We always hear that Google’s search algorithm automatically figures out where websites should rank for keyword searches and that we can’t predict it. However, Google has given us insights throughout the years about what’s essential in improving our ranking in their algorithms. At the highest priority of the list: quality. Google needs to rank sites that satisfy the requirements of searchers; sites that give a positive experience. All things considered, that is how Google maintains its position as the most used search engine. If a site needs to rank highly, it should be providing its users with a good experience. Seems straightforward, right? And yet there are various sites that aren’t exactly hitting the mark. Here are 3 website design mistakes that harm SEO efforts.

Advertisements

To start with, not all website advertising is bad. Google understands that website owners need to make a profit off their website. However, ads should be background noise, not the main thing users see on the website. Website ads are divided into two categories: obvious and hidden. Obvious advertisements are terrible for clear reasons. They pop up in front of website content or take up prominent space on the page, compelling clients to look down to locate the content they’re searching for. In addition to being simply annoying, they can cause users to back off the website. Hidden ads are advertisements that are tricky in nature, similar to affiliate links placed in the middle of content that isn’t designated as sponsored links. These types of ads are much more effective at not only increasing the website owners advertising profit, but also ensuring the website content reaches the user.

Usability Issues

It should be simple for website visitors to explore the website, regardless of what device or browser they are utilizing. Today, all websites should have a responsive design (site automatically adapts to screen size) with developers performing ease of use testing across all major platforms. SEO work is wasted if it lives on a website that isn’t completely accessible or easy to see/utilize. The navigation should be worked in a way that makes it simple for visitors to discover what they are searching for within a couple of clicks. Slow page load time is another SEO-killer. Google won’t rank websites that take a long time to load since those websites have a bad user experience.

Bad Content

At its foundation, SEO is truly about content quality. Engaging content produces inbound connections that tell web crawlers that the page offers something of value and thereby rewarding the page with a high search rank for applicable keywords. If a website doesn’t have rich content, it won’t create user interest, and won’t rank well for competitive keywords. A website is one of the most essential touchpoints for a company’s brand and if there is poor content it will reflect poorly on the overall brand.

These are the most widely recognized mistakes that we see throughout websites. Search engine optimization requires significant amounts of time, effort, and resources. If you are putting resources into running an SEO campaign, the initial step is to guarantee that you have a website that is deserving and will benefit from the campaign.