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Posted by miket in tips

Java, Javascript or Flash-based menus

In keeping with our search engine support theme, we’ll now take a look at funky menus. In the never-ending quest for the ‘kewlest’ website, novice webmasters fall in love with the mouse transition effects that Flash, HTML5 / Javascript or Java-based menus can provide.

That’s all well and good, but search engine robots are not that bright, and they cannot figure out how to navigate your website and find the other pages when they encounter a Flash, Java or poorly-coded JavaScript menu. They simply stop, because they think they’ve hit a blind alley. Also, these complex menus also stop folks with disabilities.

There is a very easy, and often overlooked solution to this problem. First, don’t use Flash or Java for menus. Second, keep your fun, jQuery-based menu at the top of your page, but put the same menu, as pure text links, at the bottom of every page. Also, add a full sitemap (your menu, as an outline of all pages of your website) to your pages. You’ve seen these menus at the bottom of many websites (they’re usually slightly smaller text, so as to be available, yet unobtrusive).

Search engines can read all-text menus, and then can follow all the links on your website. People with disabilities are now able to navigate your website as well. And you still get to keep your ‘kewl’ menu! What fun!

Is your website set up properly?

If you’re not getting the traffic or conversion (new business leads) that you need from your website, then get in touch with me. I’ll review your website for a variety of issues: design, speed, search engine optimization, traffic flow, mobile-readiness, usability and clear call to action. You’ll get the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s only by breaking some eggs can we make a great omelet.

Your bad website may be holding your business hostage – get rescued today!

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