To Flash or Not to Flash (that is the question)
To build a site entirely in flash, is a BIG “no no” from a search engine optimisation perspective.
Why? And yes I know that the search engines are getting better at indexing flash, BUT indexing a site is not the same as ranking well (now I don’t know how many times I have said this to the designers in my agency). Even though it can index the website the search engines still thinks it’s only one page to the whole site as flash movie is only one element. Now this makes search engine optimisation pretty tricky, you can load a bunch of alt tags, and I know you can add content into XML at the backend (but that would be cloaking..or would it?) Even if you can load all the content into XML it won’t be of the same value as if the content was in HTML. Basically you pretty much only have the title and meta tags for optimising content which limits you a great deal to how many keywords you can target.
There are also complications when it comes to running Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising going to a site that is built entirely in flash. Why? Because you can’t point the ads to a specific page of the site. All ads have to be pointed to the homepage. Now this can have massive implications on your conversion rate, if for example you are advertising a specific product through a PPC campaign and lead a customer straight to the homepage for themselves to AGAIN find the product, chances you are going to loose that customer.
Seriously, it’s a mystery to me why so many web designers still insists in making sites entirely in flash. Now don’t get me wrong, flash can be really cool, and to have a flash element on the homepage or even the sub pages I don’t mind at all. BUT there is a time and place, basically chose wisely. Don’t ever make a site entirely in flash just because it looks cool.
There is no point in having a really cool website if people can’t find it.