How a bad website design hurt your SEO

How a bad website design hurt your SEO

Ever heard the phrase: Web design can make or break your SEO? Well, despite having spent a handsome amount on SEO, your website’s overall design can still ruin everything. Also, it happens quite often, especially in forums where website managers and e-commerce shop owners interact to share ideas. Knock into any one of them and scroll through the conversations and you’ll discover how rampant this issue is.

It is no longer debatable whether websites of today are exclusively designed for us, humans, or search engine. Since they are meant to appeal to both the user and the algorithm, designers are expected to never sacrifice beauty over functionality or vice versa. The tragedy with SEO in web development is, a majority of web designers intentionally ignore it, saying it “limits their artistic possibilities.”

Quite frankly, the number of ways a bad website can tie down even the best of all SEO practices is staggering. For the sake of this article, we’ve highlighted the most notorious of them all. Have a look!

1. Overused pop-ups or interstitials
website Overused pop-ups
Pop-ups and interstitials can be useful and even give your website a competitive edge over the rest of the pack. But ever since Google warned against excessive or needless use of intrusive interstitials and pop-ups, their harm in SEO has grown tenfold. They can be a pain in the butt, and I know you’ve had to exit one or more websites because of irritating pop-ups, especially the unpleasantly popular subscription sign-up popups.

2. Splash Pages and too much flash
website with flash
For quite many website owners, eye-catching splash screens are a fantastic addition to the elegance of their sites. However, unbeknown to most of them, Splash pages and flash, Java applets and all those other non-textual content can devalue SEO or, worse yet, kill it quickly. The search engine crawlers fail to index them since they may not see any content in them. As if that is not enough, visitors might get irritated by the flash and thus go away.

3.When H1 to H6 tags are absent, especially on its homepage
H1 to H6 tags
It’s unbelievable how a website can operate with everything that appeals to our eyes – a beautiful background picture, a well-thought-out font, and a fresh color scheme. However, still, fail to rank in search engines. In fact, with zero H1 through H6 tags, search engines will not index it since search engine crawlers look for it when trying to read what the site is all about!

4.Large Images and Files
Large Images and Files
We all admire beautiful sites because of their heartwarming imagery. However, when the file is too heavy for nothing, the site will most definitely load slowly, something that hurts SEO.

5.Inscribing text into the image
Text and SEO
Here, the good habit is to include a text layer over an image so that it is independent of the actual photo. However, many people choose the easier, detrimental route of inscribing text into the image. Doing this may appear cool until you note that the search engine doesn’t “see” the image the way we do it. In the end, it will not index it, and the same image will look poor on a mobile device.

6. Frames
The frame makes it really difficult for search engines to find valuable content since the framed websites use three HTML files instead of one, causing all kinds of conflicts with indexation.

7. Lack of Breadcrumbs
Lack of Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumb not only noticeably increase the user-friendliness of a website but also significantly improve the search engine performance. Unfortunately, lots of designers ignore it despite that it provides a transparent hierarchical navigation structure for the search engine.

8. Neglecting the navigation standards
the website navigation
Some designers with no SEO knowledge believes that creating a totally weird site with no regular navigation elements would make it unique and attractive. That’s going to be a tragedy for the site owner since a navigation that is properly organized is essential both for visitors and search engines.

If we can not apply the creative art properly, the poor structured internal links will harm your ranking and reputation. The global navigation bar has to be present on each page; otherwise, users might get lost.

9. Improper 404 Error Page and illegible text
404 Error Page
A cute 404 error page gives your site a bit of humor. It will also improve the user experience and complement the overall SEO value. Otherwise, the broken link may hurt link-building and still increase the visitor bounce rate. However, this intention for creativity might lead to the neglect of other essential factors, such as the link to return to the website.

Illegible text, on the other hand, is a complete turn-off. There are a lot of different ways that poor website design can hurt our SEO. A designer can create a perfect artwork and still be ultimately worthless if it can’t be searched by users. If brought to the design process early, an SEO specialist will significantly reduce costs by helping you get everything right the first time around.

Johanna is Director of Business Development of DBWebs. She offers practical advice on website designing and building for individuals and business owners on how to get more exposure online and get more leads. She believes in branding with fantastic design and well-structured search engine optimization.