When trying to rank well, many webmasters will think about standard search engine optimization techniques. For example, having a lot of high quality content, several incoming links from other websites and using good keywords are all ways that a website can rank better in the search engines.
Unfortunately, sometimes the design of the website may be the last thing thought about when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) and the website’s design can actually hurt how much traffic the website receives and where it is listed in the search engine results.There are a lot of website design no-nos that a designer or webmaster can make that will effect SEO and the amount of traffic the website receives. It is important to note these items before a website is started because it is harder to correct these mistakes if the website already contains them in its design.
Here are 5 website design no-nos that can hurt a website’s SEO and how much traffic the website generates:
- Using flash and graphics on the website can add eye pleasing effects, but it can also be a big no-no when it comes to SEO and usability depending on where the flash and graphics are placed. If graphics or flash is placed in the website’s navigation, then the search engine crawlers that download the website’s information and takes it back to the search engine, may not be able to navigate the website. This means that some of the website’s pages might not be indexed by the search engines.
- In relation to number 1, using too much flash or too many graphics on a website may slow the website’s speed down too much. Not all Internet users have high speed connections and those with slower connections may not be able to view information if it takes too long to load. Therefore, the user may just leave the site never to return and search engine’s like websites that are quick to load and value quick loading websites over slower loading ones.
- Another web design no-no is using colors that are too bright, too dark or that are too contrasting. While the search engine’s don’t particularly care what color a website is, users do. If a website is hard on the eyes or is not visually appealing, then Internet users may not come back if they land on the website’ nor will they pass along information about the website to others.
- Using old technology such as using frames is not appealing to the user and sometimes the search engines can view frames as being deceptive. Frames used to be popular in the mid to late 1990’s when connection times were slower and webmasters needed to squeeze more information onto one viewing area.
- Finally, the last web design no-no is to use offensive pictures or graphics. It is good to note that people from all backgrounds and from all ages may at one point or another land on the website. The design should be neutral so that anyone who lands on it will not find any visual aspect or any other aspect of it offensive.
There are plenty of web design mistakes that can be made on websites. By knowing which ones to look out for, designers have a better chance of pleasing both the search engines and the users who visit the site.