This is a guest post by Modi who is an SEO and web design expert who works for a London based health spa and telling us today the 5 common seo mistakes that most of the web designers make while designing websites for their client and why you should know them being a client to avoid loss of search engine traffic.
Are you or your web designer just focused on the designing part of the website? Making a site looking pretty is great but design shouldn’t jeopardize other important factors such as:
A very common situation many web designers come across is that they design a great website that aesthetically is very appealing, has great photos, banners, fonts etc but after a few months the phone starts ringing with the client complaining about lack of visitors and traffic.
Great design is not going to increase traffic, although it may have a positive impact in conversion. The most important thing is visibility in the search engine results. A great site that doesn’t rank on search engine is similar to a site that doesn’t exist, unless it has a very strong brand name so people will specifically look for that.
Here are 5 major seo mistakes that a web designer may commit while designing your website and why you should be very careful with it…
1. Everything On Flash
As all SEOs know but many designers don’t, any Flash web-site is no threat to its competitors as it will be seen by Google as a ”black box” without any content. Flash is great for animation, games, illustrations, slideshows and pictures but why would you like to make the whole website using Flash? Just use it reasonably just where you need it and not everywhere!
There are some ways to make Flash SEO friendly but is there one person who believes that a rich-content HTML site can be overtaken by a Flash-driven site? It is very unlikely.
What is easy for a designer to make, and cheap for you to buy may be the cause why your site will never meet your expectations. And everyone know how expensive re-designs are, especially if everything has to be changed!
2. Poor URLs
This is very common seo mistake as web designers do not seem to grasp that keywords in the URL are gold!
Matt Cuts from Google has made it clear that Google imitates humans, so if something appeals to a human should appeal to Google too and vice versa.
- Very long URLs with various parameter/value pairs are definitely to be avoided.
- Displaying the whole site hierarchy in a URL is also to be avoided as the closer the key-phrase to the domain name, the more power it will gain!
3. Poor Page Titles
Keywords in the title of a HTML document are very powerful and have to be generated considerably. However, poor page titles is a very common seo mistake web designers make and it appears in many different forms such as:
Missing Titles – Those are pages without any page title so will be displayed in the SERPs as ‘Untitled Page’. Even though it sounds unlikely to happen, a search for “Untitled Document” in Google returns some 18 million pages!
Duplicate Titles – This is when two or more pages have identical titles. This usually happens because web designers have overlooked the page titles so they all end up being titles in the same way, depending on what title the template originally had.
Short Titles – This is a seo mistake in a sense that a short title won’t maximise the possibility to target a few keywords in the page title.
Long Titles – This is also called cannibalization and refers to the situation when too many similar keywords appear in the page titles different pages and search engines get confused as to which page to rank. The title should always reflect the unique content the page and nothing more than that.
Poor Keyword titles – This is another classic problem which occurs when designers include titles in natural language as if they are talking to someone. Stop words such ‘as a, and, or etc’ are always being ignored by search engines. Mixing keywords with other irrelevant words is also a bad practice as this way the weight of the targeted keywords will be devalued.
Brand Name in Titles – There is a tendency to include the brand name in the title of every single page. This is completely unnecessary and if you do it you will be sacrificing important keywords for something that:
- Appears in the URL
- Appears in the Logo
- People may already be aware
- People may not be interested in
Google can display a maximum of 70 of the characters that appear in the title so think carefully before you decide to waste some of those for something that is not so important.
4. Text In Images
Graphic designers love adding text in images, photos and banners because:
- They can create custom fonts that look unique and nice
- They can do them quickly
- They don’t know any other way to do it
- They don’t know how bad it is for SEO
5. 302 Redirects
Not all redirects are the same and many people seem to ignore that. There is a fundamental difference between permanent (301) redirects and temporary (302) ones. 302s are not recommended unless you really want to temporarily redirect a page to another one. 302 redirects, especially across different domains can create serious issues and should be avoided. With 301 permanent redirects you would play safe.
So that were the 5 most common seo mistakes web designers make. In case you are a web designer, make sure you make your client’s business search engine optimized, by not committing above seo mistakes.
Or if you are soon going to have a web design work for your website, then make sure you clear all these things with your web designer as a client and make your website design seo optimized.
Do let us know your thoughts about this article. If you know some more common seo mistakes that you have seen on websites that look more focused toward web design then do let us know that.
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