Inngenious B&B Web Site Promotion

B&B Web Design Mistakes: #1 Images of text instead of real text

Website designs have to walk the fine line between what looks good and what shows up well in search engines. A talented designer can make a site that looks good and shows up well, but not all of them do. Unfortunately, the web is littered with sites that look great, but won't get found by a search engine. They were designed by professionals and amateurs alike. The main reason is they were not created by someone who kept your needs in mind throughout the whole design and development process. Your needs are clear:

  1. Attract guests.
  2. Represent your B&B in a way that will attract guests.
  3. Get your website seen, so it can attract guests.

Think of a search engine as free advertising. Search engines can bring you a large amount of visitors if only your site can be found. Spider - reads words and follows links to report back to the search engine. Search engines employ programs called "spiders" whose job it is to crawl along pages of the web and report back to the search engine what they have found.

Spiders are real simple in what they do. In fact, they can only do three things:

  1. Read text.
  2. Report back what text they have found.
  3. Follow hyperlinks.

Spiders aren't impressed by the visual part of your website. All they can see is text and links. They can not see pictures. They thrive on words. So with this knowledge, we run into one of the most common mistakes found on B&B websites. Pictures of words! Spiders can't read pictures of words. If they can't read it, they can't report back to the search engine with anything useful. If the search engine has nothing useful recorded about your page, it won't get found by someone using the search engine to choose a B&B to visit.

Here are two examples, one is real text, the other is a picture.

This text is not as beautiful, but every single word of it can be read by a spider and so this is what would be used by The Found Inn.

Notice how you can select individual words of this text with your mouse. That's an indication that it is real text.

Here are some other examples of text compared to pictures of text that should be avoided whenever possible (and it is nearly always possible).

Pictures of Text (Bad)
Real Text (Good)

Spring Travel
Sale at
The Found Inn

Specialties of
The Found Inn

This, of course,
belongs to
the Found Inn

So the question is, why do designers continue to use pictures of text in place of real text? The answer has many possibilities:

  • If you hired a neighbor or cousin or friend, they probably just don't know any better.
  • If you hired a professional, they probably did it because it is faster and easier. Or they just didn't know any better because sadly, many professional designers know little or nothing about search engines and how they work (they will never admit to that, but it's true).
  • If you hired a company that should know better, because you hired them to design and promote your site, they either have too many inexperienced designers to keep track of (cheap labor), or they are trying to keep you in a dependent relationship. They want you to keep paying them to promote your site.

Advice for B&B web design

  1. Avoid all use of pictures of text on your bed and breakfast's website. If you already have pictures of words on your site, have them replaced with real text.
  2. If you are considering hiring a designer or web promotion "specialist," examine some of their previous works. If they used any pictures of text, keep looking for someone else to promote your bed and breakfast. (You can choose to educate the person and hire them anyway, but you shouldn't have to tell them how to do their job. If they don't know this, what else don't they know?)

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