Holy Mackerel! You call that SEO?

It is a pretty site… too bad it’s all Flash.
It is a pretty site… too bad it’s all Flash.

I’m not even entirely sure what to say here. I mean, can you honestly say your business provides search engine optimization services when you sell websites that are built entirely in Flash and, literally, the ONLY two links on the WHOLE site that a spider can see go to YOUR site… not a site that has anything to do with the client?

It is a pretty site… too bad it’s all Flash, but it’s nice to look at none-the-less. Check out the site in Lynx though. There’s hardly anything there at all.

Check out the site in Lynx. There's hardly anything there at all.
Check out the site in Lynx. There's hardly anything there at all.

Holy Mackerel! is a seafood restaurant… you wouldn’t know that from the Lynx screenshot though. Seafood is in the domain, so I guess that’s helpful; however, it might be more helpful to have the title tag say something like “Holy Mackerel! Seafood – Lombard, IL” or maybe even add in “Restaurant” after Seafood. Just “Holy Mackerel!” isn’t descriptive enough. The page is pretty crystal clear about the location, which is good, but you still don’t really know this is a seafood place if you can’t see the Flash.

Now look at the source…
Even operating under the assumption that the client is completely IN LOVE with the Flash site… which they’re entitled to be, it’s a very slick site… one would still think that a company who SEOs the crap out of the links to THEMSELVES might take some time to consider the needs of the client when putting the design together.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.
Things that make you go hmmmmm.

A few things that struck me as odd…
(A) One might think that the name of the hotel in which the restaurant is located might be a good opportunity for a link to — oh I don’t know — the hotel. Maybe that’s more of a “good neighbor” type of link. I know I’d find it useful *shrug*, but I guess we can let this one slide…

(B) Actually having some anchor text where the mailto: link is might make the link functional.

(C) It’s easier to rank for terms like “restaurant” when you spell “restaurant” correctly (and maybe have it on the page more than once).

(D) Clearly someone there knows something about SEO. Pity they didn’t use their mad skillz to SEO the client’s website.

So why am I picking on this site?
For one thing, this supports my previous post about double checking the work that your vendors do to make sure you’re not getting screwed. I realize there’s more to SEO than just on-page stuff, but it’s not THAT hard to make some minor changes to this page so that it looks like someone at least tried. Further, it wouldn’t have annoyed me so much if the links to the developer weren’t *SO* SEOd. So it’s not like they don’t know how, you know?

The other thing that bugged me is that I have a general dislike for using your client’s website to promote yourself. Just a personal thing. I know as a client, if I’m paying the vendor good coin for the work, I don’t want to have to give them free advertising, too. Maybe if they cut me a break on the cost we can discuss it, but for the most part, I want the site to be about my business, not theirs.