Getting your site up and running with all the bells and whistles feels good. However, if you want to direct traffic towards your site, you also need to consider SEO best practices. While good quality content and services are important, generating web traffic takes more than that. The entire process is pointless without getting your site optimized to search engines as your site won’t turn up in search results.
Here, we’ll focus on what you shouldn’t be doing in your web design. Consulting the SEO and web design experts, we have their advice on what mistakes to avoid that can hurt your SEO this year.
When Google's crawlers follow links, they hunt for several generic terms that help them gather information. Include a relevant title and links to an About Us and Contact page at the top of each page. This will aid Google in crawling your pages and locating the content its bots require to comprehend the rest of your site. While it is crucial to include other href links, Google's algorithm may not pursue them with the same zeal as it does when looking for fundamental pages.
The proper structure for hyperlinks has long been a source of contention among web developers, although it no longer appears to be as important as it once was. The name is more important to Google than the href formatting code.
Robert Johansson, CEO & Tech Expert at imgkits
Sites are rated lower by Google, Bing, and Yandex if they take too long to resolve in a virtual computer they employ to evaluate them. It's a safe bet that if your landing page doesn't match fundamental web page performance standards, it'll start to drop in the ranks. WordPress is supposed to be light, yet even sysadmins who rely on it may find that a page takes more than 500 milliseconds to load on modern hardware.
One of the most common causes of this web design error is an over-reliance on plugins or a failure to remove old ones that are no longer in use. Ask yourself if you truly need all of the ones displayed in the WordPress admin panel. If you find any names that you didn't install, you should remove them as well, unless they were part of a dependency package. Those who manage their back-end development with a framework like Rails or Node.js should follow this advice as well because plugins in these settings can be just as detrimental to performance.
Darsh Ray, CEO & Founder Job Alert
People used to argue that urging a user's browser to redirect them to another website was a smart way to update links; however, this practice is incredibly easy to abuse. Encouraging browser redirection is a typical site design blunder. However, try to keep the number of times this happens when loading a website to a minimum. If search engine bots are unable to keep track of the number of redirections, they may become caught in a loop.
Alec Pow, CEO at The Pricer
Sitemaps aren't talked about nearly as frequently as they once were. So, while you might be tempted to delete that insignificant XML graphic, that would be a tremendous error. This is because a sitemap might include links that will be followed by major search engines without being considered spam. Because sitemaps are essentially written in discrete HTML or XML, they can also be useful for accessibility. These are sometimes taken into account by Google when ranking websites for people that provide specific types of public services.
Anthony Mixides, Managing Director Bond Media
It's tempting to make practically every page dynamic because we generate so much stuff on the go. Because this is how web giants like YouTube operate, it may appear unfair that this harms site rankings. However, most people aren't running a site the magnitude of YouTube, so make sure your primary landing pages are all rendered in basic HTML and CSS at the very least.
Daniel Foley, SEO Specialist at CloudTech24
Remember to make sure your images are properly optimized. There are two big things that can affect SEO when it comes to images. The first is if images aren't resized properly, leading to huge file sizes - this can slow your site down significantly, which is bad news for your SEO.
The second is if you have text featured within your image file - it might be easier to incorporate a heading with the exact look you want within a picture for certain sections of your website; however, if you want to pick up header tags and make sure search engines understand the structure of your pages properly, you must go to the extra trouble of formatting the text outside of the image and then overlay it onto the image with custom code to position it perfectly.
Chris Hinchey, Director at Shiny Creative UK web design agency
While dynamic URL generation has a purpose, it should not be used for the majority of your pages. If feasible, give your pages distinct names that make sense. Given that the majority of popular frameworks permit this, there is no compelling reason not to.
On mobile devices, desktop websites take a long time to load, making them inconvenient for mobile users. When ranking websites, search engines take mobile performance into account. Even if you achieve a ranking, the likelihood of a bounce increases by 123 percent if a page takes between 1-10 seconds to settle. Examine your site's performance on mobile devices using a mobile processing tool and physical hardware.
On the other hand, this is accurate, as mobile pages do not score well when consumers conduct keyword searches on a desktop or laptop computer. Responsive web design that recognizes the device being used and the overall resolution of the user's screen is critical, even more so for companies looking to launch multi-channel campaigns aimed at users of multiple platforms.
Adam Fard, Founder & Head Of Design Adam Fard' UX Agency