Common Web Design Mistakes that Affect SEO

Joseph Schneider
September 29, 2021
Read time: 9 minutes

A website is the face of a brand. What happens to a brand that has no website? Well, it wouldn’t find customers and eventually fall low in business. The need for websites and online presence has grown much higher post-pandemic. This is because more and more people want to get things done while they are home.


Around 68% of people say they have much higher expectations for businesses’ digital presence. Websites can change the perception of consumers towards a brand or its products.


A website helps your customers build trust and gives credibility to your brand. But is it just enough to have a website?


No. Many brands perceive it wrong that they can have a good online presence with just a random website.


In reality, a website should be designed well enough to let people believe that the brand or the business is real and not fake. And so, today, we will understand what some of the most common website mistakes that affect SEO are. Are you wondering how website design can affect SEO? Read along to know!


Common Web Design Mistakes that Affect SEO


You can rather have no website than have one that is not structured or does not have a convincing design. Website designs help customers understand the brand better and for this, there are a few thumb rules to follow.


Similarly, some of the major components of a website design are directly related to SEO. And so, if you mess with it, then you are sure to mess with SEO which eventually can tear off your presence online on a SERP.

1. Clarity and Navigation on the Web Page


A web page should be clear enough for the visitor to navigate around and understand what your brand is trying to say.


Skipping certain essential features due to urgency is the reason why many web pages don’t seem impactful. Skipping brainstorming and site mapping is the basis for many web design mistakes. A cluttered and improper structure of navigation can drive away your customers.


When customers visit your page, they want it to be as clear as possible. They want it to be a page that tells them where to go and what to do. Navigation and clarity are essential to ensure your customers don’t drop out of your page.


2. Missing Out on Grids and Columns


Many web designers think that grids and columns are dead and that they no longer serve any purpose. But it is not true. The web designing world is constantly changing, but a few designers confine themselves to older web design techniques that pose SEO issues while publishing the website.


The importance of CSS grids and guides should not be undermined when it comes to developing a proper responsive design for your website.


Using CSS, designers can create and deliver a seamless website experience to visitors. Flexbox floats and CSS grids are a breakthrough in creating a good website design that accommodates putting forward a good SEO solution.


3. Not Concentrating on the Aesthetics


If you are wondering how a web page’s aesthetics can affect SEO, then here’s the catch. User engagement happens when they find the website appealing. The aesthetics of the website plays an important role in determining the bounce rate.


Many web designers concentrate only on aspects like meta description, tools, and other elements and often miss out on the aesthetics. Colors, for example, have a great impact on how one sees your website. It impacts a person’s perception of the brand.


Sticking to good aesthetics can mean as small as pacing the CTA in the right place to using the right banner copies for the website, and so on. These might seem petty but create a whole lot different for a website.


4. Missing Out on the Security-First Approach


Many websites have privacy issues, and this could mean a big hindrance in your customer’s way. Customers trust your brand only when they know that their information is safe with you.


This could also mean casually browsing through your page. Security should be prioritized right from the design stage, and the websites should have proper licenses once they are published. In terms of SEO, a site with no proper security can make visitors think unsafe and not explore further.


Also, prioritizing security right from the beginning can help curb a lot of loopholes, some of which also include misuse of information.


5. Cluttering the Website With Too Much Content


Some websites are way too stuffed. These are bad websites that do not let the reader understand the information at first glance. Too much information can defeat the whole purpose of what you are trying to deliver or make visitors understand.


Sometimes, due to excitement and desperation, many web designers clutter a page with unnecessary elements and blocks that confuse the visitor. These web pages are a bad example as they drive away customers, thus increasing the bounce rate.


Also, in terms of SEO, chances of a well-structured website are more likely to have more visits, thus improving the website’s position in SERPs. Designers can essentially segregate components and elements of a website and put them under various pages to make the website look more organized.


6. Not Highlighting Your CTA


CTAs are the most important element in a website. All other things aside, a CTA is the major component that defines your sales. When a visitor comes to your website wanting to make a purchase or proceed with an action, it becomes quite frustrating when they don’t find the right place to do so.


On the other hand, a catchy caption or a button is great to grab your customers’ attention. Some things to consider to make your CTA stand out are the choice of colors and designs.


Font also plays a major role in determining if the CTA is visible at first glance or confusing to check. Incorporating proper white spacing is also very important when placing CTAs.


7. Not Focusing on Responsive Design


Gone are the days when people checked out the information on websites only on a desktop. It’s the age of technology, and people mostly only prefer handy gadgets. It could be a laptop, a mobile phone, or a tab. People also use multiple devices for their convenience.


A study says that around 61% of people use their mobile phones to check out their websites. And for this, websites should be equipped and device-ready. This is called responsive design. Many times, designers work on pages that are compatible only with desktops and monitors.


This can be a huge setback and a potential loss in clients, for not all of them can always carry a laptop around. Time is the essence, and when your website is mobile-ready, they load faster on other devices, ensuring it keeps the viewers in the groove.


8. Endless Scrolling


The attention span of readers is very small. Not many avid readers will like scrolling through pages and find the perfect content that will push them to make a purchasing decision. Generally, infinite scroll is adopted when the designers don’t want their users to navigate to another page or a tab.


But to incorporate this into any web design, the page should be creative enough to not let the user want to switch. Infinite scroll is good when the design elements are very convincing for users.


But the disadvantage of this is that you cannot always be sure of the Google bot being able to crawl your page entirely, especially if there is a lack of keywords due to content structure. It can also impact the loading speed.


Another disadvantage is that users often look for a footer to get some quick information that is generally not present in an endless scroll feature.


9. Not Checking the Page-Load Time


Speed is not good on roads but amazing on scrolls. Page speed is the amount of time a webpage takes to load. Page speed is what determines the popularity of your website among its users. Even if you have a definite customer base, they can skip your webpage if the loading speed is not good. If you did not know, page speed is a direct ranking factor.


Around 53% of people abandon websites when they encounter slower load time. One out of two users expects the page load time to be less than 2 seconds.


Checking page load time is also necessary to ensure a seamless on-page user experience. So, one of the most basic things that web designers must check before taking their website live is page speed.


10. Missing Out the H1 Tags


Can H1 hashtags improve your website’s SEO? Absolutely! And it’s a cherry on top if you have a keyword mentioned in the tag. Headers or H1 tags are lines that are printed in a slightly larger font to differentiate from the regular content.


It is always advisable that these are unique, catchy, and effective. They can also otherwise be called copies. Copywriters make sure that these copies stand out. With the shorter attention span that customers have, it is necessary to have a jaw-dropping copy to capture their attention.


Adding H1 hashtags have indirect benefits. For example, adding them can improve user experience and readability, which in turn improves your ranking on SERPs.


11. Heavy Images and Videos


Images and videos enhance your website and make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. When done right, they fetch not only more visitors but also good engagement. But many times, high-resolution images can put down the page speed. For this, optimizing images is very important.


Optimizing web pages help in improving site performance without having to compromise on the image quality or the page speed.


High-resolution and optimized images improve conversion rate and eventually leads and sales. Also, less storage means lesser bandwidth which in turn reduces hosting and CDN costs. A study suggests that 1% less in page loading costs up to 7% sales.


Importance of SEO-Friendly Website Design


SEO and websites go hand in hand to determine the success of a brand’s online presence. SEO-friendly website design is essential to make sure your webpage improves its ranking on SERPs.


An SEO-friendly website means designing it so that all the algorithms or most of them can tap into your pages and show them to your target audience. Here are some amazing reasons why you should have an SEO-friendly website design.

1. Improves Traffic


SEO-friendly website designs are great to improve organic traffic. One of the best ways you can do this is by adding the right keywords in the right places. This also means adding keywords in H1 tags, which makes it more visible in SERPs.


An SEO-friendly web design makes it easier for visitors to spot your page on a search engine. More visitors means more potential leads and eventually more sales.


2. Improves Reputation


Yes, a well-constructed website not only builds trust but also builds reputation. Many websites are great to just scroll for because they have good design elements that capture one's interests.


Nearly 84% of people check online for product reviews before making a purchase. So, when buyers visit your web page, it must be convincing enough to make them want to buy your products.


By creating SEO-friendly website designs, you are making them tailor-made for your target customers. When they find websites easier to navigate and seamless, they start building more trust with the brand.


3. Boosts Conversion


With an SEO-friendly website, you are improving the opportunity for customer engagement. This can happen only when the design elements are right and help the customer navigate the right way within the web pages.


Also, engagement is good for websites as it improves website activity and results in a reduced bounce rate. This can, over time, lead to potential leads and sales.


4. Boosts Sales


Customers do proper online research before deciding to buy a product. So a good website with a proper responsive design and other elements is a great opportunity for you to show your customers your potential.


It is also great because when customers find your website convincing, they are more likely to refer your brand to their friends and family. This again helps in boosting sales and improving the customer base.


Website Design Mistakes & SEO FAQs


Q1. What are the three common website design mistakes that many make?


A website’s design should be SEO-friendly. Here are some common web design mistakes that people generally make that can affect SEO in a big way.
Too much content and no proper alignment - This is one of the very common web design mistakes that people should avoid. Yes, information is important, but one also has to know how to present it to the readers.


Missing CTA - Some web designers either miss the CTA or make it so difficult to find. CTA is the most important element that can boost direct sales. If this is not easily visible, then customers are more likely to leave your page.


No responsive design - Responsive design is the basic need for any website. Most of your customers are likely to check your website through a mobile phone or any other gadget like a tab. Your website should be responsive enough to adapt to various screens.


Q2. Is page speed an element of web design?


Yes, page speed is very important for website design, and all designers should make sure they check on this before letting their website go live.


Customers have a very short attention span, and everyone in two customers prefers a website that takes less than two seconds to load. If page speed or the laid time is not fixed, then there can be a possible spike in the bounce rate.


Q3. What should website design mistakes be avoided when it comes to SEO?


Some major website designs to avoid when it comes to SEO are:

1. H1 Tags - H1 tags are not only important to maintain website design but also for good SEO. When you insert H1 tags, it makes it easier for Google to crawl and understand what your website is all about. Also, H1 tags with keywords are like a cake with whipped cream! Always include catchy H1 tags with impressive and thought-provoking copies.


2. Security - A visitor will explore your website only when they know that their information is safe or their personal information is not tracked. Some websites do not concentrate on a security-first approach that often lands them in costly results. A secured website is not only good but also builds trust and loyalty among users with your brand.


3. Improper Navigation - Visitors would like to know what has to be done on the website. For example, a website with improper navigation can annoy the visitor and may not let them explore further. This can also increase the bounce rate, which is not a good sign for any healthy website. So, it is always advisable to have a website with proper elements that show the right navigation, so readers are not confused.


Joseph Schneider is the Director of Marketing at Haitna, who generates best-in-class posts related to search engine optimization, social media marketing, PPC, marketing automation, and more.

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