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Good Web Site Design for Web Site Optimization


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Images and ALT Tags

On a 56K modem (yep, they’re still around), it would take forever to load this page. Plus, it kind of hurts my eyes. If you’ve got load-intensive graphics or other technology that takes a long time to load, you’ll have lost a good part of your audience.

No one wants to wait around forever while a site is loading. Even if you’ve got a site with great content, if the graphics are dragging it down, you’ll have lost your audience. They’ll just be using the “Back” button to quickly find another site that won’t take forever to load.

A good rule of thumb is to only use graphics that are relevant to your site’s purpose, and aim for a file size that is 12 KB or smaller. If you must include an image that is larger than 12 KB, then use a thumbnail image.

In the context of search engine optimization, load-intensive graphics will hinder search engine spiders, since spiders’ primary food is content. Use images sparingly, and instead, work on adding relevant content that will attract both users and search engine spiders.

Provide text-only alternatives for your content that can't be read by search engines (such as JavaScript, image maps, Flash and other multimedia). Include text for your image Alt tags that includes your keyword phrases, for instance, if you’re selling widgets, use the ALT tag “widgets”.

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