In the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) the high quality of your website is essential in driving organic traffic to it. It’s not enough to simply do off-page SEO and forget about optimising what actually appears on your website, both for search engines and users.

The absolute best websites are both tailored to appease search engines indexers and users alike. Function should never be sacrificed for aesthetic appeal and this is true in the reverse as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common web design mistakes that jeopardise your SEO performance.

Lack of H1 tags

Even the most visually stunning website with lots of in-depth content won’t rank if it makes basic SEO mistakes like missing H1 tags. The H1 tag is often mistakenly not included on a website because web developers can’t see room for it.

This is a huge mistake because H1 tags are what search engines use to determine the subject matter of your page. Including your keywords in H1 tags is essential for helping your page rank for them.

Ideally, a H1 tag should be able to tell someone who has never seen the site before what exactly it’s about. For example, the heading “High quality cat food delivery” would tell someone that the website delivers a premium brand of cat food.

Large, cumbersome graphics and images

While having lovely, high quality pictures and graphics make your website visually ‘pop’, it also means the site can take longer to load for users. Large file size, HD photos and videos will slow down your website to a crawl when hosted directly on the domain.

Search engines prefer website that load quickly and will test websites to see how fast they load for the average user. If your website is taking longer than a few seconds to load, you will lose large amounts of traffic due to impatient users.

Search engines take this very seriously as they don’t want to serve their users with slow websites. This is why it’s essential to make sure you website’s performance is optimised and that you don’t clog up the site with high density graphics and images.

Annoying pop-ups

Pop-ups on your website that prompt users to sign up or subscribe to a mailing list can be useful calls to action (CTA) but they can also be highly intrusive. If not done correctly, pop-up can prevent users from accessing the main content of the page, leasing to a poor user experience (UX) and ultimately a higher bounce rate from the domain.

You probably know how frustrating it is to have a pop-up block what you were reading or watching, so don’t subject your site’s visitors to it either.