Internet Department

Don’t Trash Flash: Search Engine Optimization and Flash - A Winning Combination

July 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jason Ezell - Also by this author

A recent Digital Web Magazine article asked, “What’s the good of building a great-looking Web site that no one knows about, or can find?”

Perhaps the question should be, “What good is a top search engine ranking if your Web site is ugly?” The answer is simple; it’s no good at all. Your site must be well optimized and visually appealing. Both are equally important.

A well optimized site is imperative to attract potential customers. Once you get visitors to your site, you want them to stay. So, your Web site must be well designed, attractive and interactive. All the optimization in the world won’t help you generate more leads if visitors are repulsed by your site.

Flash makes Web sites interesting, attractive and interactive. In today’s market, capturing and keeping your visitors’ attention is increasingly difficult. Potential customers don’t want online inventory that looks like your local library’s card catalogue. Interactive media and prominent pictures allow users to establish ownership of vehicles. It’s hard for shoppers to envision themselves behind the wheel of a text link.

Search engine optimization and Flash can easily go hand in hand to create beautiful, interactive, exciting sites. Flash—if incorrectly used—can potentially make search engine optimization difficult; however, properly used Flash greatly contributes to your site’s lead generation.

Some Web developers claim search engine crawlers only index Web sites heavy with text and links. If this was ever true in the past, it certainly isn’t today. The key is knowledgeable, competent Flash developers. Good developers know how to use Flash to your advantage- for both great looks and great optimization. To successfully index a Flash Web site, movies should be embedded into content-rich HTML. Search Engine crawlers index the HTML and view Flash movies as clearly as static images. SEO/SEM professionals know what search engine crawlers look for and how to provide it. Talented Flash developers and SEO/SEM teams can easily provide highly visible, beautiful sites that users want to interact with.

The most important thing dealers can do is present their products in a powerful way. Dealer Web sites should be an online showroom. Impressive, stimulating graphics and movies draw users into your virtual showroom without forcing them to leave the comfort of their own homes. With their interest sparked, they’re able to leisurely browse your inventory, pick their favorite accessories, and build their dream cars…thanks to Flash.

Vol 4, Issue 6

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