Those who build or redesign their websites typically focus on functionality, aesthetics, and user experience. Their objective is to build a good-looking website that is easy to use and navigate—and they forget about SEO until much later in the process. By then it’s almost too late, as the entire website is already finished. Don’t make this mistake.
It’s important to become aware of the web design mistakes that can mess up your SEO strategy so you can dodge them:
Mistake #1: Failing to optimize images
It’s not enough that you put relevant images to your content—you need to make sure that they are optimized for search engines, too. After all, Google has yet to develop AI technology that can accurately infer what a picture is all about. Images can drive a considerable amount of traffic to your site especially if you sell products, so don’t take them for granted. Optimizing images can mean dominating the image search results and crushing your competition.
Don’t know how to begin? No worries—the process of optimizing images is easy. Start by renaming the image to describe what it actually is. Put an alt text and optimize the file size to boost loading times. Then, add images to the XML sitemap. You may also use Twitter Cards or OpenGraph to make it easier to share images in social media. The bottom line is that images must be relevant and descriptive. Avoid spamming the alt text and file names with keywords.
Mistake #2: Forgetting about mobile SEO
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become a mainstay in the lives of typical consumers. In fact, most of your potential customers now use mobile phones (not desktops) to do internet searches and browse websites. It certainly makes sense to have a mobile version of your website built and designed to ensure that it will load and display properly on smaller screens.
However, it is not enough that you have a responsive mobile web design. You need to make sure that it is really mobile-friendly and capable of maximizing the results from mobile search engines. To do that, consider the wants and needs of your mobile users. Their mobile habits are much different from their regular habits on a desktop computer or laptop. Search engines also tend to rank mobile websites based on their mobile-friendliness, so if yours doesn’t load properly on small screens, you will likely rank lower. Optimizing user experience for both desktop and mobile users will provide better SEO results. It also improves user engagement and traffic.
Mistake #3: Poor navigation design
If a user is unable to find their way easily around your website, they can get frustrated and leave. This is why it’s best to avoid non-intuitive hamburger navigation menus and drop-down navigation that fail to link to your main category, forcing the user pick sub-categories. Consider exploring newer alternatives like tabbed menus. They are easier to reach, allow users to see what page they are on at a glance, allow for direct access, and signify the importance of other sections.
Don’t leave out SEO until your entire website is finished. Integrating sound optimization practices into your web design process can make a big difference in a search engine’s ability to crawl and find your website.
Hiring a team of web designers that have SEO knowledge and experience is the best way to go. You can’t go wrong with SEOValley. Talk to us today if you want to redesign your site for SEO or want to start an optimized website from scratch. From aesthetics to optimization, we’ve got everything covered.