As all website designer companies will tell you, Web design and SEO are intricately intertwined. While good website design can work wonders for your SEO strategy, Web design mistakes can actually wreak havoc on your rankings. It’s scary, but it’s true. So, are you making these Web design mistakes?
You built an all-Java site. Search engines cannot read Java. If you hire a Web development firm that talks about building you an all-Java site, you should run in the opposite direction as fast as you possibly can. If you build an all-Java site, nothing will be properly indexed and you will end up with a dead website.
Your website doesn’t have a clear site hierarchy. In terms of both SEO and user experience, a well-organized website with a clear, intuitive, and coherent site hierarchy is essential. It ensures that search engines can properly crawl your site and that visitors can find what they are looking for.
You don’t care about loading time. You want a website to be visually compelling and aesthetically engaging. But if you load up each and every page with tons of large images and complex animations, you are going to drag down page loading time. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that users won’t mind waiting an extra second or two for your page to load. They absolutely will mind. Furthermore, Google considers loading speed as a factor in its ranking algorithm, so if you aren’t cognizant of loading times, not only will your users be annoyed, but your rankings will suffer.
You are using frames. This is probably one of the biggest SEO mistakes you can make in terms of Web design. Not only do frames look absolutely atrocious (just ask any expert at any Web development firm), they make it very difficult for search engines to crawl your website. That’s because framed websites make use of three different HTML files for design, making it nearly impossible for a search engine to index the site accurately, as only one of these three files is crawled and indexed. That means all of your nicely written content is never even seen by Google.
You have duplicate content. If multiple URLs load the same webpage, Google will deem it duplicate content and you could very well be penalized. The problem with duplicate content is that it makes it hard for the search engine to decide which content to index, and as a result, some of your content won’t show up in SERPs.
You aren’t using header text. Don’t just dump 500 words of unorganized content onto a webpage. Your users won’t like it, and neither will search engines. You need to use header tags to establish a hierarchy of content on a page. This includes H1, H2, and H3 tags. This makes in easier for search engines to index your content and easier for users to consume it.
You forget to cross-link your pages. Don’t make this amateur SEO mistake! When it comes to achieving high rankings in SERPs, cross-linking is essential, as it ensures that search engines are able to easily crawl and index your site’s pages. Internal cross-linking, including linking all pages to your website’s homepage, is key. Ideally, you will want to use breadcrumbs in order to create an internal linking matrix. As an added bonus, websites that are well crossed-linked also tend to have a lower bounce rate and higher engagement rates.
The bottom line is that Web design can and will have an effect on your SEO strategy. So make sure you avoid design blunders that could negatively impact your rankings! And, when in doubt, contact a professional.