The best way for users to keep exploring your website is to come up with an aesthetically pleasing site with stunning visuals and imagery. However, as you work on the process, there is one essential thing that you have to keep in mind.
Websites are made for both search engines and users.
For people to successfully navigate and experience the website that you built, they have to find it first. This is where your SEO efforts come in.
Unfortunately, there's a chance that you'll commit the most common mistakes that can negatively affect your SEO efforts.
In this post, we'll walk you through the eight web design mistakes that can hurt your SEO efforts.
Missing or poor H1 tags
Header 1 tag, also known as the H1 tag, is one of the most critical aspects of your search engine optimization process when it comes to redesigning your site.
If you want to know why, it's because search engine crawlers (the one responsible for crawling, indexing, and ranking your site) will utilize H1 tags to understand what the page they're crawling is all about.
To significantly improve your SEO efforts, you need to come up with a highly effective H1 tag. Ideally, it should have the target keyword that you're attempting to rank for.
Using infinite scroll
In its most basic form, infinite scroll is when a website continues to load more information as the user scrolls down the page. While it's a highly effective website technique, if done the wrong way, it can significantly hurt your SEO.
Here's an excellent example: Your blog page has over 40 posts published into it. Users can scroll through these blogs as long as they keep scrolling down. Initially, this might seem a convenient option.
But the thing is ‒ the settings implemented on the design of your site allows only ten blogs to be shown per page. As a result, only ten blogs will be registered in these search engine crawlers. That's because they aren't programmed in the ''scroll crawl'' infinite scrolling pages.
So how do you make your scroll pages more search engine friendly? Well, you can follow the instructions on the Google Webmaster Blog.
Using too many pop-ups
Pop-ups can do the heavy lifting in early conversions. Using too many pop-ups, though, can leave a bad taste for both search engines and web users.
Not only are they annoying, but users tend to close pop-ups as soon as they appear.
Their presence also invokes prejudice, so search engines don't index them as a website element.
See to it that you modify or limit pop-ups, especially on mobile as they can break your website.
Uploading unoptimized images
Unoptimized images take longer than usual to load. Moreover, they can negatively affect your site speed.
As a result, there are two negative outcomes:
- Users exit your site before it fully loads because they don't have the patience to wait.
- Your rankings will drop because your overall site speed is lower than what is optimal.
To deal with the problem, test your site speed and compress media files that are not of the optimal size.
Having poor website navigation
Some designers think that creating a weird site with irregular navigation elements and footer links tend to attract people and will be original to everyone. But that isn't true.
Your navigation should be properly organized for both search engines and web users.
If your navigation elements aren't applied correctly, it will be treated as a poor internal linking structure. As a result, it will harm your reputation and rankings.
Ideally, a global navigation bar should be present on each page. That way, users wouldn't get lost on your website.
Focusing on visuals over text
Some web designers tend to focus more on putting out imagery with less text. Visually, it could make your site look sophisticated. But it could also hurt your SEO.
While web users will be impressed, a visually heavy site isn't doing much for search engines. That's because there are minimal texts for search engine spiders to crawl, analyze, index and rank.
The solution? Add visually compelling images along with enough text. It will be beneficial to your SEO as well. You may also add ALT texts on your images, as it can help search bots to identify what the image is all about.
Neglecting to optimize for mobile
Google is now gearing for a mobile-first experience on the internet. Back in March 2018, it started using the site's mobile version as the first point of reference on how should a website be displayed and cataloged.
Therefore, creating a mobile-responsive site design is becoming more and more of a necessity.
Not adopting HTTPS
Google has now officially marked all websites that don't utilize "HTTPS" for their domain as not secure.
The HTTPS update, together with Google's Speed and Mobile Index Updates, will be challenging.
But as long as you incorporate an excellent and proactive strategy, it's guaranteed that your site remains search engine-friendly with Google's standards.
As Garenne Bigby explains, “HTTPS is a more secure system for a website to operate. Security for a website and its users is the most important benefit of making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS.”