10 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO & How To Avoid Them

There are many common web design mistakes that can hurt your SEO & overall search engine rankings that you need to learn how to avoid & fix

By Claudio Pires
Updated on March 26, 2024
10 Common Web Design Mistakes That Hurt SEO & How To Avoid Them

You probably have a lot on your mind as a business owner or online marketer. You have to keep track of staff, inventory, and customers’ needs. But while it may seem easy to turn over the technical aspects of your business’s website to someone else, keep in mind that there are many common web design mistakes that can hurt your SEO and overall search engine rankings that you need to avoid at all costs.

By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking out help from local SEO services, you will be able to ensure that your site has everything it needs to rank well with Google and stay there.

Having an inconsistent style.

Consistency is key to a good web design. If you are trying to create a brand and have some consistency in your site’s design. It will help your visitors navigate and understand the content better.

For example, if one section of your website uses blue titles while another section has green ones. Or if the footer is at one place on one page but in another place on another page. Or if all of your paragraphs are single-spaced but sometimes they aren’t. These are all examples of inconsistency that can confuse users and hurt SEO efforts. By making the site harder to navigate than necessary.

If you want to keep your style consistent throughout your site (and who doesn’t?). Here are a few things that can help to avoid the common web design SEO mistakes or fix what hurt rankings:

Not keeping your site updated.

Your website is a reflection of your brand, so it’s important to keep it up-to-date. The last thing you want is for people to visit your website. Not see the latest information about your business or services. If a client wants to learn more about your products and services. They should be able to do so with ease by visiting the website. As a result a great way to avoid common SEO mistakes on web design that hurt rankings.

Your site should also be built using modern technology. That allows visitors to navigate through its pages with minimal effort easily. This will help establish trust between you and potential customers who may. Otherwise feel like they’re navigating an old site that hasn’t been up in years.

If content changes frequently (for example, if you have new features). Make sure those changes are reflected on all relevant pages of your website as soon as possible. So users don’t get confused when visiting different sections of the site at different times during that period of time. When these changes were made (or even months later). So, follow this to avoid or fix the common SEO mistakes that web design makes.

It’s important to remember that speed is a factor in SEO, but it also affects your users’ experience. Users want pages to load fast and they don’t want broken links.

If you don’t know how to check for broken links, Google has a handy tool that will help you find them (and fix them). Just type in your URL and make sure everything loads properly!

Making your site code overly complex.

Most developers know that writing simple, clean code is important for a variety of reasons. The more complex your site’s JavaScript and CSS are, the more difficult it is to maintain, debug and secure. When you’re building out a new site from scratch or updating an existing one. Make sure that you’re not adding unnecessary complexity.

If you have a lot of plugins on your website, be sure to check if there are any updates available. If not, ask yourself if they still make sense in 2018. Whether they add any value at all? If so, maybe it’s time to think about replacing them with something more modern or lightweight like JavaScript libraries like ReactJS or VueJS which can replace many of those plugins while being faster and easier to use!

Creating confusing navigational structures.

Navigational structure is an important part of your website and should be easy to find and use.

  • Be consistent throughout the site. If you have a main navigation bar at the top of your page, then make sure it exists on every page.
  • Use intuitive navigational structures, such as drop-down menus, breadcrumbs, search fields or tabs (not links). These are based on users’ expectations.
  • Make sure navigation is easy to scan by using lists rather than grids (avoid having too many options per row), bolding selected items and placing links in proximity (organize links into groups).

Having pages that aren’t mobile friendly: Common web design mistakes that hurt SEO

There is a good chance that your website isn’t mobile friendly and this design hurt SEO rankings.

You might think it’s fine to have an old-fashioned, desktop-only site for now because you don’t have many customers who use smartphones. Or maybe you just don’t want to invest in making it mobile friendly because your competitors aren’t doing it either (and they’re still ranking well). But if you do nothing, here’s what can happen:

  • Your site won’t be properly indexed by Google and other search engines (e.g., Bing) so no one will find it on their devices unless they know the exact URL of your website.
  • Google will penalize your site for not being mobile friendly—this means lower rankings and lower traffic!

Using poorly formatted URLs: Common web design mistakes that hurt SEO

The URL structure is the path that users take to reach a page on your website. Ideally, you want them to be able to remember it easily. If your URLs are the same for all pages, this isn’t possible.

For example:

  • https://www.example.com/products/product-name-1?variant=color&size=xl
  • https://www.example.com/products/product-name-2?variant=color&size=l

Having content that is not user-friendly.

  • Make it easy to read.
  • Use bulleted lists and images, where appropriate.
  • Keep paragraphs short, or break them up with line breaks.
  • Use headings, lists and sub-headings to break up the content into easily digestible chunks (this also makes it easier on the user’s eyes).

Publishing non-original content: Common web design mistakes that hurt SEO

  • It’s important to understand that simply publishing content, no matter how well-written, isn’t enough to achieve SEO success. You have to have original, unique and high-quality content.
  • In web design, this means using images or text with a link back to your website in them. If you copy the words from someone else’s blog or site without linking back to them then it is called plagiarism and Google will penalize your site for it!
  • There are many examples of websites being penalized for plagiarism – from small blogs with less than 500 monthly visitors up until large businesses on Forbes 500 lists!

Trying to do it yourself when you are not qualified or experienced.

If you’re not a web designer, don’t try to build your own website. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you with the basics and there are even free templates available that allow you to create your own custom design in minutes instead of hours or days.

If you don’t have the time or money to hire a professional web designer, then consider hiring someone part-time or consulting with an experienced SaaS web design agency on an hourly basis. It’s always better to invest in something when it’s still small rather than wait until it becomes too big of an issue, which is why hiring a consultant early on will save both time and money in the long run.

You can learn how to avoid these common mistakes, but you may want to seek out help rather than try to do things on your own.

You can learn how to avoid these common mistakes, but you may want to seek out help rather than try to do things on your own. If you’re not sure how best to proceed, consider starting with a web developer or designer who has experience working with SEO and can ensure that everything is up for search engines.

Common web design mistakes that hurt SEO conclusion

The good news is that most of these mistakes are things that can be up with a little effort. If you’re with problems about making them, there are plenty of people who will help you avoid them. You can hire someone with the right skillset or find someone who has been through the process before and knows how to address these issues quickly before they become big problems.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.