One of the biggest dilemmas that web designers face while creating a new website is to ensure a perfect harmony of design and SEO. There are many occasions when, in the quest of ravishing web design, SEO suffers. While you might receive appreciation on a better designed website, without proper SEO, it won’t serve your business well. Here are some design follies that have the worst impact on your site’s search engine optimization.
Top Trends of Website Design That Impact SEO
A website’s success is a mix of multiple factors such as quality content, good web design and the right SEO strategy. In fact, it’s a tightly interwoven strategy that eventually makes or breaks a website and an imbalance can lead to compromised success.
Most web designers are likely to ignore SEO as it limits their creative boundaries. However, there is hardly any such necessity as to curb the artistic possibilities in order to make the site’s optimization successful. There are many ways in which good design can go hands in hands with proper search engine optimization. But some web designers fail to achieve this balance and hurt the SEO prospects of their site. Avoid the design flaws explained below:
Ignoring H1, H2 tags
Heading tags have a considerable weight going with them in the world of SEO. It also does benefit to your site’s visual appeal by adding emphasis on the content. Search engines like H1 tags and Google will find it easier to navigate with all your tags at the right place. When we talk about proper usage of H1 tags we must keep in mind that putting keywords in the H1 tag is the best SEO strategy.
Using too many images
If you use too many images just to improve the visual appeal of your site, it can prove detrimental to your website’s overall health. For instance, if images are your primary form of navigation, search engine wouldn’t receive much functional meaning from it. On the other hand, if pure textual navigation is used that also won’t be a very good option either. Therefore most expert web designers would tell you to use text-over-image technique with CSS. Besides, when you implement headers in your site, never replace text with image. It might look tantalizingly beautiful to eyes, but when it comes to SEO, this approach doesn’t work.
Header text has a functional value, i.e, to highlight important keywords. If you replace them with images, it will devalue the content. Even if you are very keen on using images as a prominent design element of your site, it is recommended to optimize them for search engines through usage of proper anchor texts.
Missing out on Breadcrumbs
Missing out on Breadcrumbs
Any SEO person will tell you how important it is to use perfect breadcrumbs. If you employ text links in breadcrumbs, not only does it make the navigation search friendly but also offers a transparent hierarchical navigation structure. However, designers frequently make this mistake of neglecting breadcrumbs, despite knowing that these increase the user friendliness of the site.
Too much flash
Flash is easily the most common and easiest way of making a website visually
attractive. But it is also the easiest way to alienate your website from search engines. Most search engines are bad at indexing flash components and websites. Surely, there can be some elements that use flash but try not using it for important content and navigation. Plus, don’t make the mistake of making the entire site of flash.
Having a mobile version of the site
As this is the age of smartphones, it is very important for to have a site which is mobile-ready. However, that doesn’t mean you have to come up with a separate mobile version of your website. Even Matt Cutts of Google says that responsive design is a smarter choice for SEO needs. If the mobile version of your site doesn’t work well without the “rel=canonical”, it will divide the PageRank between two pages. However, responsive design eliminates this issue as it uses a single URL.
Generally, if you want to avoid making all the above mistakes, then instead of considering SEO after designing a website, treat as a component of your design strategy. A designer can obviously make a website the masterpiece it should be, but the site won’t be of much use if nobody can find it. This is the reason why most employers these days look for candidates with all-inclusive skills. A standalone web designing job is a rarity these days. Most web designing jobs advertised on portals seek candidates who have SEO skills also, so as to ensure the development of a successful web design strategy. 🙂