I rarely use exclamation points in my tips, but this topic is becoming a biggie because of changing technologies.
First, a little story. Last week, I was meeting with a pet Internet marketing client and I saw the Apple iPad up close for the first time. It was swell and I thought, how cool is this?
Until the client showed me how her doggie day care website appeared on it. Ouch.
A big portion of the text was invisible because the website was originally designed in Flash. So instead of seeing company information, there was a lovely orange box with nothing in it. No headline, no inviting messages, no nothing.
The iPad hasn’t been supporting Flash technology. And even though a September 10 Wall Street Journal article reported that Apple has “loosened its control over” mobile phone and iPad software development, millions of iPhone and iPad users will still not see sites using Flash.
I’ve seen this happen with search engines, too. If the text is all within a graphic block or in Flash, it can’t be “seen” very well by search engines. All the content that could potentially help with search rankings is invisible.
Yikes! This could become a huge problem if your competition’s web content is visible and yours isn’t.
What’s a web marketer to do? Here are 3 tips that may help:
- Get your hands on an iPad and/or iPhone and see what many of your potential and current customers are seeing: You may be surprised… and not in a good way. But better to know, right?
- Take a look at how search engines are “seeing” your web page text. You can use Google cache to discover how Google is seeing your web content on any page of your site. Its’ very easy to do. In Google, type: cache:www.[yourwebdomain].com. For example, cache:www.contentclear.com. Once you arrive at the cache page, click on “TEXT VERSION ONLY” on the upper right corner. Then you’ll see the actual text that Google sees on your web page.
- If you’re text is not visible on iPads, iPhones or in Google cache, work with your web developer to adjust your web content. Make sure the text is readable text; not part of a graphic block or Flash application. If you aren’t able to strip out the copy and add it back in as text right away, add meta descriptions (alt. tags, etc.) at least to add the text into your web page code for search engines.
Please know that I’m not a web developer or technical web advisor… so the last tip may be oversimplifying the solution for you. I strongly advise that you work with your web developer/programmer to come up with the ideal solution.
Have you seen this happen with any websites? Or has your site become “invisible” in this way too? I’d love to know what you’ve experienced. Please share.
Until next time,
Here’s to a clear and prosperous site!