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  1. #1
    Junior Member Skyflowers360's Avatar
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    My husband and I have opened up a photography school in North Carolina. The school helps photographers learn more about their business or hobby. Being that we are starting a new business we didn't have enough money to hire someone to do our site.

    So I am having to learn how to make a website and to make it easily enough to be searched for photography schools. I'm trying to make sure that I show up on the first two pages atleast because we all know that people don't tend to look to much farther on how ever many pages there are for that particular subject. If anyone can give me any kind of help it would be greatly appreciated.

    Darcy

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  3. #2
    Senior Member raspberryh's Avatar
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    Well, if you're really concerned about SEO, then I would say, don't make any of the text on your page an image. For example, your footer, your nav, your "stay informed" tout. Also, since you used tables for some of your layout, the search engines that are scanning through your HTML are going to see all that table code when really you just want them to see your content - so I'd say, skip the tables and do a CSS-only layout. Probably the WORST page for SEO is http://mountainlearning.com/School-Info.html... ALL your content is in an image, so there's no way for the search engine to index that content! So, it won't help your SEO at all. It is very important that your text be text.
    choosy developers choose gif!
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  4. #3
    Senior Member -chris-'s Avatar
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    Wow, I have family in Bryson City... small world.

    Your logo is pixelated, and doesn't look that good. I would also add some sort of mouseover to your nav to make it stand out a bit. The buttons towards the bottom of the page require you to click them once to make them active, which isn't the best of practices. Like raspberryh said, your text should be text, not images, otherwise search engines will never find your site. The workshops page looks bad in Opera, because the text and images all overlap.

    Your photos are beautiful, and your site could be really nice with a few changes.

    Good luck!
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  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberryh
    Well, if you're really concerned about SEO, then I would say, don't make any of the text on your page an image. For example, your footer, your nav, your "stay informed" tout. Also, since you used tables for some of your layout, the search engines that are scanning through your HTML are going to see all that table code when really you just want them to see your content - so I'd say, skip the tables and do a CSS-only layout. Probably the WORST page for SEO is http://mountainlearning.com/School-Info.html... ALL your content is in an image, so there's no way for the search engine to index that content! So, it won't help your SEO at all. It is very important that your text be text.
    rasberry - what about when you do the thing of including the text in a display:none; span or similar - I've seen you do this in your code for example, so it would display properly without stylesheets. So you had an image for the header but incuded in it was a hidden h1 tag for example?
    If this is included would the search engines pick up the text within the hidden span, therefore making it ok to use graphics?
    Er... I hope that makes sense....

  7. #6
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    The rule of thumb, generally, is if your website is human-compliant (works on humans), it usually works well on Search Engines. There are methods to replace elements with Images/Flash, but personally I think they're not worth it. Again, I press that content is more important than design. It's better to have less cool text, but have it easily readable without dependency on JS or Flash or making your page bigger.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.

  8. #7
    Senior Member planetgman's Avatar
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    You should take the advice regarding your logo, your tables, your text as images, etc. There is some really, really good advice here.

    My suggestion has to do with your keywords. Why do you have so many? It won't help your search rankings.
    You have words in there that make no sense based on your website and what it is you do.
    First general rule is you want to have about 25-45 keywords, never more than 75. I find few businesses need anywhere near 75, but you should have them targeted and specific to your business.
    You have 113 seperate keywords (and that isn't counting multiple words).
    Key "words" like: Smoky Mountain Learning Center photography workshops

    SEO is in the most simplest terms "putting the words into your code that you think people will type into a search engine to try and find you".

    It seems your site had every word you could find on photography or something to do with it in some way (not related to your business) was thrown into it.
    You used the word photography 61 times! That isn't even counting the other words like photo, photographic or some other version of photo.

    You really do need to target your business specific to your business. I'm sorry, but someone typing in to find your business will not be using your keywords like:
    Apple, camera buying guide, pixels, resolution, megapixel.........and I could go on.

    You have misspelled keywords (strob, instead of strobe) and even that keyword is a stretch.

    It is clear you have some Photoshop experience and with all of the slicing and text as graphics, it looks as though you did the "save for web" feature in PS to achieve your website. FYI, none of the text on your site will show up on search engines being an image, you might as well leave the page blank.......however, you really need to work on your keywords.

    I understand the desire and sometimes need to do it yourself, but there are some things that you should leave to professionals and get some professional advice on. Your keywords (and the search feature of them) do need some work.

    SEO is open to a lot of interpretation, but you need to really address what you put into your site. Even on the most basic level, this is really messed up.

    Good luck with your business.......
    GMan

  9. #8
    Senior Member raspberryh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferro
    rasberry - what about when you do the thing of including the text in a display:none; span or similar - I've seen you do this in your code for example, so it would display properly without stylesheets. So you had an image for the header but incuded in it was a hidden h1 tag for example?
    If this is included would the search engines pick up the text within the hidden span, therefore making it ok to use graphics?
    Er... I hope that makes sense....
    Hi Ferro,

    I did that with an image for a title, and the text in a display:none span because I had to comply with the designer, so I just tried to do it the best way possible while still using an image for the title. If it was MY decision, I would have done that text as static text. I did it more to be semantic, and for text-only browsers... I've actually read somewhere that some web crawlers ignore text that is in a span with display: none because people have used that to try to trick them, putting tons and tons of text in a display: none span. I don't know how much of that is true, but I did read it somewhere. So again, I was complying with what the designer of the site wanted by doing those titles. Since you designed your site yourself, you don't have to comply with anyone. In addition, I would NEVER EVER EVER put BODY text in an image. NEVER. I only did it for titles.

    Hope that helped.

    Heather
    choosy developers choose gif!
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raspberryh
    Hi Ferro,

    I did that with an image for a title, and the text in a display:none span because I had to comply with the designer, so I just tried to do it the best way possible while still using an image for the title. If it was MY decision, I would have done that text as static text. I did it more to be semantic, and for text-only browsers... I've actually read somewhere that some web crawlers ignore text that is in a span with display: none because people have used that to try to trick them, putting tons and tons of text in a display: none span. I don't know how much of that is true, but I did read it somewhere. So again, I was complying with what the designer of the site wanted by doing those titles. Since you designed your site yourself, you don't have to comply with anyone. In addition, I would NEVER EVER EVER put BODY text in an image. NEVER. I only did it for titles.

    Hope that helped.

    Heather
    Yeah same here - I am doing an art site for someone at the moment, who requested Golden Cockerel ITC Roman for all of the text - I had to explain to him that this would only be possible realistically for the headers and category titles and such, as it's a non standard font. So I've made all of these headers and titles from that font, but put display:none hidden stuff in case the style sheets are turned off.
    I agree to put body text as a graphic is taking things way too far. I think I ended up with Times New Roman for him for the body text, although I recommended Arial he still insisted on TNR.
    Interesting kind of tugs of war can happen between the designers and developers in this respect .

    I've noticed that on a lot of sites, the nav for example might be made with a standard font such as arial, but still be graphics to allow the nice smooth anti aliasing to be implemented......

  11. #10
    Junior Member Skyflowers360's Avatar
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    Thank you to all, I will run over everything that you have mentioned. I am in the process of redoing the site....Thanks again


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