Graphic Headlines Can Work for SEO – SEO Tip Week 13

Written on March 30, 2007 – 7:30 am | by Shell Harris |

52 SEO TipsThis examples in this tip are no longer online. The recommendations are still the same. Using graphic headlines are still okay if you use the title and alt tags.

This week’s tip is for those sites which are graphically heavy or rely on a specific typeface for their headlines. While we at Big Oak SEO always prefer a HTML text headline, we understand that sometimes the client or designer would really prefer to use a typeface that isn’t available through HTML. Instead of being heavy handed and insisting the site be changed to all HTML text we have gone with another, simpler approach.

Let me clarify this: I would prefer to see HTML text used and with all things being equal HTML text will always be better than any techniques applied with graphic text.

As I have written in the past, I feel that examples are the best way to learn and we have applied this technique to Grote Consulting, a long-time client of Big Oak.

You can view the Performance Appraisal page we will be using in the example.

We used the following HTML code to place a <H1> tag around our graphic text and allow the search engines to read it as a heading:

<h1><img src=“/images/headers/performance-appraisal.jpg” alt=Effective Employee Performance Appraisal Toolstitle=Effective Employee Performance Appraisal Toolswidth=“750″ height=“96″ /></h1>

The key is using both the alt tag and the title tag within the image source HTML code. Matching both tags with the same text is helpful. The search engines may devalue the alt and title tags, but when they conform with the HTML text and title of the page they can contribute to higher search engine rankings.

Further using this web page as an example I have provided a link the the Google cache for this page. The H1 header is clearly identified even though we used graphic text on page. And finally, to prove that Google respects the proper use of this SEO technique I did a search for the H1 header ‘Effective Employee Performance Appraisal Tools’ and the example page is the #2 result in Google.

Let me repeat this, using HTML text is always better, but using graphical text with the technique I have shown you will help your rankings too. If you try spamming the alt or title tag in the image code you are abusing this technique and lower rankings will follow. Use this wisely and be honest when adding text to the alt and title tags, especially when wrapping an H1 tag around them.

Hope you have enjoyed this weekly SEO tip. If you have any suggestions or questions for Big Oak, please let us know. If you submit a question we like, we may use it in our tips. Contact Big Oak SEO to help you drive traffic and sales to your site.

Shell Harris co-founded Big Oak on January 1, 2004. In a previous career he was a print & web designer and often developed the sites he designed before focusing on his current passion for search engine optimization and Internet marketing. He is an avid researcher, SEO specialist, company mouthpiece and is always looking for the next big thing in Internet Marketing.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Graphic Headlines Can Work for SEO – SEO Tip Week 13”

  2. By emil on Mar 30, 2007 | Reply

    wow, thanks for the tip. I will use this !

  3. By Shell Harris on Mar 31, 2007 | Reply

    Glad you found this useful. If you do use it, please submit a link. I think it is extremely helpful to see examples when giving out SEO tips.

  4. By DNL on Jan 15, 2008 | Reply

    the page and the rankings are gone today but the experiment is interesting..of course the keyword is not very difficult, that page has some links using similar anchor text(more than 20) but the experiment is still pretty interesting for me.
    Would like to test it without the links pointing to that page though and weight better the factors of this equation.

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