Can I SEO a Flash Website?

Q: I was sold a flash web site – but there are no key words in the text for people to search – how do I SEO a flash website?

Flash website owner

A: I’m sorry to say that flash sites don’t SEO (search engine optimise) well at all.

Flash is impenetrable to Google’s robot which tries to spider every site. The bot can spider html and php and asp sites, and database driven sites. It can read adobe pdfs as well. But not flash, and not much java.

There are a few things you can still do (if you haven’t done them already) to ensure your site content is better recognised by Google and the search engines.

These are:

> Make the page title (blue bar at the top of every web page) say the right thing about you seo-wise. For example, put your three most important keywords in a 6-8 word page title.

> Amend your meta keywords and meta description to say the right thing seo-wise, ie, reinforce the same three keywords as are in the Page Title.

Page titles and meta data will need amending by your technical adviser, or your web site designer, as these features are inaccessible to non-technical people.

Make sure every page is properly titled and keyworded to reflect the content.

Other than this, if the rest of the site is solid flash then there’s not much else you can do.

Like many people, I like using flash as an element within a regular site. Here’s some animation we’ve designed

But we’d never use flash as the vehicle for the whole site.

This isn’t just because of keywording and SEO. Visitors like a familiar browser experience, rather than specially developed flash-based navigation, which can take a short while to get used to.

The whole problem of getting an all-flash site usually stems from buying from a graphic designer / web designer who likes flash because it looks so cool, while you, the customer, are wanting great looks.

It seems like a good idea at the time.

The problems arise later when it’s realised that the seo is all wrong appears, which is a shame as the site looks so good.

If you want higher ranking through free seo I’d first check that it’s possible, and that the top Google spots aren’t already taken by well established sites you’d never hope to beat. If this is the case, then advertise on Adwords to bring traffic if it’s commercially realistic.

Hope this is useful. Sorry I can’t be of more help to SEO your flash website.

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