10.18.07

Flash SEO – Google Analytics and Flash Overview

Posted in Computers, Flash, Flex, Search Engine, SEO at 11:54 pm by Curtis J. Morley

What is the most effective way to use Google Analytics and Flash?

How would you like to be able to know exactly how people are accessing your site and what they do when they are there? With Flash you can. And Google has provided the back end system free of charge for you to do it. It is called Google Analytics.

Google and Flash can show you exactly what people are doing on your site. I know how many people are mousing over the Flash piece. I know how many people are clicking a certain button. I know how many times a button is rolled-over without being clicked. I know how long the mouse is over the object. I can know every piece of data that is possible to know about what and how my users are interacting with the page, advertisement or application.

There are three key components in using Google Analytics combined with your Flash/Flex application or website. First is determining what you want tracked and how you want to use the statistics, the second is creating a Google Analytics account and setting up the proper filters etc.., the third is setting up the code in Flash and Javascript.

This is part 1 of a 5 part series on how to accomplish each of these areas.

Stay tuned for
Part 2 - "What Flash events should & shouldn't be tracked with Google Analytics?" coming soon.

As always Happy Flashing.

04.12.07

Speaking today at BYU on Flash & Google Analytics

Posted in Flash, Interactive, SEO, Speaking at 12:46 pm by Curtis J. Morley

Today I will be a guest speaker at BYU and will be talking about Google Analytics in Flash. I will be showing the students the power of using analytics and Flash. I will also be talking briefly about Omniture analytics and Flash. My talk will be centered around the capabilities of fine tuned tracking with Flash and what data should be tracked. I will also talk about the class that I am about to release that is built for Google Analytics and Flash.

Stay tuned and Happy Flashing.

12.05.06

Google Analytics and Flash

Posted in Flash, Search Engine, SEO, testing at 5:26 pm by Curtis J. Morley

I am putting up a test experiment for a Flash class that I built that will add a lot of functionality to the Google Analytics. Please help me test out my class by simply playing with the Flash objects below. Mouse over them click on them, just leave your mouse alone and do nothing at all.

The purpose of this Flash and Google Analytics experiment is to get more granular data about how the user interacts with the Flash object. The class I've created will tell me how long it takes people before they interact with the piece, how long they are interacting with it, how many times the user mouses-over, clicks, etc...

Thanks for the help in testing this. I will post results next week.

08.31.06

Flash vs. 21,150 Search Engine Keywords

Posted in Flash, Loops, Search Engine, SEO at 5:44 pm by Curtis J. Morley

Flash vs. 21,150 Search Engine Keywords

In my quest to build beautiful, exciting, and effective websites with Flash I decided to come up with a list of 20,000+ keywords for submission to Google etc... I wrote a little script that would combine keywords to make additional keywords. I created a few arrays with certain terms that would play nice with other terms. I then ran the script and tried to loop through each Array and combine the terms to create keyword phrases or Google Food as Gregory Cox would put it. I thought that Flash would be able to concatenate the string and push it into a text field on the stage without any problem. It turns out that Flash has a huge issue with writing to the text box each time it updated and ran through the loop.

The match was like Mike Tyson against Michael Spinks or Carl "The Truth" Williams. In less than 95 secs each was easily defeated. I chatted with my Friend and Flash Expert Tyler Wright and thusly took the heavy lifting away from Flash and instead made a variable that would store the data.After the nested loops had finished I throw the variable into the text field.

The result turned everything around. Flash turned back into the superhero that it has always been and kicked it out in less than one second. I kept adding to the array to see how it would handle even more data. I also tried putting the data into a Trace statement in the same way I tried to push the data to the text box. The result was slower than writing to the text field after the loops finish but the fun part about using trace() is that it will only retain a certain number of the results. The "Output window" will retain only 9999 items according to my test. Flash will process the entire amount but will only display the last 9999.

So this is what I learned from this exercise.

  1. Abstract the processing from the display. In other words set up a variable to store the data while looping and then only display that data when the looping is complete.
  2. The output window will only display the last 9999 results from any trace or combined traces.
  3. Flash AS 2 with Flash 8 can not handle repeated updates into a text field with large(really large) strings

Stay tuned for all the Search engine tips and tricks of how to optimize Flash files for optimization

08.23.06

Flash SEO

Posted in Flash, Search Engine, SEO at 6:10 am by Curtis J. Morley

So the other day I had an interesting conversation with Parker Garlitz of Patrick Henry & Associates, a noted Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert and 2-time Dungeons & Dragons champion. The discussion was something like this -

"The best thing you can do for www.directpointe.com is take off all Flash from your site. This is going to sound crazy but you need to 'uglify' your site to get people to conversion." Patrick said. "Flash is the worst thing you can do to your site if you want search engines to find it."

He was very adamant about the fact that Macromedia Flash can not be crawled by search engines. Because I challenged him on this fact, he said tell me one site that uses Flash extensively and ranks on search engines.

So, I decided to take him up on the offer. Here are my findings.
I searched out what the most searched keywords are. I went with the results from Google, Yahoo, and AOL. I typed these into the search engines and this is what I came up with. This list was gathered on 8/22/06.

Websites that show up on page one of Google and use Flash extensively.

Search Term - Sports
www.ESPN.com
msn.foxsports.com

Search Term - Tour de France
www.bicycling.com

Search Term - World Cup
www.fifa.com

Search Term - Talk Show
tyrashow.warnerbros.com

Search Term - NASCAR
msn.foxsports.com/nascar

Search Term - Computer
www.gateway.com

Search Term - Music
www.mtv.com

Search Term - News
www.usatoday.com

Search Term - NFL
sports.espn.go.com/nfl/index
msn.foxsports.com/nfl
sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/specials/preview/2006

Search Term - Pizza
www.pizzahut.com
www.dominos.com
www.cpk.com

Other notable sites that use Flash extensively

www.oprah.com

www.disney.com

mythbusters

video.google.com

www.youtube.com

www.flickr.com

www.myspace.com

www.homestarrunner.com

www.newzealand.com/travel

Nordstroms

Canadian National Budget

Zions Bank - Promotion

Zions Bank - Microsite

AMD

Even Walmart has gotten into the act.

Most car manufacturer, fashion designers, sports teams, movie websites, airlines, computer makers, cell phone companies, universities, governments, etc... etc.... etc... use Macromedia Flash extensively. That seems like a lot of smart people to me. There must be a reason for using Flash to get people to conversion. The fact is that Flash can be crawled and flash elements can be effective. The days of Flash being invisible to Google and the gang are over.

Stay tuned for the next blog on how to Optimize Flash the right way for SEO and the results of making www.DirectPointe.com compelling, effective, viral, and searchable.

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