In the digital era, every business knows the importance of a website. While you may think it’s simply the online representation of a company, a website is much more than meets the eye.
Despite the role websites play in today’s modern business landscape, many company owners continue to commit SEO mistakes in the process of designing their sites. There are plenty of websites that get lost in a sea of digital competition, compromising their overall business success. How do you make sure you aren’t one of them?
In the following section, we'll discuss the way a website, its design, and its SEO capabilities are related. We’ll also tackle five common SEO mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. Keep on reading to learn how to kick your SEO game plan up a notch for the good of your business!
Websites in a Nutshell
A website is the visible reflection of your business image and identity. It’s the digital face of your brand that upholds your business ideals, core values, and philosophy. On a more specific note, it serves as an online hub where you can promote your products or services, cater to your audience, and reach out to your target market, as well as conduct business transactions.
Refining Web Design
Websites play a vital role in the modern business landscape. It goes without saying, then, that every business looking to attain success needs to create a robust web design. Whether you’re creating a brand new site or revamping an existing one, your goal should be to create a functional, aesthetically appealing website that not only draws in visitors but also provides them with a great user experience.
Although visual appeal and overall functionality is crucial to a website, they aren’t enough for success. After all, what good is pretty website if it cannot be found online in the first place? This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play!
The Power of SEO
If you don’t use a search engine at least once every day, you’re one of the (very small) minority. Just think about it. Whether you forget how to spell a word or can’t decide where to go for dinner, chances are that Google has the answers. Most people would rather type a query into a search bar rather than pick up a dictionary or consult a friend.
Statistics show that 93 percent of all online activities start with a search engine. Out of that number, 3 out of 4 won’t go beyond the first page of results. These two statistics alone make it abundantly clear that SEO is crucial to the success of the modern business.
So what is SEO, really? To put it simply, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, or natural search results on search engines. You can drive traffic to your website by ensuring your site gains online visibility and prominence. By employing a few smart SEO strategies, you can ensure that your site ranks high up on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Given the importance of a high ranking, keeping SEO in mind during the web design process is paramount. When executed well, your actions can send your site soaring upwards in the rankings while visitors flood in. This, in turn, translates to an increased number of leads and conversions. When SEO is done incorrectly, however, your efforts can hurt your website and cause a decline in profits.
SEO Web Design Mistakes to Avoid
While some SEO practices have been proven to be effective, others are harmful in the long run. Unfortunately, many companies aren't aware of a few common SEO mistakes they may be making in their web designs. They go about incorporating popular SEO strategies, only to find out later that these tactics have been harming their sites all along.
Knowledge is power when it comes to avoiding common mistakes. You have to be aware of everything you may be doing that can undermine your website's purpose. Once you have this knowledge, you'll do what it takes to avoid them by all means.
Below are five common SEO mistakes that you should avoid during the process of designing your website.
Mistake 1: No Goal-Setting
During the process of designing your website, one mistake that will start you off on the wrong foot is the failure to set goals. If you create a site and attempt to incorporate SEO-friendly features without thinking about your goals and business objectives, the outcome can be detrimental.
One of the most critical steps in designing a website is knowing what you want to achieve. After all, that’s where you start fleshing out your plans. Each website objective has to be aligned with your long-term business goals. At the same time, you must consider your ideal customers, who can be identified through research. Once you've finally established what your business aims to achieve and what your customers want, you can anchor your SEO pursuits on these set goals.
Mistake 2: No CMS Utilization
Another common mistake countless web owners make is failing to utilize an SEO-compliant content management system (CMS). Without one, it will be hard for you to manage all your content on your website. As Google algorithm determines the site's ranking by crawling and indexing content, the lack of a reliable CMS might greatly impact your SEO.
A good CMS is a crucial facet of a website. Simply put, a CMS is an essential optimization tool allowing you to have control over your content. At a minimum, your site should have the following CMS features: responsive design (flexible web design regardless of the device used for viewing), advanced analytics (for determining site functionality and identifying technical glitches), and optimized speed (faster loading time).
Mistake 3: More or Less Keywords
Despite the fact that Google’s algorithm puts quality and relevance above quantity, some web designers and site owners continue to stuff their content with too many keywords, thinking that it will help their ranking. Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum, we have those who use fewer keywords or none at all. Either extreme will have repercussions on your overall SEO efforts.
Keywords play a pivotal role in SEO by allowing search engine to direct users to relevant websites. That's why you need to conduct keyword research before you embark on your web design. Doing so will allow you to find a variety of specific, long-tail, location-based, and product-focused keywords suitable for your site's content.
While keyword stuffing is to be avoided, be sure to include a clear URL, good titles and headings, H1 header tags, image alt-text, internal links, meta title, meta description, and video descriptions.
Mistake 4: No Sharing Features
Neglecting the use of sharing features is another grave SEO mistake. These features exist for a reason. Failing to take advantage of them will compromise your brand awareness, website traffic, and link building efforts—elements that every search engine loves!
Sharing features are crucial since they allow visitors to share pieces of content from your site. Of course, we can’t disregard the fact that if you want people to share your content, it has to be appealing in the first place. Think about what your target audience may find useful and provide them with content they would want to share with their own circle. News, informational content, and how-tos often are great ways to do this.
Aside from ensuring the content you create is interesting, it also has to be highly shareable. In fact, visitors should be able to share a post in no more than two clicks. Try integrating social buttons and calls-to-action that encourage visitors to share. To complete the content, match it with a customized image that will catch readers’ eyes.
Mistake 5: No Plans for Post-Launch SEO
One last major SEO blunder that some web designers and site owners make is failing to plan a post-launch SEO strategy. They think that once their SEO strategies have been put in place, they can slack off. However, SEO is an ongoing marketing pursuit.
As the Google algorithm is constantly changing and updating, you will need to continuously put effort into your SEO to maintain relevance to search engines. It’s smart to sit down and come up with a post-launch strategy consisting of the following:
- A content strategy and calendar
- A social media component
- A list of keywords to pursue rankings in
- Clear, concise online business goals.
In the end, you should continue to roll out SEO initiatives to make sure your new website doesn’t grow stale in the eyes of search engines.
The Bottom Line
After all said and done, your website should rightfully serve its purpose. It has to be found online, cater to the right market, and allow customers to do business with you. During the process of a website redesign, be aware of these common SEO mistakes and avoid them at all costs.
As outlined above, make sure to set clear goals for your SEO strategy, utilize SEO-compliant CMS, take advantage of the sharing features, use just the right amount of keywords, and put together a post-launch SEO strategy. All these things can make a world of difference in your marketing efforts!
Work With Us
SEO can be rather tricky and novices can easily fall prey to a handful of common SEO mistakes. That’s why we think it's best to work with us. Every team member working on your SEO goals has a deep understanding and knowledge of these common SEO mistakes. When working on your website, they’ll do what it takes to keep you on the right track.
With Ranked, you can rest assured, knowing that we’ve got a strategy for your site. Whether you aim to drive more relevant traffic to your website or score a spot in the local 3-pack, we’re here to play a role in your overall business success! Start your free trial today!