How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes that Hurt SEO?

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Author : Minds Metricks

February 7, 2018

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Internet is a boon for several businesses, giving them to mark their presence online. Having said this, millions of businesses have now launched their websites on the internet. And when the number of websites increase, the competition among them to rank in the first few results of the search engine page increases.

Thus, in this race to lead the results page, only those having search engine optimization done for their websites, manage to lead the online arena and drive business.

Having understood this fact, business owners across the world are now implementing techniques to optimize SEO for the website right from the stage of the design. Emphasis is laid on designs such that both the users and the search engines find the design appealing enough. This way, the designers do not have to sacrifice on their artistic beauty while having to consider the prospects of technicalities.

Any agency will lay emphasis on SEO-friendly design to begin with. This saves a lot of work for optimization, while retaining the aesthetic value of the website. However, not all designers are enough to consider the SEO factors while designing. Here are six common mistakes that designers do while creating a website, and how they can prevent the website from ranking higher in search engine result pages.

Missing H1 Tag

Everyone likes a website that is neat, clean, and attractive. For instance, a website with a catchy background, great copies lined up in articulate font, a well-matching color scheme, and a beautiful layout that makes browsing fun. This website will surely catch your attention, and you will expect it to catchy everyone else’s attention too. However, no matter how beautiful and appealing this website looks, it will not be indexed by the search engines, and will remain undetected to the masses. Why? Because the designers here forgot about the essential SEO elements that constitute the makeup of the website. And the basic element that is out of place or doesn’t exist in this website is the H1 tag. At times, designers miss this vital element because –

  • There is no place to include the tag.
  • The design is plain animation and text is not required.
  • Use of H1 tag disrupts the design flow.

H1 tag is the primary element that search engine crawlers look for to understand what the page is all about. And when the text in this tag has the target keywords, your website has good scope for grossing higher ranking. So, to simplify the designing for you, you may include the H1 tag for copies, and place them in the center of the screen, with image has background. This way the message of the website is clear with the H1 tag in place.

Large images and media files

Who does not like a website with beautiful images that seem to entice our minds? Images make our websites look appealing, and that’s the reason why they are extensively used. However, not all images can be SEO friendly. Some may be over-sized such that they will increase the time taken to load the website.

Images are essential for website designer, but web designers who practices SEO will understand that size of the image plays a key role in page-load time – a key parameter for SEO. Including images, videos, animations and other media that are large will slower the website, thereby pushing its ranking down in the Search Engine result pages. Search engines such as Google are known to reward pages that load quickly.

If you are not sure how heavy is your website, you may always use Google Page Speed Insights test to determine the same.

Using Pop-ups

Whenever you are looking for best practices on how to optimize your website for SEO, you will unravel one fact that no SEO professional endorses the use of pop-ups. Pop-ups are a thing of the past done to catch attention of the user while browsing. Recently, the search engine major Google announced that it will be penalizing websites that use intrusive interstitials and popups. Having said this, Google believes that user experience, especially on the handheld devices, is quite important, and when it is affected by pop-ups clouding the screen, masking the main content, it affects the user. Therefore, to minimize the use of this practice, Google has now decided to penalize websites that have popups. Instead of popups, you can always use techniques to highlight the main content, or any new offer or service available. So, restructure the strategy to see rise in traffic.

Using Text in Images

Search engines read text to assess what your website is all about, but they cannot read the text present in images. Having said this, why use creatives that are text-rich? To index your page better, several SEO-friendly designs from leading designers now incorporate an additional layer of text that is overlaid on the images such that the text and the imagery appear in sync. This not only preserves the aesthetic value of the website, but also gives the crawlers their share of information.

Also, with responsive designs making a buzz, including text in images will surely affect the readability. This is where the extra layer of text works magic by preserving readability across all screen sizes.

Use of Infinite Scroll

If there is one thing that is going to hurt SEO of your website largely is the use of infinite scroll technique to load items on the website. Infinite scroll is known to load more content as the user scrolls down the page. Now, if the pagination is not set properly, then there will be too much content for a single URL, which will affect the crawlers. 

So, the best practice here is to make this feature search-friendly. Many leading designers can do this.

Content is Thin

We know that product and services that are listed on your website are described best with content mixed with targeted keywords. However, if the content is little, or if there are too many products on a single page with very less content, then this is going to affect the SEO ranking. Why? Because search engines cannot assess the relevance of the website with limited content. So, it is necessary to space the content properly.

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