Website Redesign Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

Friday, October 29th, 2010

What may seem like a small mistake that is made along the way while designing a website can actually cause major hurdles later on. There are just some website design mistakes that cannot be made or else the ability for search engines and for people to find the site can be greatly hindered or even lost completely in the process. Here’s a look at some website redesign mistakes that you really can’t afford to make.

It’s My Domain and I like It! Well, that’s fine, your domain is in fact your own little piece of internet property but that does not mean that you need to go posting your domain name all over the place. Most of all, avoid using the domain name in your website title. Here’s the reason: the domain is already being seen by search engines so any positive keywords that are in there are being picked up and your site is getting credit for that, but you need the most credit you can get, don’t you? So, why waste credit that you have already received by using up title space to repeat yourself?

Titles should be keyword rich text that is separated by solid vertical dashes such as this: Here’s my title with lots of keywords | and here’s another example of keyword use. And don’t forget that you need to keep the title generally 60 characters or less for maximum visibility and so that half of your title does not get left out in search.

Titles aren’t the only place you can get in some keywords. The headings on each web page are another place where you can easily sneak in some keywords that will help the search engines to determine what your website is about. Here’s the key: You already have your domain name which hopefully relates in some way to what your site is about and now you have a title that uses additional keywords to tell the search engines what the site is about, now you need confirm that by creating headings (H1 tags) that use similar keywords and reiterate what you have in the title. These don’t have to be the same as the title, in fact the headings should be different but they should relate specifically with the titles.

More about tags, Meta tags are vital to the human eye and the search engines. The title will be seen by both the search engines and the human eye so it’s important that the title is catchy but also keyword rich in order to draw in both the human reader and the search engines. Your meta tags such as meta description tag is another place where you can get in some keywords and also draw in a reader. Think of the website meta description as your way of getting the reader to visit the site…in 150 characters or less of course!

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only to the human eye. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made during website design or redesign is to include pictures on a site without including appropriate image alt text for the pictures. The search engines can not tell what an image is and therefore must be told in words. Here’s another great way to get some of those keywords into your website, just make sure that the alt text that you use to describe the image to the search engines relates specifically with the “theme” of the page and correlates with the title, meta description and headings previously used.

Taking the time out to make these adjustments during the website design phase can help assure that your website is found by both readers and the search engines from the start. Avoiding common mistakes is just one way to prevent future changes and redesign issues. After all, you want your website to be designed right from the start—don’t you?

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