Many people spend a lot of time, and probably a lot of cash, developing and building flash animations for their websites in the hope that the sites will look better. But, does this attract visitors and increase your page hits?
It can do, in very rare circumstances. Unfortunately in these rare circumstances the traffic is nearly all off topic and definitely not targeted. And here I am talking about when your flash animation is so great that people love it and start sharing it with their friends and news about your flash animation goes viral. But unless you are a provider of these features, the people calling in to your website just to view the flash are probably not going to be buying from you.
It is expected that search engines will soon start to be able to crawl flash animations, but there is no reason that they would want to favour the content of flash above text content. And given that there is an increasing number of internet browsers that cannot render flash (mobile phones, iPads and so on) then the trend for search engines should be to ignore flash, which is why the progress in this direction seems to have stopped.
So, does flash ever give you any benefits in terms of traffic? Well no, but there are plenty of problems. For a start flash animations can take valuable time to download and allow the page to open fully, yet it has been worked out that if a web page takes more than half a second to load then about 20% of the traffic to that website can be lost. People are not willing to wait for their web pages to load! Worse still, if that load time increases to 2 seconds then 60% of people visiting the site are likely to hit the back button.
This means that we have a lot of people using web browsers that will not display flash and a good number of the remainder that can see the flash, will download the files but will leave the website if it takes more than the blink of an eye to open.
Yet flash animations in themselves are highly unlikely to pull in traffic. Used incorrectly they can put off people and make parts of your page invisible, at best the have no real function in today’s internet. People do not want flash, changing, moving images. Your visitors want a site that loads immediately and feeds their desire for instant feedback. That is how to get traffic, not flash.