We may be living in the 21st century, but as far as Flash SEO is concerned, it’s as if we’re trapped in the Dark Ages. While there are successful, high-ranking Flash websites, most of these are of already established brands and/or have the ability to generate a huge number of backlinks to boost their PR (and therefore they don’t have to rely on their content being crawled). If you’re designing for a new product/concept, it’s definitely a lot harder. The rule of thumb is still the same: avoid Flash if you can. But if you absolutely must use Flash for web design (and who can blame you?), there are some things you can do to make your site a little friendlier to search engines.
1. Keep it simple. Unlike before, Googlebot can now read plain texts and links in Flash. However, this will not be true if the text was converted into a graphic. And remember that crawlers are not created equal. Most of them still lack this ability to decipher basic Flash content.
2. Minimize. Instead of creating a site wholly from Flash from content to navigation, use it sparingly for parts that really need rich media presentation. This makes the site spider-friendly, and gives it wider accessibility by allowing users of older browsers to view it.
3. Give options. A great way to extend the concept in #2 is to have an HTML version of the website available. Aside from the advantage of being able to circumvent any Flash compatibility issues, regular HTML pages usually load faster, making it ideal for visitors with slow connections.
4. Title tag. Your content may be hard to reach, but the crawlers can still read your title tags, so make good on them. Write them to be as keyword rich as possible, especially for the first 65 characters including spaces. This is the only part of the title relevant for the Googlebot.
5. Entice clicks. Once your page lands in the Google search results, it will be shown with a short description or snippet from the page. Be sure to write something in 155 characters or less that will instantly appeal to reader to click the link. While Google itself doesn’t, other search engines utilize this text for site ranking, and therefore keywords should be carefully placed within it.