Before & After Part 1
Many of the websites that Optima does are in the automotive repair industry. Optima offers free website analyses and we come across many shall we say “interesting” websites. Twice in the last two weeks alone we’ve seen websites where everything in them is created as an image. This makes these websites virtually invisible to search engines.
The two sites we analyzed were Body Builders Automotive and Bay Cities Auto Body. Body Builder’s site had been created by their outsourced IT company that didn’t do that many websites, but had enough programming expertise to put something online. The Bay Cities site was created by one of the manager’s sons and was done for free. Unfortunately, in website design (as with most things), you get what you pay for. There is a reason websites designed by marketing professionals tend to cost a bit more.
When we first looked at the Bay Cities site we were immediately stunned to see that not only was the site entirely image based, but there were no tags either. None. No title tags, no meta tags, nothing. The only way anyone could find this shop online was to actually know their URL. Even searching by their name produced no results other than Yelp and City Search type listings. Not good for business.
Your Website is Your Billboard on the Web
With the automotive clients we work with (and our other clients) we stress to them that there is one purpose and only one purpose for having a website: to drive business to their door. This calls for effective web presence management. If you are going to have a presence online you have to manage it, which means, among other things, being search engine friendly. Neither of these sites are visible so we had to make our case for a complete redesign.
One tool we use is SEO Browser. Simply enter a URL into the box and it will show you what search engines see. Remember, search engines can’t see images or Flash animation – all they can see is text and hyperlinks. For Bay Cities, this is what we were able to show them:
Here’s what we showed Body Builders:
We further explained to Bay Cities and Body Builders that Google and other search engines index websites by text. And if you have no text you can’t be indexed. No indexing, no visibility. No visibility, no traffic to your site. No traffic to your site, no sales coming to your door. It was an easy case to make when we suggested a whole new design. It needs to be a part of their web presence management.
Watch this blog for a follow up story as these new designs come together, or subscribe so that you don’t miss it!