If I build up a website, I make it user friendly but also search engine friendly. The goal is to get

a) visitors
b) make the visitors becoming real customers

A few days ago, I had a meeting with a potential client about their website. It seems, that they invested some time and money in building it up, it was a website with great flash animations, I really liked the design
There where just a few problems

  1. The website was 100% in flash, which means, not very search engine friendly. If you make a flash website, at least the text should be in normal HTML. You can use flash animations for websites, but if you really want to get customers with this website and want to be found in search engines, do not make the website 100% in flash.
  2. The target group where foreign customers, the website was hosted in Hong Kong. From Germany, it took about one minute for each page to load, because each time, the browser had to load some flash animations again. Even if they use adwords for this site, I don’t think, many customers (with a very fast DSL-connection) are patient enough to find the contact information.
  3. The funniest thing was, that to load the flash design on the main page, the graphic designer used java script. Search engines can not follow java script links, which means, for search engines, the website had no content at all. When I turned off java script to demonstrate, how google sees this website, the result was an empty white screen and the marketing director of the company was not very pleased, about this, I think.

Anyway, the graphic designer did a great job, the website looked great, but I think, the company can only use it as addition to their offline marketing material like flyers, namecards, but for sure, nobody will find this website with search engines (allthough, the client told me, that this was the goal of the website). Even if they use paid advertisment, to get visitors, I do not believe, that they will get many inquiries. To be successful, they actually have to rebuild the whole website.