Flash Home Pages – A Really Bad Idea (Did your Agency recommend one?)

By Raquel Hirsch
President, Co-founder WiderFunnel Marketing Optimization

Ordinarily, I don’t advise paying much attention to Conversion Optimization tips because “best practices” and “tips” only have limited value — and should always be tested, in each and every particular situation.These little gems of highly priced advice from consultants are often based on intuition and esthetics but very minimal actual data. And in many cases, if there is actual test data, it is only applicable to the specific test situation for that specific site. Not (necessarily) yours.

Instead, it’s always better to test the opinions of experts or, better yet, to have a strategy for creating an ‘endless fountain’ of Conversion Optimization hypotheses.

But there is one exception to this rule of not having rules: Flash

If your homepage consists solely of Flash content, you are hurting your business results.

The rule is even stricter if your Flash content is so heavy that it requires a “loading” animation.

For example, how much time do you think I will spend in my busy day to stare at this:

Turns out, it’s less time than it takes to finish loading!

So, the next time your Web Design Agency recommends designing your home page with Flash, please ask them to show you an A/B test to prove that it will deliver results. If they’re smart, they’ll reconsider.

About the Author

Raquel Hirsch President, Co-founder WiderFunnel Marketing OptimizationRaquel Hirsch, a senior marketer, has an impressive online and traditional marketing background. In addition to Conversion Optimization, her domain expertise includes the development and strategic use of CRM, database marketing, e-commerce, web analytics, and direct mail. Before co-founding WiderFunnel Marketing Inc., Raquel held senior executive positions at a number of corporations in diverse industries where she developed and executed lead-generation, customer acquisition and customer retention strategies.

Armed with an MBA, Raquel is a sought after speaker. Her teaching experience includes various universities, plus numerous professional conferences and seminars across North America and Europe. Most recently, Raquel presented the keynote address at ‘Conversion Camp’, Europe’s first-ever conversion optimization conference (Frankfurt, September 2010). In her high-energy, interactive presentations, Raquel leverages multiple client case studies and shares insights gained after completing hundreds of successful conversion optimization experiments for clients such as eBay, Epson, SAP, Electronic Arts, Alfresco, BabyAge.com and so many others.

See Raquel Live!

Raquel will be speaking with Glenn Edelmann, from Wine Enthusiast and Joe Weller, from RealNetworks, in a session titled, “Optimizing the Purchase Process: Emails, Landing Pages, Product & Category Pages, and Order Paths” at Conversion Conference East 2011 in New York City. See the full agenda and read more about this session.

Want to save on your Conversion Conference Registration? Check out Raquel’s website and follow her on Twitter and contact him to request a discount code!

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