Think copying your competitor’s SEO strategy or implementing every website strategy that you read about online will give you higher rankings? Think again!
Copying another website’s strategy can lead you down a rabbit’s hole of bad design, poor coding, and horrible user experiences.
So what website designs and layout techniques can kill your website and traffic?
Here are 2 things that may be killing your website and it’s SEO page rank.
1. Infinite Website Scrolling
You want people to scroll through all the unique, relevant, and timely content on your website. However, people and search engines get tired of scrolling after a while on a seemingly endless page. Plus, how can you possibly optimize a single page of content for every keyword or conversion?
- On-Page Speed Issues – Google already announced that slow websites are being flagged with a slow label on mobile devices. Don’t give them a reason to discount your website before your target market has had a chance to visit.
- Keyword Optimization Issues – A single page of content does not allow for keyword optimization – especially when you have multiple products and services on one page. Additional landing pages allow you to optimize each page for specific keywords and conversion funnels.
- Usability and Conversion Issues – People have a specific goal when visiting a website. Infinite scroll does not allow users to find their information easily, which leads to a decrease in conversion.
The Human SEO Solution:
Break your content into smaller and more easily digestible material with conversion funnels. If a visitor is looking for your contact information, make sure they can easily find it on its own landing page. Ultimately, don’t make your visitors think. Serving up the content quickly leaves them with a positive feeling about your business or brand.
2. Parallax Websites
This is one of my biggest pet peeves because of how horrible Parallax is for user experience and SEO strategies. A Parallax website is similar to an infinite scroll, but it is worse because there is inflated code to make it look pretty.
“Put simply, parallax is a way of creating a visual effect whereby an image that is closer appears to be moving at a different speed to an image that’s further away. This is usually achieved through layering of images. It works from a design perspective because it creates a sensation of depth and dimension.” (What’s a parallax website?)
- SEO Coding Issues – Although very pretty to look at, Parallax is coding all in one single file. People get the feeling of multiple layers and pages in the website when, in fact, Google (and the other search engines) see a single page and a huge amount of code. When you click on a navigation link, you don’t go to a new page; you drop down to another section on the same page.
- Not Mobile-Friendly – Remember from my prior article, Google LOVES mobile-friendly websites and Parallax is not mobile-friendly.
The Human SEO Solution:
Drop the Parallax design entirely! One of my clients didn’t listen to me and redesigned their website using Parallax design. What did Google think? Well, it dropped over 200 pages from their website and would only index 9 pages. Whoa! Needless to say, that client quickly dropped their “cool looking” Parallax design and had to spend another $10,000 to redesign their entire website.
One more thing…
I know you want a really cool website design and you can easily get that without killing your SEO strategy or frustrating your target market.
The problem is that too many businesses see awesome looking websites, but don’t realize that those websites have horrible conversion and search engine rankings.
Before you decide to copy your competitor’s website design or SEO strategy, do a competitive analysis to see how they are really ranking in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. You may be surprised that to find out that they are not your competitor at all.