Flash websites have been enticing web visitors and creators since their emergence. However, there is debate over how effective this type of design technology is when it comes to online marketing. For some, Flash sites are considered to be preferred in comparison to the static HTML websites that have little to no moving parts. In spite of the popularity that Flash web design has garnered over the years, many businesses and online marketers concerned about SEO rankings should beware!
Flash websites look cool, they add more visitor interactivity and make web sites more entertaining. However, there is a lot more to the web than just having fun. And, as we all know, there are a TON of things going on behind those beautiful and bright graphics that the average user views when surfing the web.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using a Flash website is the negative impact it has on the site’s SEO rankings. There’s no point in having a beautiful, exciting new website if no one can find it, right? So let’s take a look at why Flash websites are still not compatible with search engine optimization (SEO) principles.
Flash is simply a software name created by Macromedia, which provides excellent animation quality on the web. Flash Plug-ins embedded on websites have the capability to make images, graphics, logos and animation appear to be in 3D mode, which is a lot livelier than basic HTML. In theory, the entertainment factor or enticement factor helps boosts up the odds that people will find your website more attractive and help to increase the amount of traffic on your site. People who argue in favor of Flash web sites might also suggest that this type of design increases the likelihood that your audience will stay on your site for a longer duration of time, converting more prospects into customers.
While Flash websites are more appealing to the human eye, these websites will not be indexed by search engine spiders. In spite of showcasing enticing websites, owners of Flash sites may find it harder to rank decent in search engines because search engine crawlers have difficulty in detecting websites that utilize Flash. Yes, what the user sees on your website is incredibly important. At the same time, however; what web crawlers see is just as important. The difference between users and web crawlers is that web crawlers read the code that is hidden behind the images and graphics. In order to know how to rate and and rank your website in search engines, web crawlers MUST be able to view this code.
The myth about a customer staying longer on your site also does not mean a 100% conversion of sales. Based on statistics, the majority of online viewers are impatient, in terms of looking through what they really want. When it comes to web visitors looking to make purchases, price and product are the first items and information that users look for. If people need to sift through a ton of animation or close out introduction videos before they can get to what they are really after, this could be a deterrent and turn people away from your website.
Load time is another drawback with Flash websites. Both users and search engines are not fans of sites that take longer to load. Google added load time as a signal in their search ranking algorithms over two years ago and it has stuck ever since. Flash sites take much longer to load than HTML sites. As a result, they have lower SEO rankings and less popularity among users.
At the end of the day, simpler is better when it comes to your website. Sure, Flash in websites is appealing and enticing for some audiences, but it does not mean it appeals to everyone. The important thing is that you utilize web development and design techniques that are both SEO and user friendly.