Monday, August 16, 2010
Our clients frequently ask about Flash animation; isn’t it bad for SEO? Isn’t it distracting to the user? If implemented correctly, the answer is no and no, respectively. However, we wanted to take a bit more time to explain the benefits, downsides and myths associated with Flash animation.
Flash animation is comprised of a set of moving images and objects created using Adobe Flash. It can be effective for attracting attention to specific practice areas, special expertise or a slogan. If you pay close attention, you will find that a significant portion of the websites you visit throughout the day include some form of Flash animation.
Benefits of Flash:
Aesthetics: One of the most obvious benefits of Flash Animation is, of course, that it enhances the design and adds visual interest to the site. Flash animation allows you to incorporate multiple images and colors into a site which is sure to catch a visitor’s eye.
Informative: With the option to include multiple images, Flash animation enables you to display an array of practice areas within one header graphic. This is incredibly helpful if you offer a diverse group of services. Say, for instance, that you are an estate planning attorney but also assist businesses in your area with corporate law. If you are just limited to one image, you may not be able to accommodate both target audiences without splitting the image and respective messaging. Flash animation allows you to use a broader “canvas” to showcase a variety of images and messaging within a confined area, such as the website header.
More sophisticated feel: When properly implemented, Flash animation can portray a more credible and sophisticated image of the firm.
Downside of Flash:
Potentially slower loading time: While Flash animation is engineered to load quickly, it can take a bit longer to load for users who don’t have a high-speed internet connection. To mitigate this potential for slower performance, you should avoid using Flash on pages other than the home page.
Compatibility with iPhones and iPads: Unfortunately, iPhones and iPads do not support Adobe Flash Animation. Users who visit your site using one of these devices will not be able to view animated sequence, although the rest of the site will function as usual. So long as the flash animation does not include essential information, such as the site’s navigation menu, users will still be able to access the website’s content without issue.
Will Flash Animation harm my site’s ranking?
One common concern many have about the use of Flash animation is its potential detrimental effect on search engine optimization. This apprehension is justifiable if the site is either done completely in Flash or otherwise displays important textual content in Flash because doing so makes it difficult for search engines to decipher its context and meaning. However, if your site is using Flash animation sparingly and only in lieu of a static graphic, there is no adverse effect on search engines’ ability to read and index your website.
With proper integration, Flash animation can greatly benefit attorney websites. Take a look around our website portfolio or contact us to learn how more and more attorneys are utilizing Flash animation to enhance their law firm’s website.