Wait one minute. Back it up Barney Rubble. If you’re going to be efficient in what you do, you need to start thinking about search engines at the very beginning before anything else you do. The single most important aspect of designing web sites is writing good content. I know, I know. You’ve heard this before, but what does it really mean? There is one easy way to figure out if you’ve achieved good content: Read your site as if you were a search engine.
I’m shocked with some of the web sites I see people make. They’ll make a great graphical header for their site with a fancy title and tagline. However, search engines can’t read those header graphics. Pop open the source of a web page and take a look. I’ve seen many sites where you can’t even find the title of the site or its tagline anywhere in the source! No joke.
Search engines will look through your source and try and make sense of your document based on its HTML structure. Main headers should be in <h1> tags, sub headers in <h2> tags, paragraphs in <p> and lists (such as menus) in either <ul> or <ol>. When your page is laid out logically in a format that makes sense, search engines can make sense of your page. What do you think a search engine will consider more important: An image tag with an alt attribute set to “My Widget Store” or an <h1> tag containing “My Widget Store”?
Whenever you put text in an image, you are hiding it from search engines. The text you put in images does not get indexed. Adding an alt attribute to images helps a little bit, but it doesn’t help as much as adding a proper HTML tag. There are many good ways to replace text with images using CSS. So make your menus and titles actual text in your HTML. Let search engines know what you’re writing about and linking to.