Many people consider the quality of your website as a representation of your company — meaning a poorly designed site will make your business look less professional and less credible.
And while improving your site design or boost your site loading speed and conversions is always a good idea, if you’re not too careful, choosing the wrong design can significantly hurt your SEO rankings.
Here are the top web design mistakes that can significantly hurt your SEO strategy:
1. Poor Navigation
Your web design isn’t just all about the visual elements in your site –The functionality and performance of your site should also be a priority.
However, one of the worst mistakes you can make when designing a website is poor site navigation.
If your site has dysfunctional tools like search bars and menus and complex navigation, then users are just going to bounce the moment they step in.
This action sends negative signals about your site, which will eventually put you in lower rankings in search results.
2. Large Media Files
Elements such as photos, videos, and other media files are crucial. Without them, your site will be full of just plain texts, leading to a dull website experience that will turn off users.
When adding media files, however, you have to take into account the image and media sizes. Having incredibly large images and media files will ultimately lead to bad user experience.
Mobile searches are so common nowadays that the total of mobile users has overtaken the number of desktop users.
Search engines have become increasingly aware of this –that’s why they’ve made adjustments on the rankings to see whether a site can handle mobile or tablet searches.
Search engines also punish those that don’t have a mobile-friendly site with lower rankings.
Having a site that has a responsive design will give web visitors an excellent user experience no matter what device they’re using.
An impressive looking site increases user engagement and decreases bounce rate.
An h1 tag is usually the headline of the blog post or title of the page itself — it’s also one of the most crucial elements of SEO and your site design.
H1 tags are also one of the primary things search engine crawlers look for while comparing your sites to others.
A useful H1 tag should have a target keyword that you’re aiming to rank for. When worded intelligently, this can improve your site’s search engine ranking.
5. Intrusive Pop-ups
Google and other search engines advise avoiding using pop-ups as they compromise the user experience, especially if people are using mobile devices in navigating a site.
We all know that user experience plays an integral part in SEO. Therefore, not only are pop-ups disruptive, but they can negatively affect rankings as well.
Although it might seem like a useful tool in boosting sales and email sign-ups, pop-ups tend to be obstructive to the user. A good strategy to adopt is to asses your pop-up strategy first.
Then create something that’s relevant and gives value to your users.
6. Infinite Scroll
It’s true that sites are adopting longer forms than ever before. However, a lot of websites tend to go overboard, adding more and more content as the user reaches the bottom of the page.
While this isn’t much an issue during the early stages, it’s going to end up badly, especially as your site continues to add content.
Infinite scrolls may lead to a navigational crisis and will sabotage the entire user experience as well. Although there are still areas that might need an infinite scroll such as your blog, it needs to be used alongside with tools that promote ease of navigation.
7. Content Quality
Content will always be king. Meaning, you should only produce content that is of the highest quality. Focus on creating material that’s useful and informative, and offers value to users.
Your content should also be primarily created to give visitors an excellent user experience, and not just ranking well on search engines.
Over to You
Whether it’s on mobile or desktop, having a poorly designed site can break your brand. However, there are a couple of design decisions that can significantly affect your SEO efforts.
That’s why it’s crucial for you to avoid these design mistakes that we’ve mentioned at all costs.
If you need help with your site’s redesign, or even want to start one from scratch, hiring a professional is worth the investment. Working with a team of experts can increase your chances of successful ranking results.
**About The Author: Kenneth Sytian is the CEO of Sytian Production, an expert on web design in the Philippines. He has been designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade. He is regarded as one of the top influencers in web design and development in the Philippines.