Our Thoughts

Has Flash detered the audience you want?

Flash is more of a flashback to the past than anything nowadays and it may be devastating to the efficiency of your website in reaching your target audience.  Any digital marketing efforts could be highly counterproductive if the solution, the app, the site that is actually being marketed is Flash based, thus limiting your potential.

flash-serp-search-engine-result

Whether you’re a corporation, restaurant, blogger, or even an artisan of sorts, assuming you have a functional website, it’s probably meant to help generate some kind of sales in the end. But how does your website get its views? Search engines, namely Google, Bing, Yahoo, and/or Baidu, represents the vast majority of leads, being the primary resource for any user to find information.  Within the accelerating abundance of information available online, your website competes with thousands if not millions of similar sites for viewership.  Moreover, an abundance of studies have shown that over 45% of users do not proceed farther than the first page of the search engine results page, with over 90% not past the third page.  This statistic, along with the fact that there are about fifteen relevant sources per page for each query, you need to be within the top results to be found.

Textual information and non-textual presentation

How you improve your standing within a search engine’s search results page is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. In short, you can optimize your website traffic generation by catering your textual content to specific keywords, in the form of blog posts, product descriptions, corporate introduction pages and your site map.  While this is not news to most global corporate companies, this fact remains off the radar for some businesses operating within a localized environment.

However, it is crucial that textual information remains in a textual format, so these search engines, be it Google, Yahoo, or Baidu, can process the information on your site.  This means that any textual information formatted as an image or animation is completely disregarded from this process.

So what’s Flash you ask?

Flash is a form of technology that creates videos or animations, popularized in the 1990s when the internet was young, when the average household bandwidth was limited to 56 kbit/s.  (Remember those online cartoons from the mid-1990s to early 2000s? Those were built on Flash.)  At that time, web designers and developers were limited technologically in terms of both speed and volume, and had to build web sites and applications from the ground up using HTML and CSS.  At the time, Flash presented an easier alternative to create dynamic and interactive content, letting designers and developers add animation to their content.  Around that time, simply having a website branded your company as young, innovative, and technological. As you can expect, many companies all over the world was drawn to invest in their own websites—websites based on this Flash animation technology, websites unable to be fully processed by search engines.

What’s so bad about it then?

As the internet ecosystem continued to advance in its natural course, simply having a website was not enough to differentiate a company. Websites had to be found, and it was increasingly hard given the explosive amount of sites competing on content.  Those who recognized this and had the means to have their websites redone did so, creating effective content that was “crawl-able” by search engines, giving them an advantage over the others who lagged behind, staying with the Flash technology.

Typically, you can still find Flash used in many websites, websites which arguably are in the direst need to update, those struggling to survive.  These can be found in their logos, their main pages, their navigation menus, and in some cases, their entire site is flash based.   These are crucial to search engines as they measure the relevance of their users’ queries to your site in order to come up with a priority list.

In recent years, even tech companies, have been moving away from supporting Flash and even considering it as an obsolete technology.  Examples include Apple dropping support for Flash in their 2010 iPad model, and Google announcing that it would actively guide mobile users away from Flash-heavy links.

The solution we see is simple.

We recommend burning down anything infected with Flash and starting anew.  But we’re realists and understand that there are potential resource constraints, such as time, money, and effort.  The way we see it is that there are two choices you could be facing, with one easy solution.

  1. Use the existing site, and remove the Flash
  2. Have a new website built (this one’s the easy solution)

Removing Flash from existing websites may make sense for those who have been only minimally impacted, but removing them also removes the interactivity it was meant for.  Also, your existing site has Flash elements, it’s probably highly outdated and probably about time you scrap it. Building a new website is equivalent to developing a new digital foundation.  Shouldn’t some things receive a fresh start? Let Banana Labs help you get a fresh start and be found.

Marketing, Technology
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