Countless websites – including some incredibly good-looking ones – have been built, designed and populated with little or no regard to Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO ‘campaigns’ and techniques are then viewed as an ‘additional service’. Or, as something that becomes a top priority when the website is live.
If you buy website design services that don’t have SEO upfront and central – from the beginning – two things may become apparent.
One is that you will then pay additional costs for something that should have been there in the first place. Second, you may find that your website design puts up obstacles to your ability to score highly in search rankings.
To be clear, yes, website design features (and flaws) can make it harder for your customers to find you when they search!
Factory Pattern designs websites that are highly conducive to performing well in SEO. We also get called in to rectify sites that are underachieving on organic website traffic. We know the issues, so here are five ways website design can harm SEO.
SEO done right enables your website to match the requirements of Google’s complex algorithms – computer codes and checks that judge, categorise and rank what they ‘crawl’ over.
Every piece of your website content should be geared towards making those crawlers – sometimes referred to as spiders – notice and value what they see. One of the most common website design flaws is repeated text, keyword stuffing and ‘fluff’.
If your website design doesn’t naturally incorporate a selection of simple principles – such as strong, original content, ‘breadcrumbs’, and text over images – it could be falling short on crawler control.
Websites clients can’t update easily
Now here’s the rub. The way search engine algorithms work is ever-changing. Google announces updates regularly. This means your website must be agile enough to facilitate quick content and design additions and changes.
If it is slow or problematic to keep your content and design fresh and vibrant, you simply can’t keep up!
Also, if you need to pay your digital marketing agency every time you update your website, it can be too costly to be thorough and prompt.
Your core layout has to be right, to make it easy for spiders to crawl across your pages and pick out valuable content. If your website is still designed on ‘frames’ that separate content out, you can be inadvertently losing out due to multiple spider ‘roadblocks’.
Gizmos and website features
Website design toolboxes are now bulging with an exciting range of ways to add ‘interest’; making static pages history.
This includes such things as ‘splash pages’, Flash features and Pop-Ups. They may look fabulous, but having too many ill-thought-out graphics and eye-catching elements can serve to create a barrier for SEO. These need to be used carefully, selectively and with textual context.
Load times, navigation and mobiles
This links to the above way that website design can impact on SEO.
Anything that makes the site slow to load or fiddly to navigate, is affecting your digital performance.
Think about it. If your website visitors are having to search hard to find what they need, having to complete multiple ‘clicks’, or wading through several steps to complete transactions, they will simply get cheesed off and go!
Google algorithms will similarly penalise websites built on poor navigation principles.
Also, if your website design doesn’t work well on mobile phones, your SEO suffers, as does your ability to interact with a large portion of your customers!
Website design is science, not art
Some of the ‘best’ website designers put the artistic process high on their agenda, and work hard to create something that their client – and target markets – will find aesthetically pleasing. That is not where the emphasis should be.
Factory Pattern believes websites should work hard to attract visitors, provide a powerful User Experience (UX) and put high lead conversion as the goal. Not that we don’t design fabulous-looking websites of course! We just marry that to websites that perform brilliantly too.