Why do you create a website for your business? There could be various reasons for having a dedicated website for your business but none more important than having a digital presence. In today’s hyper-connected world, if your brand doesn’t have a digital footprint, your brand does not exist.
What if you get a website to have a digital presence but still your brand is nowhere to be found? As a business, you don’t want that but this is exactly what happens when you don’t design your website with search engines in mind. Business owners make web design mistakes that cost them their rankings and brand visibility as well as revenue.
In this article, you will learn about common web design mistakes that push your website down in search engine rankings.
1. Non-Mobile Friendly Website
With the ubiquity of mobile devices and access to high-speed internet connectivity on the go, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the web. If you don’t have a responsive website, you will be losing out on this huge user segment. That is not all; Google is also penalizing websites that have non-mobile friendly designs and pushing such websites down its search results.
If you still don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you might have bear the brunt in terms of lower rankings on search engines. What this means is that fewer people will visit your website and your conversion rate will be low. Moreover, Google has also released a separate index for mobile, which goes to show how much importance search engines gives to a responsive website.
2. Annoying Pop-Ups
Your marketing team might convince you to use pop-ups to promote different offers but if you are using huge pop-ups that covers the entire page or content, then you might get penalized by search engines like Google. Yes, pop-ups are great for conversions but make sure you use them where needed and make them as less intrusive as possible. Search engines pay a lot of attention to user experience. If the pop-ups are hampering the user experience of your website and users are bouncing off it, search engines will push it down its rankings. If you go overboard with pop-ups, it can frustrate users and they will abandon your website. As a business, you want your visitors to stay longer on your website so you should use pop-ups only when necessary.
3. Slow Page Load Times
Another important factor search engines take into account is page load times. If your website is loaded with all the bells and whistles such as fancy animations, high-resolution images or videos, it will take longer to load. This does not go down well with search engines. According to research by Kissmetrics & Chicago web design company, almost half of your visitors will abandon your website if it fails to load in less than 3 seconds. What’s worse is that they will never come back to your website and won’t recommend it to others. Get rid of extra baggage and make your website nimble so it can load instantly because users expect an instant response from your website when they visit your website. Any delay can increase your bounce rate as the user leaves your website.
4. Ignoring Heading Tags
Another common mistake that most businesses make is that they neglect heading tags and meta tags. Have you ever paid close attention to a search result? If you have then you might never ignore heading and meta tag because that is what shows up in search results. Search engines assess what your web page is about by meta title and meta description so they can present the right result on right query. Take advantage of heading tags and include keywords in title and meta description. This will increase your chances of ranking for that particular keyword.s
5. Poor Implementation of 404 Pages
When a search engine crawls your website, it looks at all the pages of your website and if your website has broken links or pages with 404, then it sends a negative signal to search engine. Run a website audit and make sure all links are properly working. Use a site map to make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. Even if you have 404 pages on your website, make sure you display the right message and ensure they are implemented correctly otherwise, it can negatively affect your rankings.
6. Excessive Use of Flash
In the quest to make your website look appealing, web designers tend to go overboard and excessively use flash. Yes, this might make your website look great but it will also make your website heavy. This means that it takes longer to load. What’s more, flash is also not compatible with all web browsers, which makes using too much flash a risky option. Users might bump into compatibility issues and will never visit your website again. For a business, that is a much steeper price to pay to make their website look good. There are other alternatives you can use instead of flash.
7. Lack of Internal Links
You land on a website but could not figure out how to navigate to different pages of the website. What will be your reaction be? You will abandon the website, right. As a business, it is your duty to make the user experience of your website as smooth as possible and allow users to jump to any page of your website. Despite this, many businesses don’t focus on adding internal links. The easier you make it for users to explore your website, the more they will explore. Add internal links to make website navigation less of a hassle for users.
Which is the biggest web design mistake you have made that has negatively influenced your search engine rankings? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.