TMMPDX recently got a question from Anna Skillman at Jacksonfineart.com. She had spent close to $30K on a beautiful flash website for her gallery; however she noticed that her rankings in Google had tanked. Her question was why had she fallen off Google’s radar and how could it be fixed. Here’s what the Angels had to say:
Despite reports to the contrary, Google hasn’t perfected indexing flash websites. They are diligently working to find a way around this dilemma but the underlying structure of flash sites aren’t search engine friendly. After looking at your website, it’s clear that each section of the website doesn’t have a unique title tag with relevant keywords. For example, the artists pages DON’T list the artists name in the title tag, without this you’ll never rank for the artists name in Google. It may be that your flash developer could try to restructure the site; however you may end up spending another $30K! One solution would be to implement a blog. Blog’s are VERY search engine friendly when implemented properly and easily templated to cut down on labor hours. You could likely implement a blog for around $2K – $3K; however keep in mind that’s just a small part of any blog strategy. It’s also necessary to publish current, relevant content to the blog and it takes some work to get people to start reading your content. I would think an art gallery with over 100 artists would have no shortage of great, juicy content and images that would be perfect for a blog. In a very short time you would be ranking for all your important terms again. Good Luck!
Flash websites are beautiful, but unfortunately they are not search engine friendly. Jill’s recommendation to create a blog is the easiest and cheapest option to improve your website’s organic rankings. However, any SEO effort will take months to show results unless you are targeting local audiences or writing lots of fresh, optimized content on a regular basis. In my opinion, you should create a Paid Search campaign with Google ASAP. This will give you the ability to rank number ONE for relevant terms within the first day of the campaign launch. Of course your advertising budget, value of your art and your campaign strategy will determine your paid search campaign success. A campaign strategy that includes a lot of optimization, testing and creativity are very likely to bring you tons of qualified traffic, sales and/or leads. Google provides granular tracking and total control of your daily budget. With appropriate tracking set up, you can control your investment and optimize your ROI so there is nothing to worry about in terms of ROAS (return on ad spend). For example, you will be able to pause high cost or non converting keywords in real time, test new keywords, manage bids and ad position, A/B test promotions, etc. I hope my suggestions will help you overcome some of the obstacles surrounding your new flash website. Cheers!
Flash websites are typically viewed by the search engines as one large file, which means the home page is usually indexed… but that’s about it. If some HTML is used within a website, then other pages can be indexed in the search engines. However, when a searcher clicks on one of those links, most Flash sites direct that user to the home page, not the page that was listed in the search results. Jill’s recommendation for adding a blog to the Flash site is an excellent, budget friendly option but if you aren’t willing to add new content frequently then it’s not going to help your site. Sabrina is right on with her suggestion to try paid search advertising. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising with Google can provide an immediate boost in website traffic and you don’t have to worry about restructuring your Flash site. A social media campaign could also help increase traffic to your website and social media profile pages usually rank high in the search engines. I recommend connecting with art lovers and artists through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but also via niche communities such as artneighbor.com and myartspace.com. Keep in mind that social media marketing can be very time consuming and needs to be done regularly. All of these recommendations can help you reach your goals- now it’s up to you to decide which strategy fits your budget and lifestyle. Thanks for the question Anna!