Is your website designed by a flashy web graphics person or a marketer?
Are there a lot of moving parts flying all over the screen? Maybe some hoppin’ music?
Which is better for business?
It depends what your website is for. Is it for increasing your profits or to get oooohhhs and aaahhhhs like on Wheel of Fortune?
Let’s assume for this article that the purpose of your website is to increase profits. There are technical considerations then there are human considerations.
Technical– Most marketers agree that Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) have difficulty reading Flash intros. In other words, they may not know your site exists or what it is about. Search engines send out these robot spiders that crawl the internet and when they get to your Flash intro and can’t read it, they leave. If not for the Flash intro the spider crawls your website and reads it to determine who to send to your site based on the keywords they typed into the Search bar.
Human-One of your friends or even you might look at your newly designed fancy website with moving parts and media and say wow! That’s cool! You got your moneys worth…but the person searching the internet for information is looking for information. Not flashy moving parts. You have 3 seconds or less to get their attention and if things are still zinging around the screen before they can click on the next button…guess what they are going to click on? That’s right. the “X” at the top right of the screen to get out of your website and to the next one.
Don’t get me wrong here. Video is my favorite addition to a website and video marketing may be the most powerful. However, too many moving parts that automatically start when first getting to your webpage is distracting and annoying to your viewers.
Let’s go over some examples.
- While designing a website for marketing purposes for a restaurant I was showing examples to the owner. We found a site that looked like the owner got his/her moneys worth. When we first clicked on the page the owner comes in from the side of the screen and introduces himself. He talks about the product and he obviously has a passion for it.(I like this because it’s personal.)While the guy is talking there is a rolling slide show off to the right. Music is playing the whole time. His website is designed technically right and it is recognized by the search engines. However, for the viewer it’s distracting. I didn’t know what to pay attention to-the owner talking, the slide show, or the music. If there was a unique selling proposition in his message, I missed it because I was too busy watching the slide show and trying to turn down the music.
- I reviewed a photographer’s website and found that it was also, “cool dude.” It started with a Flash Intro slide show of some of his work. It makes sense that as a photographer the focus should be on his photographs…but the slide show took up the entire first page. It was difficult to find information.
I could review numerous examples so let’s just get to the main points:
- Simple is good
- Flash intros should be re-evaluated
- Media is a good add-on to a website for human viewing but search engines read text
- Give your viewer what they want-Information
- When hiring someone to create a website ask them about their marketing skills. If they don’t have any, hire someone that does or hire an online marketing consultant to work with the web designer because those are Two Different Things. If you can hire both that’s great but if money is an issue and you have to choose between a web graphic flashy person or a marketer, choose the marketer. Your profits will reflect that decision.