If Google is your target search engine world to generate leads and conversions for business, do give importance to search-engine friendly design. It is primarily because Google has incorporated design among important considerations for indexation and search ranking. Besides, design plays an important role in search engine optimization and user experience. Website designs may be appealing and inviting on the surface. But, functional issues with design may affect the search engine health of websites. Most of the times, these functional issues are SEO mistakes in context of design. In this article, I picked 5 common SEO mistakes in web design and explained their solutions too.
Search engines understand text better than images. Image based navigation may not be as functional as text based navigation to search engine bots. Pure text based navigation is not a better option too. Text-over-image technique, the middle path between text and image, is the best. It is linked to CSS. Text based navigation of the headers of websites is always recommended. It is because graphics, though beautiful, does not work as effectively as the header text from SEO viewpoint. Keywords in the header text are both user and search engine friendly. If images are to be used for header navigation for the design sake, proper image optimization for search engines is a must.
Improper breadcrumb trail
According to Google’s current algorithmic guidelines, user friendliness of websites is very important for search engines. A perfect order of breadcrumbs through the pages of a website represents user-friendly navigation that search engines value for ranking. Search engines easily read and index text links which make a clear navigation hierarchy easing the use of websites even for first-time users.
Mobile version of website
The mobile version of websites has become a need in the face of increasing use of mobile devices. Many website owners are in two minds about the usefulness of independent mobile version of a website. Google’s Matt Cutts recommends responsive design over a separate mobile site for SEO advantage. The mobile version of a website has a different URL. One of the biggest disadvantages is that PageRank is divided between an existing website and its mobile version. It is not the case with responsive design.
Websites with frames
Websites with frames are not rare to be found though the use of frames has become obsolete. It does no good to websites in SEO terms. Search engine bots find it difficult to read and index website content because of frames. It is mainly because frames hide content to search engines. More than one HTML file in framed websites creates an issue with indexation of website content. Using frames in design is a great SEO mistake.
Incomplete 404 page
Improper 404 page design is one of the SEO mistakes. Web designers may implement some humorous ideas to create custom 404 pages. A link back to the website is one of the most important requirements for navigation. It enhances the user experience and improves SEO health at the same time. If the link is missing from 404 pages, search engines will find no way to the websites. Search engine ranking of the sites will fall.
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