Officially, SEO best practices say you can’t use those beautiful branded fonts in that pictures-of-text for your headings. And conversion best practices say that you may not always want to use keywords in the headings – just use whatever converts best. So wrapping an image with keyword-rich text in h1 tags is not the solution.
So how do you make the web designers and brand managers and conversion experts and SEO pros play nice and get along?
a – Have them talk it out and come to a compromise.
b – Go with a majority vote.
c – Have the SEO throw raging fire and brimstone until they comply.
More seriously, here’s a neat little workaround.
Step 1: Make the handsome, branded-font pictures of text and use whatever copy the conversion guru wants. Use alt text for the blind, and Googlebot. Not because it’s part of this technique, but as a courtesy to those users and to maintain good habits.
Step 2: Edit your CSS so that your header text is displayed in all browsers like normal copy. It should be the same size and have the same stylings (i.e. none) as your regular paragraph text.
Step 3: Write your SEO headers into the copy and tag them with the normal h1s, h2s, and h3s.
What’s the final product look like?
Here’s one example from my friend Sandy Niehaus, of Closed Loop Marketing – SEM / Conversion / Usability experts. It’s a screenshot of one of her slides from SMX West.
That was a remake of the previous page, which looked like this:
My buddy James Zolman, of SEMvironment PPC shop had this lander to share from back when they were starting out. The blurred portion at the top was where a nice graphic acted as the logo and beside it was the pretty header. The dynamic keyword insertion shows Googlebot was happy too.
P.S. I know I said I’d only be blogging later after my other work was attended to. I’m making an exception cuz this idea struck me and I had to share it before I forgot.