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Common Web Design Mistakes that Negatively Impact Your SEO

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If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or web designer looking to increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), some common mistakes can negatively impact your SEO even before you have a chance to create any content for the website. Here are some of the top ones to avoid.

  • The first mistake is not having an XML sitemap on your site. Without this critical file, it’s hard for Google or other search engines to crawl and index your pages correctly.
  • Another big no-no when it comes to designing a site is using Javascript menus instead of HTML-based ones. For example, if you have multiple pages in the navigation bar that link to different landing pages, all of these links need to be coded separately. Otherwise, Google will only see one page instead of your entire website. This makes it harder for them to crawl and index your content correctly, which can hurt your SEO efforts.
  • A third mistake is using Flash on websites because search engines cannot read this type of code. Furthermore, users trying to find information via search engines will not get any results since they do not know how to navigate through flash files.
  • The fourth will be making sure your website is responsive, so the layout scales to any device’s screen size. This allows you to have a mobile-friendly site that looks great on desktops, laptops, and other devices.
  • The fifth will be redirecting 404 pages back to essential landing pages for users or search engines. You don’t want these broken links showing up in Google results because it makes them look bad when they know there are dead ends out there people cannot access.
  • Sixth will be avoiding too many ads if you’re trying to make money via Adsense since this clutters up your design and reduces page speed times, which can impact SEO efforts negatively as well.
  • Seventh would be not using alt tags for images since these are the only way to add keywords to image files, and they help with SEO efforts. Also make sure that the images are optimized (compressed) before you upload them to the site. Uncompressed images will make the page heavy adding to load time of site.
  • The next step is to make sure that the site is appropriately linked with other vital pages.
  • Lastly, the last mistake is having an improperly coded robots.txt file, or worse yet, one that’s completely missing since this makes it harder for search engines to crawl and index your site content appropriately.


If you want to ensure that your web design is working for, not against, your SEO efforts and website conversion rates, avoid these common mistakes. By following the tips outlined in this post, you should be able to improve your site’s performance across all channels. We hope we’ve been helpful!

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