As many website designers have found out, striking a balance between website design and search engine optimization (SEO) is hard. On one hand, you want a beautiful website – maybe even artistic – to keep visitor traffic high. On the other, you want a site that ranks highly with search engines. Only then can it be visible to new visitors. To maintain this balance, SEO experts and web designers work together to avoid the following design mistakes that can destroy your SEO efforts.
1. Using Frames
Frames are the next thing to watch out for. In the past, most websites not only used them but were also designed to use them. However, this is no longer the case. Frames are now both obsolete and bad for your SEO. For, unlike a modern website that uses one HTML file, framed websites use three. This makes it hard for a search engine to index them.
2. Lack of Image Optimization
Images add visual appeal to any site, and without them, the number of people visiting your site will drop. However, ensure you first optimize all images to increase user experience and loading times. Also, use images with live text in place of those with only plain text. Search engine crawlers can read the former and not the latter. For this reason, plain text images have no SEO value.
But if you must use them, ensure they have ALT tags and a description. Finally, avoid using images for headers even if they add to your site’s visual appeal. Opt for header text instead for it contains important keywords that are important for SEO. If you’re still struggling and you live in the San Francisco area, you could always work with a San Francisco SEO firm that willperform an audit on your site and give you recommendations.
3. Too Many Pop-Ups
SEO places great emphasis on user experience, which pop-ups reduce. In fact, users find pop-ups so annoying they will close one the moment it appears. In addition, search engines do not bother to index pop-ups. So, if your site has too many of them, its rankings will fall. For that reason, avoid using pop-ups if you can, but if you cannot, then ensure they appear only once per session.
4. Splash Screens
Splash screens can have a disastrous effect on your website’s SEO. Despite their cool look, they act like a wall between your website and search engines. The flash and java applets that make such screens so eye-catching hold no SEO value. Search engine spiders ignore them all together, and for two reasons.
One, splash screens have no content and the little text they have is often non-contextual. Two, the screen acts as a homepage without navigation. The combination of these two factors hinders the proper indexing of your site resulting in poor SEO. So, to improve your SEO, abandon the use of splash pages. If you must use them, make sure they have a lot of contextual content.
The balance between SEO and design is possible if you do not focus on one at the expense of the other.