How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Harm SEO

How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Harm SEO pixelwork

How to Avoid 6 Common Web Design Mistakes That Harm SEO

We all agree that the best websites are designed for users and search engines, right?

That means you should never sacrifice beauty over function, or vice versa.

Check your website to see if its beautiful design is preventing your pages from ranking high in search engines.


Mistake 1: Lack of H1 tags (especially on the home page)

Imagine entering a website with a nice background image, a thoughtful font, and an elaborate color scheme. It looks awesome. Browsing through this site feels like a walk in a beautiful garden.

Too bad no one can find it in the search engines.

Because? Because very often web designers and developers forget the essential elements of SEO.

The most common offense is to remove the H1 tag just because there is no place on the page.

The H1 tag is one of the first elements that search engine crawlers will look for to determine what the page is about. Having this tag, and including your target keyword, will improve your chances of ranking higher.

Here is a website that has a clearly well implemented H1 tag:


This H1 tag helps Sock Fancy rank in the top three organic positions for many keywords related to “Monthly socks.”


If you want to explain to website designers and owners how the website will benefit from an H1 tag, present them with a five-second test. According to this test, if a user can easily tell what the website is about after just looking at it for five seconds, her user experience is good.

Typically, the easiest way to explain the purpose of the website is by using a descriptive H1 tag.


Mistake 2: Large Images and Media Files

Beautiful images make your website look amazing. But you must be careful with the size of your media files.

Including large images and videos can negatively affect the speed of your site, which can result in lower rankings.

Google rewards pages that load quickly.

How do you know if you have great content on your website and how can you fix it?

For a quick scan, you can use Google PageSpeed ​​Insights Test which will tell you exactly which images Google thinks are too large.


This test shows that the page can be further optimized by reducing the size of the images by 70%.

You can also use Screaming Frog as an alternative to identify large images and media files on your website.

Once you've identified those images, resize and/or compress them and re-upload them to your website.


Error 3: Popups

Recently, Google warned websites to avoid using intrusive interstitials and pop-ups.

User experience, especially on mobile devices, is very important to Google. When popups appear before your visitors can access the main content, they negatively affect UX and therefore SEO.

This might be a good time to reevaluate your popup strategy, especially if you're seeing a decline in organic traffic.


Mistake 4: Text on images

Surprisingly, this error is widespread. Instead of including a layer of text over an image, many website designers only include text on an image.

Why is it so bad?

For starters, search engines cannot “see” the image like people can. Therefore, search engines cannot “read” the text in the image. Essentially, it's the equivalent of not including text at all.

In the example below, the entire banner is one image. Because of that, the website is missing an H1 tag, a subheading, and main benefits that could be helpful for ranking higher for your target keywords.


Another reason why this design tactic is flawed is because it is not responsive. So on a mobile device, the text and button are going to appear very small, which causes a bad user experience.


Error 5: Infinite scroll

This popular web design technique can really hurt SEO performance when done incorrectly.

The infinite scroll feature loads more content as the user reaches the bottom of the page. If your pagination is not set up correctly, search engines will not be able to crawl your pages.

Let's say you have infinite scrolling enabled on your blog that has 100 pages. If you only show the 10 most recent posts by default, that's what search robots will see. Since robots crawl websites through links there is no way to know that there is more content on the page beyond the first 10 articles.

The good news is that you can make infinite scrolling pages search friendly. follow the instructions that Google Webmaster Blog provides and you will not have to make concessions between design and SEO.


Mistake 6: Thin content

Product and service pages are the most important pages on your website.

The higher rankings you can get for them with their target keywords, the more profit you will make. It's that easy.

Some of the common mistakes related to thin content:

  • Not having service/product pages on the website. By not putting these pages on your site, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to rank organically for your target keywords.


  • Have a page that lists multiple products or services. Best SEO practice is to have one idea/keyword per page. That way it's clear to search engines what each page is about and you can rank accordingly. Once you list multiple products or services on the same page, it becomes confusing and your website can lose rankings.


  • Have little text on your service/product pages. Once you have identified which service/product pages to include on your website, spend some time thinking about the text you will include on each page. If you have descriptive content that explains to your visitors what the benefits of working with or buying from you are, there is a greater chance that these pages will rank higher. There is also a higher chance of visitors converting into customers. It's a win-win!



Whether you're working on a new website or redesigning an existing website, don't forget these critical SEO elements. After all, what good is a beautiful website that no one can find or that offers a horrible user experience?