At the beginning phases of designing a web page most people, whether it be small business owners or just a regular individual, only care about how the page looks and how it is set up. I initially started BizPro Solutions offering web and logo design (as opposed to SEO, which has recently changed) to small local businesses who, frankly, had no idea where else to go. The initial design process would go well once they found a layout they liked, and after choosing from about 20 logos that they were finally satisfied with we would move onto content.
(Customer:)Cont…what? You mean I have to come up with that? What am I paying you for?
Right. I can sit down in a half an hour and come up with a description and overall philosophy of YOUR company.
Example: I’ve been doing web design for a local real estate company and the project has been going on for about 3 months now. Know why? We have a layout and all of the pages set up, but nothing to put in them. Every week it’s something different, “oh I had family over this weekend” or “I forgot, what you want me to write again?”. Like I can wave a magic wand and fill a web site with accurate and meaningful information about THEIR company (they’ve been around for a good amount of time also).
A web page has to be built AROUND information which has to be added on a regular basis for it to be successful. The instant gratification society (“I’ll just pay someone a couple hundred bucks and they’ll do it in a few weeks”) rules do not apply to SEO.
Site content is the NUMBER ONE most important aspect of successfully marketing your site. You have to have a reason for people to want to visit and/or link your site, and for Google to think your site is important enough to index and add to the top pages of search results. Anyone with a high school diploma can have a web site created and a few pages added, but expanding the site and coming up with articles and other useful information is where a site is made or broken.
Flash design makes this difficult as well because 1. Flash coding takes up more space, and 2. Google spiders can’t crawl flash sites. Even Flash headers and toolbars make it difficult because spiders crawl from left to right, and if the first thign they see is a bunch of Flash code they won;t think much of your site in terms of content.
So I would recommend having/performing a code to text comparison (seeing what percentage of your site is content and what percentage is coding), as well as a Spider Simulation to see what search engine spiders actually see when they are crawling your site. This is all included, by the way, in BizPro’s initial SEO checklist and intial consultation.
Or you could go pay one of these fly by night offshore SEO companies who promise to get your site on the top 2 pages in a month, and wonder why your site is no longer even indexed a month later