Many web design companies try hard to persuade customers to use a Flash introduction as their homepage. You think "Wow! The flash animation is very appealing and it makes your site look more attractive". The truth is that it will almost certainly do nothing to get your website ranked on any major search engine.
Ask yourself, what use is a 'cool' looking website if no one can find it when they type a keyword search into Google?
You see, search engines analyse websites based on the text they contain. Flash, and moving, or indeed static images do not contain any text. Search engines are not able to read any of the content presented by Flash. They just treat Flash as an embedded object or graphic image. If you use a Flash Intro as your homepage, you will never get good rankings. If all your headings are flash animations, or your corporate logo is all image based, you are hurting your ability to get a good search engine ranking.
In addition, many Flash introductions do not offer additional and meaningful content to visitors. Ask your visitors, how many of them are really interested in reading your Flash Intro before going straight to your website content? The answer is not many!
Worse still, for those opening your site on dial up connection or from a mobile phone, these high overhead moving images take so long to load, that potential customers using dial up will get fed up and move to another web site.
This problem also occurs on websites that use massive amounts of images to make their pages look good. Some sites I have seen have an intro page which is almost entirely made up of images and flash animations. It's a complete waste of time and resources, search engines only look at and crawl text. They index your pages based on wording and content, not images. And, now that Google is changing the emphasis on how its search engine crawls and indexes the world-wide web, they are placing even more emphasis on valid constructive text and less on Keywords and keyword phrases.
A decision as to use Flash or not, would be to ask yourself whether the Flash intro is really useful and can offer additional information to your visitors? Secondly, instead of a Flash homepage, you may consider making a Flash header together with text based content at your homepage.
By all means use pictures, and Flash, but always, always in very small doses. Search engines can't use them to rank your site and customers quickly get very tired of the time they take to load. Web users today are getting wiser and , with so many sites out there to choose from, they are looking only for the answers to their questions, or simply where to buy that next item more cheaply and most could care less how 'cool'
Lincs Web Design don't personally recommend the 'wholesale' use of Flash. We'll happily construct it for you, but far better to keep it to say, a simple moving image in the header at the top of the screen to use low overheads and then spend time compiling carefully choosing a few key images for each page and make proper use of textual facts and wording on your site. Search engines only search using the text they see on your site.
We have software that allows us to create flash moving images, but without the massive 'overheads' usually linked to providing such animation, and we always keep it to a minimum. It's relatively simple to construct and eye-catching flash page banner with no more loading time than the average image.
Call us and we'll help you to use flash wisely!