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Website Design Information

Why flash websites are not good for seo

Why flash websites are not good for seo, and other reasons not to have a flash website.

by Raymond Santopietro Google

Many times clients will request a “flash based website design” or a “flash site.” We always discourage the use of flash as the entire structure of a website, and instead attempt to utilize it only sparingly, due to the limitations and problems that it has. Quite simply, there is nothing wrong with using a flash website structure if your project is for no purpose except for branding your business, and the only people who will be viewing it will be in a controlled environment that you are present. As soon as you allow people to view the site on their own, or are using the site for more than a purpose of “being cool looking,” the problems begin to arise.

Google itself discourages the use of flash on websites. This is due to the fact that Google has problems understanding the content of a flash website and will probably not fully index the site for the proper terms that are associated with the information contained on it. This is due to flash being essentially a movie running within a window. Google can understand only text and code, and must use text and code to make decisions as to the purpose of this website. If all Google can see is a movie window, and the small amount of code associated with the window, it then knows absolutely nothing about what is actually happening in the movie, and therefore cannot index the website for the content that you have placed in the movie format. If the site is about selling a product, Google has no way of knowing what the product is, how it is used, or any other information. All Google can see is that there is a movie running on this website. As far as search engine optimization goes, it is far from the best scenario. Good search engine optimization companies are in the business of creating the best scenario for Google to understand what is going on in the site, and limiting the amount of information that it can read just makes the job more difficult.

As a client, you must weigh the pros and cons of flash in order to make an informed decision as to its use. Please review the following lists to see if a flash website is what is right for your project.

Pros of Flash:

1. Artistic display. It gives you the ability to control text display, colors, music and motion in a way that HTML websites cannot.

2. Branding. It has the ability to immerse the user in a dynamic experience that cannot be gained with regular website code.

Cons of Flash:

1. Flash is not able to be read at all on many devices, like iphones or any handheld device made by Apple. This is due to the fact that Apple devices do not include a flash reader.

2. Although Flash is able to be understood by many browsers, there are equal amounts that cannot read it.

3. Load times of Flash websites are significantly larger than seo optimized websites that are coded in HTML. This will cause longer times that the potential viewer is waiting for the site to load in.

4. Images cannot be saved on flash sites by viewers. While this prevents honest viewers from saving your content, it also discourages the sharing of your content with others. This supposed protection is not worth the detriments because there are ways to capture images from flash, and if someone wants to do it they still can.

5. Scrolling is problematic in flash.

6. Keystrokes do not function properly in flash.

7. Searching text within the content almost never works in most browsers.

8. Check boxes and radio buttons do not function properly in flash.

9. Flash elements are not scalable, so if it is not properly sized for the device it is being viewed on, the viewer will only see part of the content.

10. Flash requires more resources to run than HTML. It is very problematic in Linux.

11. It is an seo killer. If you need to have indexing on search engines, flash will not provide the results you need.

Although flash does have certain uses for branding, it is far better to experiment with limited use on sites within small portions, and allow the rest of the site to exist in standard code language that can be understood. This will allow for the site to be viewed without issue on the majority of devices and browsers, without severely limiting the message that is gained by the viewer. Simply, if the majority of people can’t see it, then don’t use it.

Your marketing needs “focus”…

By | 2016-01-21T19:41:21+00:00 November 13th, 2013|SEO Educational Information, Website Design Information|Comments Off on Why flash websites are not good for seo

Wynn Website Design

Is simplistic website design better?

by Raymond Santopietro Google

About three years ago I had a meeting with a marketing representative from The Wynn Casino and Resort regarding their social media programs. At the time, Facebook was just starting to be able to be utilized by businesses in an effective manner, and Twitter was being discussed as the next big thing in advertising. At the time, The Wynn wanted to utilize social media to create new revenue, mostly judged by how many additional rooms they could book by putting effort into different mediums. During the discussion, I talked to them about social media not being every effective as push marketing, and if you attempt to simply use it to give room information and coupons, then it will not be very effective. How many people do you know who will be happy about tuning in to a constant commercial? How many people will continue watching if there is nothing but commercials? Social media is the same thing, and you are going to need to invest in engagement, putting sales second. The Wynn did not understand this, and insisted on focusing on how many rooms we could predict will be booked through each platform, instead of a content development strategy. As I left, I tweeted “The Wynn will never be able to use social media effectively, their people just don’t understand how it works.” A few days later I got an email from another person at The Wynn who held a higher position than the person I had met with. They wanted to know why I would say this, because they had heavily invested in social media. I let them know that social media works differently than other forms of marketing, and the proof was the fact that they had just contacted me…..

The Wynn seems to be behind in the times with regards to understanding the concepts involved in online marketing. This is not an attack on their marketing teams, because most large corporations are actually behind in the times in this regard. The need for “provability” keeps experimentation in new mediums at a minimum until they are shown to work, and by that point the internet community is usually so saturated with other companies using the platform that the messages become diluted and ignored. The internet success stories are always involving the ones lean enough to make a decision while a platform is still untapped, and therefore being fully developed when it explodes. Marketing concepts online are in constant flux, and staying up to speed is the job of a great internet company.

The Wynn recently redesigned their website. A redesign was in order because there were many mistakes on the old site, made by attempting to over-reach into the technological end of the web without considering the customers. This was common a few years ago, when companies invested tens of thousands of dollars into flash design, creating websites that looked visually stunning but were very problematic because the users couldn’t load or navigate them properly. Flash was great for branding, and terrible for everything else including search engine rankings. Today, many companies are knee-jerking back to more basic coding on websites in order to be functional, but the Wynn has actually gone beyond the point of just creating a more streamlined code structure and allowed design to be compromised. Creating more basic websites does not mean that you have to create a site that looks like it was designed twenty years ago, and additionally to compensate for the very bland nature of the design the Wynn has decided to utilize nearly full screen video to explain the navigation of the site. The video itself slows down the load time, thus completely destroying any gains that were to be had by the layout compromise.

While there are obvious cues as to the strategy behind the redesign, like the use of giant type so as to allow those elderly or with visual problems to be able to easily see the information and the sue of easy buttons to see, more is lost than gained because it seems that they allowed these strategies to dominate their thought process when designing. It takes four clicks to finally land on many important sections, and it is as if the designers were thinking that to keep the front page clean it is fine to bury the conversions because people are searching for it. Nobody seems to have taken into consideration that there is a minimum of a 25% failure rate every time someone is asked to click something on a site. By the fourth click, you can assume the majority of your people have been lost. These types of mistakes are found throughout the website, and the online community is criticizing the website harshly.

While the next move is up to the marketing team at the Wynn, redesign the website again or try to fix the problems that currently exist, I can say that they will probably react slowly, or potentially not at all, because they may not even be reading the criticisms that are flooding blogs and social media worldwide. After all, they do not seem to be very good at understanding the strategy behind internet marketing….

This is not meant to criticize the Wynn team for their website. It is simply meant to inform them that they might need to look at it a little deeper, and that it could be working a lot better for them.

Your marketing needs “focus”…

By | 2016-01-21T19:41:29+00:00 November 13th, 2013|SEO Educational Information, Website Design Information|Comments Off on Wynn Website Design

Solving E-Commerce Nightmares

Focus assisted KittyKittyBangBang in making smart choices in their ecommerce setup. The shopping experience is very important, however poor choices with regard to your shopping cart can have dire effects on the ability for your website to rank on search engines.  If your designer or programmer is not considering SEO when they create your website, there is probably little you will be able to do in the future in order to get better presentation on Google, Bing and Yahoo, which is probably the main source of traffic to the site.  If the very structure of the design is hindering the SEO, then you have a great website and no customers.

We assisted KittyKittyBangBang in their project, walking them through every stage of development in the creation of a project that will allow customers to effectively shop in their store, but also be found on search engines.  By creating a new website that featured responsive coding, the site itself translates to any device, making the experience better for all involved.  Because Google prefers websites that take the layout into consideration, a responsive site has a better chance of ranking.

Check back in the coming months to follow the progress of this project, as site design is now finished and the next stage of SEO is beginning.

By | 2016-01-21T19:41:46+00:00 September 27th, 2013|Featured, SEO Educational Information, Website Design Information|Comments Off on Solving E-Commerce Nightmares