Avoid Using Too Many Links
While many websites offer advice on how to increase your search engine traffic, this slideshow provides examples of mistakes that web designers make that end up giving the website some of the worst traffic rankings possible. One example is the website shown here, by activist Bella De Soto, which contains far too many links on the main page - a well designed website should have no more than 150 to 200 links on any one page. Any more than that can significantly hurt your search engine ranking.
Don't Use Too Many Ads
Another thing that you could inadvertently do that could impact your website traffic is by stuffing the page with too many banner ads. While advertising might be one of the only ways your website generates any revenue (unless you sell products), adding too many ads will turn off most visitors and could also hurt your SEO rank if you've used too many of one particular ad tool (such as Adsense).
Use Meta Keywords Accurately
Another important feature of your website or blog that could significantly impact your ranking are the Meta keywords and description. While the value of these elements in increasing your ranking is no longer quite as great, the danger of decreasing your ranking by spamming too many similar (or unrelated) keywords is tremendous. The sample shown here is a good example of meta use, use keywords sparingly and make your description brief and to the point.
Use the W3C Validator
Another excellent way to avoid the design of your page adversely affecting traffic or page rank is to run your web page through the W3C Markup Validator tool. This tool is a free service that makes sure your HTML code and CSS sheets adhere to the specifications and guidelines of the W3C World Wide Web Consortium.
Compress Your Photos and Images
Another part of your web page that could contribute to poor traffic rankings are the size of your images. Many people make the mistake of using images that are 100k or larger, and then resize the photo using HTML codes. Unfortunately, these large photos not only slow down the site for your visitors, but as search engine spiders sift through your site, these large photos also reduce the speed and effectiveness of those search engine spiders in "crawling" your site and extracting information to use in search results.
Use Correct Header HTML Code
Another thing that many web designers do wrong, which negatively impacts their SEO rank, is using HTML bold tags or font size settings in order to create section headers for their page. However, the most effective way to let search engines know what the most important topics of your web page are is to use HTML header code (H1, H2, H3, etc...). The LTK page example shown here displays how each size of header can tell the search engine what the page content is all about.
Avoid Using Table Formatting
There was a time when the Internet was very young, that the latest, cutting-edge websites were formatted into sections using HTML table code. Using such code allowed webmasters to organize the elements of a page in easiliy defined and formatted blocks. The use of frames was also very prevalent. Today, however, this type of website coding is viewed as not only amateur and a poor design, but using this form of web design can also reduce your web traffic because visitors view the site as unprofessional.
Avoid Duplicate Content
While it is not necessarily harmful for your search engine ranking to have some duplicate, or mirrored, content, sometimes you may discover that someone on the Internet has copied your content and might be mirroring it on their own website without providing you with the appropriate credit for the content. When this happens, one option you have is to report it to Google using the DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) reporting procedure.
Another method that can seriously hurt your website's search engine ranking is stuffing your own site with keywords that are unrelated to the general content of your overall web page. In addition to this, adding links to any other website on the Internet that is unrelated to the type of content you have on your site can also prove detrimental to your ranking. Never spam keywords on your own site, and never indiscriminately add links to your own site from just any web page.
Finally, another method that could create the worst traffic rankings is if all of your important content is "below the fold," or placed far below the top of your web page. Always make sure to put your most important content toward the top of your page.
For more tips and advice on building your web page, visit these slideshows as well: