I recently read the article Web Design Practices that Frustrate SEO Pros on the Search Engine Journal website. They were spot on in the items they listed, and it got me to thinking about the website design “mistakes” I see regularly on clients’ sites that hurt or hinder their SEO efforts. My short list is:
Large images at the top of the site’s pages.
People are lazy. They don’t like to scroll. Large images make them scroll. In the end, they’re more likely to leave the page instead of scroll. This increases the site’s bounce rate, which in turn is likely to lower its organic rankings.
Sliders at the top of the site’s pages.
Similarly, sliders at the top of a page typically don’t do well for several reasons, even if the visitor does not have to scroll far to see the page’s content. On the UX (user experience) side, there’s the fact that the sliders often change before the visitor has a chance to consume the information on them. Sliders also slow down page load time; this is bad for SEO because it increases the chance of a bounce AND because page load time is a factor that directly impacts organic ranking.
Not including appropriate information on a page.
While I LOVE the website designers I work with, this “mistake” usually falls into two camps. In one camp, there are the designers that put way too many topics on one page. It’s impossible to optimize these pages in a way that the site has a chance of ranking organically for anything. In the other camp, there are the designers that break things down too much. So they end up linking page to page to page, and visitors have to click a lot of times to get all the information they need. While this is great for internal linking, we have to go back to the fact that people are lazy. Just like they don’t want to scroll, they also don’t want to click. Too many clicks and you’re going to lose them, and the site’s bounce rate is going up again.
Whether you’re designing your site for the first time or going through a redesign, we suggest bringing on an SEO professional during the design phase to make sure no changes are needed after the fact. If you’d like SBN Marketing to handle that for you, use the button below to give us a shout!