When creating your custom website design, it’s easy to forget the ever-important component of optimizing your site for search engine ranking. While providing rich and relevant content to your users is one of key factor to improving your ranking, basic best practices of web design also influence your website visibility. Here are 5 basic SEO mistakes to avoid when designing your website.
1. Static Title Tags
Keyword enriched content, though crucial, is not enough for optimizing your site. Often times, a website’s title tag remains static from page to page, without giving any indication of the content contained on each page. Any good web design firm knows the simple fix is to make the title tag inside the head of the web page dynamic so that it updates along with the content contained in the page. This helps web crawlers parse a page’s content and rank it accordingly.
2. Keyword Stuffing Meta-Tags
In the early days of SEO, a common practice for ranking in search engine results was taking relevant keywords and injecting them into the meta-tags contained in the head of a web page. Those days are over, and top web design companies avoid such practices. Now, the emphasis is placed on the relevance on the actual content itself. However, it’s still important to contain relevant meta-descriptions for each page on a website. This can be done by making the content of the meta-description dynamic, just like the page’s title tag.
3. Messy URLS
Professional website design often makes use of dynamically generated URLs; you see this a lot with PHP and custom WordPress sites with long strings of parameters at the end of the web address. Though functional, these kinds of URLs can confuse web crawlers, which can hurt your page’s ranking. Instead, use clean, easy-to-read URLs that contain the keywords related to the page’s content.
4. Broken Links
The science of SEO involves making use of both internal and external links to relevant content. Broken links can have an adverse effect on your page’s ranking. Keep your links current to avoid this. Professional web design companies make sure broken links are immediately corrected or redirected for a 404 page.
5. Duplicate Content
Content that originally appeared elsewhere, either on your site or on another site, can have a negative impact on search rankings by excluding the duplicate content from its search engine results. Canonical tags that either redirect to the original page or indicate where the original page is located clears up this misunderstanding and helps search engines to rank pages appropriately.