Whether you’re creating a website for the first time or redesigning your existing site, it’s important not to forget about Search Engine Optimisation. If you’re in the process of a redesign, then you don’t want all the good rankings you’ve built up over the years to be lost because your new site isn’t properly optimised.
It’s imperative that you consult an SEO expert before designing and building your new site, as web design agencies often don’t give a SEO enough, if any consideration. Here are 5 common SEO mistakes web design agencies make, and why shouldn’t trust them with the optimisation of your site.
1) Making a site hard for Google to crawl in the name of art
One of the most common areas where web designers and SEOs clash is when making a site Google friendly is overlooked in the pursuit of the most visually appealing design possible. The overuse of Flash is one such problem, as Google cannot crawl sites which are predominantly designed using Flash.
Also the use of images are the sole form of navigation makes a site difficult to follow for Google, a compromise of text over image has to be found between designer and SEO. Similarly, employing a fancy image instead of a H1 tag for the main heading on your page is a sure fire way to damage your rankings, given that the H1 is one of the main ways of optimising a page for your given keyword.
2) Forgetting about mobile
In the world of SEO, the importance of a mobile friendly site is increasing day on day, with rumours that it could soon (or may already) be a ranking factor. An SEO savvy web designer will ensure that any new site is using a responsive design to ensure it works on mobiles and tablets. Unfortunately, this is not always commonplace, and a design agency which doesn’t prioritise SEO could overlook it.
3) Not leaving breadcrumbs
‘Breadcrumbs’ is the name for the process of leaving a link path from the page you’re viewing back to the homepage. This improves usability and also makes it easier for Google bots to navigate the structure of the site. Web designers who don’t consider Google’s crawling limitations often don’t include this kind of clear structure.
4) 404 errors
A custom 404 page is very important for usability and for keeping visitors on your site if they click on a broken link. Sometimes web designers will spend a lot of time on attractive or humourous 404 pages but omit a link back to the homepage, which is crucial in keeping potential customers on your site for longer.
5) Treating SEO as an afterthought
The previous 4 issues are essentially the result of not considering the SEO impact of your design before you begin the process. If SEO is treated as an afterthought, you are already on the back foot in terms of competing for those top rankings. The only way to give your site the best chance of ranking high in Google is to include SEO best practices in the foundations of your website structure.
This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on having a stylish, modern looking site, but simply that you need to ensure that your site is search friendly as well user friendly. The two often go hand in hand.
The SEO Works
If you’re about launch a new site or redesign your existing domain, you should speak immediately with an SEO company. The SEO Works has over ten years experience in the industry with a proven track record of producing results. Contact us today to ensure you make the most of your new website.