Improve SEO Efficiency by Avoiding These 4 Web Design Mistakes If you want to improve SEO efficiency, make sure your NOT making these simple web design mistakes
It’s hard to debate the fact that websites at the top of search these days are designed for users first and search engines second?
From a design point of view, this means you should never sacrifice functionality over aesthetics, because user experience is everything. If you want to improve SEO efficiency, ideally your web design should be a delicate balance between the two. This is probably the most significant challenge every web designer and business owner now faces when developing their online business. Lying beneath the user experience is the bones of your site and often times those are still neglected. In terms of SEO one of the biggest mistakes an online business can make is implementing off-site SEO when the structure of you website isn’t set up right.
We all know that many of the old-age web design and search engine optimization techniques are now outdated, and even some of the old SEO strategies can have adverse impacts on your website.
If you’re looking to improve SEO efficiency and increase your website’s position in search engines through SEO, then you really need to take a look at your website structure to make sure you’re NOT still making a few simple web design mistakes.
In fact, if you’re spending money on off-page SEO and your web design is missing these 4 key components, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re throwing money right down the drain.
4 Simple Web Design Mistakes That Destroy SEO efficiency: 1. Missing H1 Tags
Let’s say that you’re launching a brand new custom greenhouse supplies website. If you happen to be located in the Pacific Northwest, this could very well be a lucrative business. There is online competition, but there is plenty of room to carve out space in the SERPs for you to break in. Being realistic, you’re probably not the only website that is going to be launching trying to capitalize on this booming industry.
So, what do you think is going to happen if you launch your web site without H1 Tags and your competitor has all of theirs in place? That’s right… your competitor just beat you in search visibility due to a common and simple mistake.
Why are missing H1 Tags still so prevalent? This is a great question, especially since H1 tags are probably the most important structural element that search engines pick up on to rank your website. If you want to rank higher in Google search then you need your H1 tags set up correctly. There are a couple of causes for missing H1 tags that can be pretty easily remedied;
- The Web Designer – This is a critical issue. Many people still hire “web designers” with really very little web design expertise. Unfortunately, this can lead to some pretty big issues when it comes to technical SEO. If your web design doesn’t know how important site structure is, then your website has very little chance in search.
- The Website Owner – Many times the website owner doesn’t understand landing page architecture and how to use H1 tags. I see this frequently with build your own website platforms where the tags are readily available, but the website owner doesn’t understand how to use them, so instead they simply use paragraph styling throughout their site. By simply adding the appropriate H1, H2, and H3’s these websites would see a big improvement in SEO efficiency.
2. Using Large Media Files and Image
It is true that beautiful imagery and video files may make your website more attractive, informative and engaging. However, one needs to be very cautious about the size of the images and media files used as it is directly proportionate to the loading time of the pages.
The Mansfield SEO Agency released a client study in which they found over 57% of their new clients websites were adversely impacted by excessively large media files in both site speed and performance. Not only do large images and media files impact SEO efficiency thy directly impact user experience. Website visitors do NOT have the patience to stick around for long load times. Both of these factors working together against your website will ultimately will send negative signals to the search engines that cause your Google search rankings to drop.
To run a speed test on your existing website, you can use the tools like ‘Google PageSpeed Insights‘ test, which will help you to correctly identify whether the search engine things your files are too large on the page and adversely affecting the speed. The resulting reports will also suggest how you can further optimize the page by reducing the size of the images and to what percentage.
There is also another tool called Screaming Frog, which is found to be useful in identifying the most prominent files across your site to be resized. On detecting the troublesome media files, you can next try to resize or compress the same and try to re-upload for better performance.
3. Unnecessary pop-ups
Those in the search community are very familiar with intrusive interstitials. For those new to Google algorithm updates, Google had warned website owners to avoid the use of intrusive interstitial, ads and pop-ups that impede user experience. We’ve seen Google take strong stances against intrusive ads and poor user experience time and again. This should be a pretty serious warning on just how important user experience is when it comes to improving SEO efficiency.
If you are currently experiencing or have recently experienced a somewhat dramatic decline in organic search traffic, you may want to review your website for unnecessary pop-ups, ads and user experience in general.
4. Text on images
This is a widespread mistake even found on large websites run by seasoned veterans. The ideal design practice is to include a separate html text layer over an image, but many web designers still add text into the pictures because it is often easier.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, why is this a bad practice?
You need to understand that in terms of SEO efficiency, text embedded into images is simply not functional. Search engines do not read the text on the image, so it provides no additional value in terms of SEO.
Website managers should know how to use text as another layer for search engines. Website managers also pay attention to and utilize the ‘alt txt’ given for images as well as the naming the image titles with appropriate keywords.
Whether you are creating a new website or planning to restructure your existing site, these SEO essentials play a vital role in the design and user experience of your website. Don’t throw money down the drain by trying to rank a website that is working against you.
by Chris London of Pixel Productions Inc. The Everything Design Company
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