When it comes to designing a website, we all search for that perfect balance between user experience and search engine optimisation. Never should one be sacrificed for the other; both beauty and function should exist in harmony!
While that may sound much easier said than done, here are 4 common mistakes that are made by web designers that lead to a negative effect on SEO.
#1 – H1 Tags Gone Walkies
It’s an analogy that is sometimes overused, but it’s a good one nonetheless; you can have the most attractive storefront in the world, but if nobody walks in the door it’s useless. The same goes for websites. Whilst it may be the prettiest designed site on the web, if it’s not optimised correctly, nobody will ever find it on search engines.
This is often down to designers forgetting the fundamentals of SEO, such as removing H1 tags because there’s no place for them in their master plan of design.
#2 – Supersized Media
Imagery is a very powerful part of design, in web and beyond. But it is a common mistake to leave them bloated in filesize and not optimised. This can lead to long load times which ultimately impact your rankings in a negative fashion. Google likes pages that have fast load times!
Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights Test, you can quickly see what images Google thinks are too large, and act accordingly to fix this issue. A quick re-size and compression of the offending images will work wonders on your load times!
#3 – Popups. Popups Everywhere!
Google recently issued a statement warning websites to avoid using popups that intrude on user experience. Popups that appear before users can view the main content of a page, the user experience is poor and therefore your rankings are at risk.
#4 – Text in Images
A much more common mistake than you think, many designers will incorporate text into an image as opposed to overlaying HTML based text over the top. Unfortunately Google isn’t quite ready to “see” text in an image like the human eye can, so any image-based text is ignored, whether it is keyword rich or not. Another issue is responsiveness, as it is likely that the text in an image is going to be too small to be legible on mobile.
In summary, the fundamentals of SEO are key when it comes to designing your website. If your designer isn’t entirely savvy on the basics, it may be a good idea to have your SEO expert involved in the planning to ensure that functionality and marketability go hand in hand!