SEO and web design tend to go hand-in-hand. Google not only LOVES websites that are user-friendly and make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, they are happy when their SEO principles are followed as well.
Google is all about user experience and since SEO and web design tend to go hand-in-hand, Google is pretty clear about what they like (and don’t like) about your website.
Download the SEO Cheat Sheet for Web Designers & On-Page Optimization Checklist
So keep these nine pointers in mind when designing your website and be prepared to start seeing your website traffic go up!
1. Slow page speed
A slow-loading website equals a bad user experience. The faster your website loads, the lower your bounce rate will be and visitors are more likely to stay on the website. So if you don’t want users to fall off, make sure the website loads quickly.
Luckily, there are free tools that will help you to test the website’s speed on both desktop and mobile and see what is causing your website to load slowly.
Good Website Speed Tools to Use:
Search Engines like Google, crawls the website not just for information but also for detecting the presence of malware. So, if the website is infested with malware – intentional or not, it will be detected by Google and will lead to a fall in search engine rankings.
Here are some great tools to detect malware on your website:
3. Duplicate Content
As a webmaster, you must avoid creating duplicate content. While it maybe non-malicious in nature, but it can be a bad user experience for the visitors who will see substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results. Google tries very hard to show pages with distinct information, and hates it when content is deliberately duplicated across domains in order to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic.
Here’s more information from Google Search Central.
4. Offering little or no value
It’s 2021. If you think stuffing keywords into a web page can get you to rank on search engines, think again. A website that does not offer valuable content or isn’t useful in terms of solving client queries, is no good. Visitors won’t like it and Google will not care for it. Create substantial content, add value to your visitors, and be genuine with your efforts. There are no shortcuts to it!
5. Bad Link Structure
Links are one of the most important factors for rankings. And not just backlinks, internal or external link are also very important.
Building unnatural links does not go down well with Google so always ensure high quality and relevant links are pointing to your website. Also have incoming links point to various pages of the website, not just the homepage.
And as far as internal links are concerned, it’s a good practice to include those with ALL of your content. It’s a great way for Google to know what your content is about.
6. Non-Secure Pages
Online Security is a big issue around the world and Google is not far behind when it comes to ranking secured website. It uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) as a ranking signal, which means that the sites having a properly installed SSL certificate are given preference in ranking over unsecured websites.
7. No Sitemap
A sitemap is essentially a file that lists all the web pages of your website. It’s not an absolute must for you to have sitemaps but it is beneficial of course, especially if you have a very large website. It gives Google information about the pages present on your website and makes it easy to crawl and be ranked accordingly.
8. Not Mobile Friendly
Mobile phones accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. Simply put, if your website is old, non-responsive, not mobile-friendly you’re not only going to lose 50% of the leads, but also will be penalized by Google. For some of the old websites, this may not be an easy ‘fix’ and you may have to redesign the entire website, but it is totally worth the pain.
9. Poor User Engagement
Google also tracks how the users are interacting with your website, and long are they staying on it. Visitors staying for long durations, clicking on the website, navigating to other pages are all taken into consideration while ranking your website in the search result. In short, what users do on your website affects how well your site performs in search results.
How to Improve the SEO of a Website?
Run a site audit test with SEMRush for 130+ technical and SEO mistakes. Get more details here.