When your business and your brand depend on your website, it’s perfectly natural to aim for as many visits as possible. The only problem is how to get there. Having a visually appealing website, with beautiful navigation and amazing looks can be great, but it can seriously harm your SEO. On the other hand, if you focus only on the SEO aspect of your website, you risk making it look boring and people avoid it. So, it may seem challenging to find the perfect balance in your web design, but it’s not impossible.
It’s very common for web designers to ignore certain SEO rules as they can be limiting to their artistic vision of the website they’re designing. What they usually don’t know, being mostly focused on the designing part, is that they don’t have to limit their design features for the sake of the SEO. Not knowing the best way to approach a specific website can lead to some serious problems in the future, and not to mention the loss of time and resources. The best way to avoid those problems is to try and avoid some of the common traps most web designers get to fall into. Here are some of those mistakes.
Improper Use of Heading Tags
One of the most important SEO elements of any website is heading tags or H tags. Heading tags indicate what the headline is and which parts are more important than others. As SEO engines are trying to read your website and find the meaning behind it all. This helps your site getting a better position on the search list when your content is relevant to the people searching the web. However, quite a lot of designers incorporate logos or company names inside an H1 tag, or they use various H1 tags on the page, which shouldn’t be done, as it complicates the way SEO engines read your site. Another common mistake is to create very long heading tags as well as using tags for the text outside the main content. All of these things complicate the way search engines read your page, and it doesn’t matter if your website looks great, your retention and the overall number of visits will plummet, so take care of your heading tags before you launch your website.
Falling to Meet Navigation Standards
As we’re all trying to represent ourselves in a unique and original way, quite a lot of web designers fall into a trap of forgetting about navigation standards. As they’re trying to pull off an original site, with unique user experience, they forget that a clear and understandable navigation is fundamental for both visitors as well as search engines. Amazing art can make your website stand out, but without defined structure, footer and proper navigation, people will get lost within your site and search engines will have trouble reading it.
Website Loading Takes Too Long
You would be surprised how many users expect the website to load in under 2 seconds. Some studies have even shown that just a second of delay results in loss of conversions higher than 5%. And that’s not the worst thing. Search engines are counting the loading speed as a factor, so slow loading times will most definitely be an obstacle on your way to more users, visits, and conversions. You need to make sure that all the images are properly optimized and compressed. Remove all flash intros and avoid flash if possible, as it tends to significantly slow down your website. Find the best possible hosting service that suits your needs, and always focus your website design with SEO in mind.
Bad Choice of Keywords
Search engines and SEO are based on the analysis of the written content on your website. This means that for the optimal SEO strategy, you need to focus on the words. There are a lot of free tools you can use to this end. Most of the web developers Sydney has to offer have stated that improper use of keywords can have an extremely negative effect on your retention, conversions and overall visits. You must find and identify the keywords that suit your needs the best, and once you do, focus on placing them where they would fit the best.
Not Using Responsive Web Design
The number of visits to the web from mobile devices has surpassed those from desktop and laptop computers more than three years ago. This information is widely available, and yet, quite a lot of business owners and web designers are focusing on desktop versions of the website. This is the worst thing you can do, from both SEO and your visitors’ points of view. You will lose a ton of visitors, and search engines won’t prioritize your website once they realize you only offer the desktop version. Make sure that you have at least a homepage optimized for mobile so that search engines don’t exclude your website altogether.
A proper web design can make or break your website, and through it, your company. With the internet expanding the number of web designers is constantly growing, and it becomes harder and harder to make your website stand out. If you’re designing your website around SEO rules, but still pay attention to how it looks, you’re on the right track.
Helen Bradford is a bookworm, business enthusiast and consultant at GWM, a web design Australia based agency. She spends her spare time doing fitness and traveling.