Why Your Website’s Content Should be in Text Form
This sounds like a pretty obvious title. Of course content needs to be text, why wouldn’t it be?
Well, you’d be surprised. For instance, how many time have you visited a site and been met with a flash presentation containing the only text on the whole page? In fact, you may have visited some sites and not even realised that the content was actually within an image, rather than an HTML format.
It’s not always obvious, certainly from a visitor’s point of view; however, the damage this could do to a site and its visibility can be significant. Nobody needs to be reminded that content is important and that it helps to build relevance for a page and its target keyword(s). But it’s no good having content that is only visible to human visitors. Yes, they’ll get the message, but you could be throwing away the opportunity to rank for anything.
A flash presentation and image is effectively invisible to a search engine crawler, well, all except the Alt text and description. These spiders feed off of the HTML coding of a site and devour this information as they go around indexing sites. They can’t, try as they might, actually see what your page looks like – including your pretty images.
Unfortunately some people simply aren’t aware that they’re even doing this. They include text within an image and even assign a H1 tag to it. As previously mentioned, this looks absolutely fine, but it certainly isn’t optimised.
There are ways around this without ruining your whole page though. For instance, if you have assigned the H1 tag to an image, simply remove this and add the optimised title elsewhere (with the H1 heading). Therefore the aesthetic of your page won’t alter, but it will be optimised.
Also, take a look at your images and the text they contain. You may find that you can lose the image element and simply code it so that it visually appears to be the same; however you get the SEO benefit of the content. If your site is entirely flash, look at the page load times and the benefits you’re receiving from this (i.e. whether you still manage to attract decent levels of traffic from other sources) and weigh up whether you want a rethink. There’s no harm in having a little flash presentation, but a whole website built on flash is going to struggle in Google.