What A Satisfying Shame

What a great day! A major competitor of a client of mine has panicked. Don’t get me wrong, I really respect this company, and they’ve been a worthy adversary for a time. They must have thought the same of my client because they have completely rewritten their website. Yes the site is beautiful. Yes the site is informative. YES, IT’S COMPLETELY FLASH DRIVEN. Everyone, you must understand that search engines need content to deliver to users. They DON’T CARE about you, your business or your pretty logo.

The search engines want to deliver a search result to users based on what the user is searching for, making the searcher come back to them later for another search and sell their own advertising. You can have flash but don’t have it drive the entire site! I may be asked why I’m saying this for this company must read what I write, but really, am I the ONLY one that would tell them this? That’s the business and that is the BIG DIFFERENCE between web design and SEO.

So, new businesses need to think about what their money is paying for. Do you want a site that you and your brother will ooh and aah over, or do you want one that customers will find and then purchase your product? Are cartoons that important?

You want to convey a sense of responsibility and organizational accountability – a cartoon says nothing but “childish” to a search engine. What does is say to your customers? (If you aren’t selling children’s clothing)

Gimmicks and trendy wiz-bang methods are not proven. Correction – they’re proven to hurt your site when deployed the wrong (usual) way. Watch your budget! Your site is a huge part of your marketing and you would NEVER approve a letter being sent to a customer if it’s written with a crayon.

To be honest, I LOVE flash. The vector art and text is amazing. But, spiders read text and flash text isn’t really text at all – it’s a rendering of text. I use flash in some projects – some of my flagship projects have flash COMPONENTS. Navigation is all done via CSS and the flash is used to enhance the site, not drive it.

I promise, a day will come when you can have the best of both worlds, but with the search engines working as they do now, a compromise needs to be met. Unless of course your mom is the only customer you’ll ever need.

Find a firm that can design a site the way you want AND build it with SEO in mind at the same time. A portfolio of pretty sites is great, but only prospects will see that firms’ work. Other firms can show you a portfolio of HIGH RANKING sites.

Where you put your marketing money is where you should make it as well.

2 Responses to “What A Satisfying Shame”

  1. Steve Mertz November 9, 2006 at 4:43 pm #

    If you are a competitor of mine-disregard this excellent information and continue to use that hot looking flash on your whole site 🙂

  2. knox December 4, 2006 at 7:13 pm #

    I rec’d some spammy comment here and deleted it saying “flash is the way of the future” then a url drop. If you read this post, I said it’s the way of the future – but I’m talking about the present. Read before you post, Justin, and spam someone else.

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