Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

SEO Worst Case Scenario: An All-Flash Web Site

All-Flash web site - SEO nightmareThe Toughest SEO Challenge: A 100% Flash site, with all content and navigation contained within a single Flash movie embedded in a single HTML page. (If your website was built with multiple HTML pages with some embedded Flash components, your situation is significantly less difficult.)

Why is this such  problem? A pure Flash site is a major disadvantage for SEO. For one, search engines will see the entire website as a single page. That means that you don’t have the opportunity to optimize different pages for different target keywords. And you also will not gain the inherent SEO advantage that having multiple pages brings to a website: every unique web page has, by default, some degree of search engine status. The single most powerful place for your keywords to appear is in the page title tag. With a single-page web site, you have only a page single title tag to work with — and only 60-80 characters. It’s not easy to fit more than about three keywords into that.

Secondly, outside websites cannot link to interior pages within your site – they are forced to link to your home  page. Some marketers think this is great: your visitors will always be led to your home page and everyone will be subjected to the same “experience” on your site. But you won’t be able to take advantage of “deep links” that can  bring more visitors to your site and improve your search engine rankings. Deep linking is when other websites link to pages within your site other than your home page. For websites with an online shopping component, deep linking is much better than home page linking because users don’t have to navigate (and risk getting lost!) on their way to making a purchase.

Third, and a really significant problem, is that search engines have no clue what your flash “movie” is about. There’s no real text for them to use to identify keywords for indexing your site. All the know is that there’s a movie there.

A Web site called Your SEO Plan provides SEO strategies to deal with these issues, most of which involve significant webmaster effort. It’s far better (and easier) (and cheaper!) to avoid the whole problem from the start.

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