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Web Design Mistakes

by Lee Smith compiled from Smitty's Blog

Website Design Mistakes #1 - Frames

May 4th, 2007

This is the biggest website design mistake that will effect the marketing and search engine ranking of almost any website - FRAMES!

The search engine spiders will hit the main frame usually the index.html and see nothing - just the html code on the page and move on. The core information is usually on the pages being drawn into the frames, but the frame commands have been abused in the past. Drawing web pages from other websites into the site owner's frames, as if the content is owned by the site drawing it in. This is a huge no-no with the search engines. 

Site owners wanted to maintain control of the visitor - similar to the way about.com operates. But those web pages will not get indexed.

In the light of keeping things short and easy to read - The only other thing I want to say is - avoid frames - end of story.


Website Design Mistake #2 - Too many images

May 5th, 2007

Too many images and not enough text will never get a web site found.

You must have text on the web page for the search engines to digest. Images offer nothing for the search engine spiders to read. Although the use of image alt tags are recommended for all images, the alt tag does not carry the same weight as text, bold, italic and especially hyper linked due to web designers stuffing the alt tags with keywords and information that has nothing to do with the web page.

If you use an image, you need an alt tag. 

Balance the images and text on every web page. Your content will be the primary factor in your rankings. You need to ask yourself "Does your web page convey a message?" Ask yourself what the message is? If you can answer it from what you read off your web page then you are on target.


Website Design Mistake #3 - Doorway pages

May 9th, 2007

In the past, doorway pages were heavily used to help web site rankings, but the search engines have gotten more complicated and those web pages are not supposed to work any further.

Doorway pages are designed to have text intensive content with unusually high keyword content and links back to a web site. Usually doorway pages are stand alone web pages that link to the web site, but the web site does not link to it.

Search engines consider doorway pages as spam so avoid using them. It's better to put the effort into building your web pages with the proper content with a balance of images. Most importantly - update or add new content on a regular basis. Give your customers and the spiders something to come back to.


Web Design Mistake #4 - Pop Up Pages

May 9th, 2007

I hate automatic pop up pages but the search engines seem to ignore them. I do not see any indication that Javascript initiated auto pop up web pages are flagged by the search engine spiders, so I feel it may not impact a website rankings.

More than anything else most visitors hate them.  That fact alone should make people stop using them. Many web browsers offer the option to automatically block pop up web pages.

So will the automatic pop up ads effect your rankings, I sadly feel it does not, but I still would not use them.


Web Design Mistake #5 - the redirect

May 15th, 2007

You must be careful with this technique. Redirection can be very useful, but at the same time if done improperly can ruin a page ranking.

The safest way to redirect to another web page is using a server side 301 redirect in the htaccess file. Depending on the search engine, the results will be evaluated based on the algorithms of that search engine. Some search engine will not recognize the web page any longer. The 301 redirect tells the search engines that the web page has moved permanently. 

If you are using a redirect technique using metatags in a web page you submit to a search engine - it will be ignored or your web page will loose rankings. Too many people over the years use to use that techniques for doorway pages or other to setup a domain to point to another domain and the search engines caught on.

This is an example of a redirect I do not suggest to use:

<META HTTP-EQUIV=Refresh CONTENT="3; URL=http://www.somewhwere.com">

You will get severely penalized, so I feel it's a total waste of time. 

I have seen Javascript redirects, but again I feel you get nailed for that as well. 

If you have to do a redirect, use the server side method. 


Web Design Mistake #6 - Invisible Text

June 15th, 2007

This has to be one of the biggest issues I have ever seen. Web designers adding a load of keywords to the bottom of a web page in the same color text as the background.

I think the search engines have figured that out. It is the equivalent of keyword stuffing.

Sure it may work briefly, till the filters kick in. Then you will be lucky to be found at all or even banned on a search engine.

 

Web Design Mistake #7 - The Splash Page

How many times have you visited a website and you had to "click here" to enter? That has to be one of the biggest turn offs. You normally see a beautiful image with very little text. It looks cool one time, then it becomes a constant annoyance to the visitors that continue to your website.

Even more troubling, is the search engine spiders will visit that one page and leave, unless there is some sort of link to the other pages on the site. This type of page almost always will help lower your ranking. I think the search engine will feel the main web page offers very little as far as hyper links and content.

It is always much better to hit the main website then a splash page.


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