Flash websites might seem like a good investment. They look sharp, capture attention, and hold promise for attracting customers. That’s probably why 30 to 40 percent of websites use Flash, spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on design. However, there’s something that many businesses don’t know about Flash.
It’s not search engine friendly.
In fact, Flash can derail your SEO strategy. Every day, Google is crawling websites and making snap decisions about your content. Is your website relevant? Do visitors like it? And does it deserve a high page ranking? The answer to these questions will determine if your website serves as an inbound marketing tool – or a losing investment.
The User Experience
The online experience is fast-paced, with visitors deciding if they’ll stay on your website within seconds. Flash does not work on all mobile devices and, when it does, it takes longer to load than other websites. When faced with a less than user-friendly experience, many site visitors grow impatient and click the “back” button. Search engines like Google track how often users hit their “back” button and use this information to determine the value of your website. If enough people leave your website – your page ranking will suffer.
Instead of having a unique URL for each page on your website, Flash has a single URL for all pages. This is your home page URL. As a result, you have fewer opportunities to show up in search engine results, and fewer visitors can locate your site organically through online searches.
A Flash website also makes tracking metrics difficult. If your site starts to struggle, you don’t have the tools needed to identify the root of the problem.
Missing the SEO Basics
Flash pages are missing the SEO basics, including anchor text, headlines and image alt tags. Together, these items are critical to being visible with Google. Google also has difficulty crawling links that are embedded in Flash. Text is out of order, and it breaks apart words. Despite search engines getting smarter all the time, website pages made with Flash continue to be problematic.
If you have a Flash website, all isn’t lost. Transitioning to a more SEO friendly platform, allows you to generate a higher volume of inbound leads that get found online.