Outdated Website Design Techniques That May Harm Your Site’s Search Ranking
October 5, 2016
In the modern online business environment, having a good website design goes hand-in-hand with search engine optimisation (SEO). Without the former, there are limits to the effects of any work done towards the latter. In fact, given the fast pace of development in web design, there is also a chance that some of the older practices that may have been fine in the past are now actively harming your website.
There are a number of web design techniques that you should consider moving away from if you want to stay up-to-date with the modern search environment, including the below.
Using Tables Extensively In The Layout
There are a few reasons why tables, outside of those loaded from CSS, can cause complications with SEO. For one, the code used to generate even a simple table is often quite complicated, with a number of tags being used to create the table itself, its rows and columns and to dictate column and row lengths. All of this tends to mask the content that is in the table, making it harder to access for spiders. Secondly, nested tables, that is tables built straight into a webpage, also take longer to load. This can cause issues in the eyes of search engines.
The use of infinite scrolling is a mixed bag. On one hand, if your goal is to serve up pages and pages of fresh content to users it can certainly have its uses. However, if you want to provide visitors with an easily-followed navigational structure that gets them where they need to go as quickly as possible you will find that infinite scrolling causes more issues than it solves. In such cases your visitors might feel like they’re being overpowered by the sheer volume of content presented to them when they are just looking for something specific, which is a poor user-experience that may count against you.
Though it may be considered something of a time saver, lazy loading prevents text and images from being loaded until visitors reach the relevant part of the screen. While this isn’t so bad for the user, it also means that search engine spiders suffer from the same restrictions. This results in the spiders only picking up a limited amount of information compared to what is actually on the page, making your webpages seem less content-rich than they might actually be in the process.
No Mobile Configuration
It is a point we have visited before, but it is always worth going over again. In terms of search, mobile design is exceptionally important. The majority of web searches are now done using mobile devices, so if your website is unable to reflect that you will struggle in search rankings, particularly the ones that are specifically made for mobile devices. In the modern web design environment the favoured solution is responsive web design over having a mobile website built, as it cuts costs for the business while still offering a strong experience to all users.