keyword phrases over and over.
You should be able to see your “Alt Tag” by running your cursor over the graphic and pausing to see if the text pops up. The interesting thing about larger graphics is that many times they are broken up into separate graphical pieces. Just as the map of the United States could be shown as one graphic, many times to load it faster, webmasters will create each state or regions to load separately. The value of this is that each graphic can have its own “Alt Tag” which is read and indexed by the major search engines.
Size Matters?
Nope. Think of this. No matter how large your graphic is, it is still just one line of code. Thus a graphic that takes up the entire screen is the same size to the search engines as a small graphic. So why do we stress making smaller graphics? Because if you take up all your screen space with graphics, you have no room for text, which is what the search engines actually read. Content is everything nowadays. So if you have to have a large graphic, counter balance it with a load of text with you keyword phrases interspersed.
Add Text to Your Graphics
Take a look at most websites, and if you see text on a graphic, it will be embedded within the graphic, making it a part of it and thus unreadable to the search engines. The trick here is to create the same text, yet place it on top of the graphic as oppose to within the graphic. What’s the difference? The difference is that now the search engines can read the text. And if the text is a part of your keyword phrases, this will pay off handsomely.
Danger Will Robinson!
Learn how to use your robots.txt file. It’s the file that tells the search engines what to read and what not to read in your website. Now you might wonder why you’d tell the search engine NOT to read something in your website, but our case in point of Flash media is a case in point. Since the search engines can’t read it anyway, you might as well direct the search engines to the parts of your website that can be read.
Lay Down Those Graphics
Did you know that your computer screen reads similar to your television? At least the old fashioned CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions that scanned the screens left and right, back and forth. So what does that mean to you? It means that if your graphics are horizontal, they will load faster, and your viewer will not be waiting as long for your screen to appear. Now some of you don’t have that luxury. Your company logo may be very vertical. No problem. Just make sure that it loads in thirds or quarters top to bottom. Also, as was mentioned before, a map of the United States as a whole will load MUCH slower than the same size map where each state is a separate graphic.
Randy Eagar is both a national speaker and trainer as well as an SEO consultant to hundreds of well-known real estate professionals. He has received the reputation of being a technology humorist as he makes technology enjoyable and interesting. 


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