If you use flash animation you may find yourself asking:
"What the #!@#%! happened to my website?"
The answer is clear. FLASH ANIMATION IS BAD FOR BUSINESS.
Flash is bad for usability, accessibility and search engine marketing. So why do I care if you use flash animation on your website?
My business is built on helping businesses get high search engine rankings and quality traffic to their websites so they can increase their sales and get better awareness for their products and services.
Yet, we still get customers who want Flash Animation rather than providing good search engine friendly content.
THE FACT IS: Flash animation forces search engine spiders to understand and rely on Meta Tags to rank your website and you risk annoying your website visitors.
It's true, however, that some search engine spiders will index some flash file content, but it has significant limitations.
The Goal for Your Business is to get found and sell your products or services.
So be honest and ask yourself:
(1) "When I visit a flash website does that make me want to purchase anything?"
Sure flash animation looks neat and maybe it's cool but do you want to keep having to go through the process of navigating that flash website over and over and over again?
More to the point, do you want to force your customers to be distracted and even get annoyed by your flash animation?
If your website visitors have opted for a semi-broadband internet connection to save money or worse they still have a dial-up connection then you can forget about their business because they will forget about you.
(2) "Do I want my website to be found in search engines like GOOGLE or YAHOO?"
80 to 90% of all website business comes from search engines so you do not want to ignore this fact.
When building a new website you should first ask: WHAT DO MY CUSTOMERS WANT?
The simple answer is that they want information about your products and services immediately. It should be clear and obvious from the moment they visit the first page.
Remember you have LESS THAN 7 SECONDS to convince them to stay on your website.
Thus, flash animation might be the fasted way to loose your customers - especially if they are annoyed by flash animation in the first place...
THE TOP 5 REASONS TO SAY NO TO FLASH ANIMATION
(1) LOAD TIME: Animation is slow and visitors generally have little patience.
(2) ACCESSIBILITY: Not everyone has the Flash Plugin installed and may not be willing to wait for the installation.
(3) USABILITY: Some people don't know how to operate flash and some would not bother.
(4) SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING: Flash Animation is Bad for search engines. There is a good chance you will render your website invisible and thus your website will be a good collector of dust rather than customers. Flash Animation takes away your most powerful search marketing tool: GOOD Content.
(5) REALITY CHECK: People generally dislike flash animation. People want to get to the point and see what you have to offer... they don't want the song and dance. And, when was the last time you purchased anything from a Flash website? There is a good chance you never did. At most is was it was probably once or twice.
(1) Consider what your target customers want and what they look for.
(2) Consider the fastest and easiest way is to sell your products and services.
(3) Consider focusing on good content rather than flashy animation.
There is a time and place for flash but 99.9% of the time it is not a good idea to build a flash website for your business.