Can't say - it was my company's site

by Name withheld
(Location withheld)


Somehow I got assigned the job of writing a website for my company's product. (I can't name the company and I can't name the product. I can't even name me.)

I'm still not sure how I got chosen, but suffice it to say it was a small company. I think my boss thought I had the best writing skills of any of his employees, so I got picked.

I think he also assumed that because I was (relatively) young, I'd probably be the one who knew how to put up a website.

Well, I wrote the copy; that was easy enough. Meanwhile I was interviewing web designers. I presented a few to my boss and let him make the final decision.

Naturally, he picked the enthusiastic (and attractive) young woman. She didn't have much of a portfolio or resume, but there was no denying her sites looked great.

Well, in no time she took my copy and designed beautiful web pages around it. We were excited when it finally got posted to the net. We wondered how long it would be until the sales started rolling in.

The sales never started rolling in. It turned out that she had no idea how pages attract traffic...she just knew how to make them look good!

(After all, looking good had gotten her our traffic!)

What it took a year for us to figure out was that she posted all my copy to the web as images. In other words...

She didn't post my words as text. She posted them as pictures of text. So instead of Google reading and learning what our product was (so they could send appropriate searchers to our site), all there was for Google to read was a piece of code that said, essentially...

sales-copy.jpg

My 1000's of words of copy had been reduced to a few pictures that the search engines didn't even know how to read! They thought our site was essentially a photo album!

It's a good thing I was on salary and not writing my own site.

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Feb 11, 2008
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common problem
by: Steve B.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard of web designers using the text-as-picture "solution" and having NO idea how they've sabotaged their traffic!

The important lesson: web designers may know how to design a good-looking site, but most of them know little to nothing about actually attracting traffic.

Buyer beware!

How to tell if the writing on a website is actually a picture:

Double click on a word. If it doesn't highlight, it's generally a picture.

Confirm by left clicking on the words. If the menu that comes up refers repeatedly to an "image," that's because it is.

If you know anyone with a website with this problem, please tell them!

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