Flash, a commonly used application for creating and displaying animation effects on websites since the late 90’s, has always lacked “search engine friendliness”. Still, some website owners and designers have continued to ignore this flaw, even up until and including today.
With Google’s most recent “Mobile Friendliness” update, it’s quickly become apparent that the continued use of Flash in your website, will undeniably impact your search engine rankings, if they haven’t already. Google’s update officially went into affect on April 21, 2015, and a month later has already impacted some of the most popular websites online.
Of course, there are many reasons your webpages may register as non-mobile-friendly, but Flash is sure to cause a great deal of headache to your rankings if not remedied.
Back in 2013, Google mentioned in it’s Webmaster Central blog, that many websites are utilizing Flash to embed videos for playback on their website. This approach proved to be effective for desktop versions of websites, however with Flash required to play these videos, they will not play on many mobile devices.
With most websites generating anywhere from 40-65% of their traffic from search engines, it’s imperative that your website continues to evolve with the ever-changing guidelines. Otherwise, you’ll see a significant drop in both search engine rankings, as well as traffic.
Animations and video playback play a large role in many websites, and although Flash is strongly discouraged, HTML5/CSS is an excellent, search engine friendly alternative.
At Primary Target Media, we all but eliminated Flash from our arsenal, back in 2012.
If your website is more than 2 or 3 years old, it could most certainly use an update, as there are more than likely multiple things causing your search engine rankings to suffer. Have your web developer perform an audit of your website, or take our SEO analysis, absolutely free. It will show you where your website is failing to meet search engine friendliness guidelines.
A “Do-it-Yourself” or DIY website building tool often sounds like a great idea for many small businesses… unless of course, you ask someone who has used one. The concept itself sounds very appealing, as it promises you the saved expense of having a professional web design company build your website. This is usually where the appeal ends.
Often times, upon embarking on your DIY website project, you find that the application can be daunting and time consuming… However you push through with the expectation of the internet applauding your arrival, with mounds of website traffic and increased business, once it has been completed.
Now, for the harsh reality. The truth is, DIY website tools often come with a few fatal flaws… The first flaw being, allowing anyone to build their own website. You see, there’s so much more to a website, than slapping together some text and graphics. A successful website consists of a fine mix of tactical and technical skills, practiced and perfected over time. These skills cannot be replicated inside a DIY website tool.
Here are the Top 5 Reasons Why Your DIY Website is Failing You.
5. Two versions of your site, without even knowing it.
Did you know, by default “www.yourdomain.com” and “yourdomain.com” (without the www.) are considered two different entities? Entering either of them in your website browser, will display your website, however search engines read them as two separate websites, making them appear as two websites containing the same content… and that’s a big no-no when it comes to search engines and how they rank your website. There is a solution, and it’s called “URL Canonicalization”. This simply redirects the non-www version, to the www version, so that search engines see just one version.We’ve yet to come across any DIY website tool that offers a canonicalization option built in.
4. Open Graph: Use it, and customize how your website is shared on social media.
Have you ever noticed, when you share your website on social media, the photo used (if any) isn’t always the best picture, and the title and description they automatically create, could use some work? Using Open Graph Meta Data in your website’s pages allows you to customize the image/title/description for each and every page on your website. Using Open Graph data in your website’s pages helps drastically increase engagement when sharing links on social media… an absolute must in today’s social media era. Most of the DIY tools that we’ve come across do not offer this type of customization.
3. Poor URL Structure can be devastating
Although the initiative is admirable, taking your website development project into your own hands can cost you a lot more than paying a web design expert. When you’re trying to craft your masterpiece, things like URL structure are probably nowhere on your radar. Most DIY website tools use poor URL structure, when creating the pages for your new website. For example, “www.yourdomain.com/pageid=1234″ is an example of poor URL structure. Instead, your URL’s should be something like “www.yourdomain.com/page-title.html”. Many DIY tools do not offer the ability to change the URL structure to something more search engine friendly, begging the question… If they can overlook something as simple, yet as important as this, what else are they missing?
2. Fancy “Editors” only mean your code is painfully bloated.
I’m sure everyone can envision the computer nerd, who writes “code” that appears to make no sense at all… Well, when a DIY tool provides you with the ability to create a website, by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, the code is manipulated and altered, to make those features possible. All of this unnecessary code “bloats” your website, rendering it harder for search engines to crawl and index your website accordingly. This translates into weaker search engine rankings, and slower page load times. Clean, minimal code is the first step in a successful website that performs well in search engines.
1. Optimizing, Measuring, Marketing
The biggest reason why your DIY website is failing you, is simple. You’re not a web developer and online marketing professional. It’s not a hobby, and your 16-year old niece’s computer class didn’t turn her into an expert in 3 months. The reality is, your website is a marketing investment, and a hub in which the rest of your advertising runs through. It’s an online resource and salesperson that works 24/7, providing insights and a sales pitch to its visitors. A real web development and marketing expert will put your website on the path to success, and when done correctly, will generate revenue that makes the initial investment look like a drop in the bucket.
So if you’re serious about your business, start taking your website seriously too. That cheesy, cookie-cutter website that you’re ever so proud of, doesn’t impress your audience much. Just think about it.