Search Engine Optimization :: Lyndsay Walker :: Toronto, Ontario

Flash and SEO – The debate that never rests

Flash is a very misunderstood and misrepresented part of SEO. Designers and even developers tend to love it and SEOs try to avoid it like the plague. I tend to fall into the latter side of things (no big shocker since I’m an SEO) but I do believe that Flash can be utilized in a way that will have your entire web team singing Kumbaya in no time.

Like any conflict, it all comes down to compromise. Finding the happy medium.

First things first, you need to look at the web site as your primary marketing tool. And just like you’d do with all your other marketing tools, you need to determine a few things – target demographics, goals and purpose of the site, etc. Deciding these things will help you to determine what amount of Flash is necessary.

Why do these things matter? Because sites with Flash, especially sites that are all Flash, have a “je ne sais quoi” – a certain something that’s usually attributed to a site that’s main purpose is to be visually motivating. Therefore, it is more appropriate on some sites than it is on others.

Also consider how Flash is used – sites that are 100% entirely Flash based rarely NEED to be that way. 99 times out of 100, the site would look just as code using HTML and CSS and flash components. And as long as those flash components don’t contain useful content and navigation, you’re not going to get hit with nearly as much a deficit in the rankings.

Please, please consider SEO when a designer is trying to sell you a Flash site. After all, what good is that beautiful Flash site if no one can find it?

Analytics Terminology – Sound Smart! (and stop using the term “hits”)

For those of us that have been around for a while, there are certain terms and references that make us cringe. This is especially true when talking about web site stats and analytics. So, I’m going to break down some of the terms that are commonly found and referred to when looking at site stats.

My number one recommendation/pet peeve…

Stop using the term “hits”.

It’s hard to say how people were using the term “hits”. Sometimes it sounded like they meant page view, sometimes like visit, and sometimes like visitor. All three very different things. Hey, what’s the difference between those three anyway?

Page View – A page view occurs whenever a single page is loaded. This is most commonly where people use the word “hits”.

Visit – A visit is made up of one or more page view in a single session.

Session – A session is the time and actions of a visit that begins as soon as a person gets to a web site and ends when that person either leaves the site or is idle for a certain amount of time (usually 30 minutes).

Visitor – A visitor is a single person/computer. One visitor can have several visits over a certain period of time.

Now, when you’re talking about your analytics or if you’re even just trying to make sense of some of the different terms, you have a bit more knowledge to sound and think smart about your site’s analytics.

Canada’s Web Shop Named the Seventh Fastest Growing Company in Manitoba

40 Fastest Growing Companies in ManitobaWe’re thrilled to announce that we made Manitoba Business Magazine’s list of the 40 Fastest Growing Companies in Manitoba 2010. This year, we were named the seventh fastest! This is our second consecutive year on the prestigious list. In 2009, we were 13th.

To celebrate the achievements of all 40 Manitoba businesses, the magazine held a gala on March 18, 2010 at the Marlborough Hotel in Downtown Winnipeg. John McDonald, Justin Nedecky and myself (Lyndsay Walker) were on hand to accept the award.

We look forward to continued growth in 2010 with exciting new projects, a growing staff, and a cutting-edge, evolving suite of online marketing services.

Justin Nedecky, Lyndsay Walker and John McDonald accept the award for the seventh fastest growing company in Manitoba.

Page loading time now a Google ranking factor

Last year there was a lot of confirmed talk from Google that in the new year, page loading speed would become a ranking factor. This is something already taken into consideration on the PPC side (quality score is affected by landing page load times) so it’s not surprising to see that it’s coming on the organic side too.

Earlier this week, it was announced – it’s here. In fact, on some data centers, the new ranking factor has been in place for several weeks. Now it’s across the board. So if you’re seeing your rankings slip, it may be time to take a good hard look at your site and see where it’s slow.

Don’t forget that Google Webmaster Tools has a feature that will tell you how fast your pages are loading and where there is room for improvement. Don’t ignore this – when Google itself tells you where your pages can be improved, Google itself is telling you how YOU can rank better.