CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a web development technology which lets designers attach various styles to web pages such as color, spacing, font and more to the HTML. CSS is similar to a template, which permits the site makers to label various styles of particular HTML elements and apply it to a number of different web pages.Similarly, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) consist of unique collections of various formatting rules to control the appearance of web page content. With different CSS styles, you can enjoy a great flexibility and full control of the appearance of a page. With this stylesheet, users get great flexibility and control over the styles and fonts.
Benefits of using CSS
CSS offers various benefits when it comes to making attractive and user-friendly websites. Maintenance of a site which is made with CSS is pretty easy when compared to those which are built on tables. Apart from being able to make root level changes with a single CSS file, the code generated by it makes it simpler to update the pages.
When you decide to craft changes later in CSS, you can alter the styles of that particular element to get it automatically updated anywhere it is present on the website. CSS also primarily requires only less coding compared to the table-based layout, making the process of coding much lighter, easier, and cleaner.
CSS benefiting Search Engine Optimization
One of the main advantages is its capability to make a website SEO-friendly. Spiders that crawl websites are usually lazy. They do not like going through the entire bundle of HTML codes to get to the indexed ones. Tables and tags make an HTML code bulky and in turn reduce the accuracy of search results. If you use an external CSS file to determine some design attributes, then HTML code may appear cleaner and will further add value to search engine rankings.
With some basic knowledge of CSS, you can change the HTML codes by yourself without tampering the layout of your web pages. For example, you can easily change the main content of a web page to show above the header or over the navigation menu by tweaking the code. It will help the search engine crawlers to understand the importance of that particular content, which adds SEO value.
A well-built CSS website receives a significant boost over others when it comes to ranking. If you maintain a website which still has the old school HTML code as TABLES, TR, TD, FONT and so on should convert it immediately into a customized CSS layout. All the latest search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and MSN prefer light-weight websites to be on top.
Ways to enhance SEO through CSS
As we know the benefits of CSS and its vitality in SEO, let us further look into some strategies that the St. Louis agency uses to help expedite this goal.
- XHTML streamlining
The size and location matter a lot in SEO. If a page is too long, the content towards the bottom may not get ranked as important. On the other hand, the length of a page is not determined just by the amount of content like text or image, but by the quantity of code involved in it.
If Google crawlers need to read through several hundreds of lines of nested tables on top of the page navigation before it can get into the content, then your website will be at a high risk of being perceived as unimportant.
- Organized code
It is true that your table-based designs may look quite charming on the screen, but when it comes to SEO value, what lies beneath really counts. Search engines will never scan your page the same way users visually see it. The crawlers piece together a particular picture of your site based on its underlying code. In this case, the table-based designs will not exactly read the same way as you expect.
A search engine usually reads a page from top left to bottom right. It will include everything put in the header, things on the navigation, and everything in the sidebar before it gets into the actual content. If you keep your navigation and sidebars the same on all pages, then you are going to take an adverse hit for maintaining duplicate content.
- Important tidbits
It is not just the headings that affect the SEO value. Search engines also give close attention to a few important tags while assigning weight to the important words on a page. For example, Google may treat the wrapped in tags like <em> and <strong> as more significant than the surrounding text. That is why you sometimes see the pages with random bold-faced or italic words get scattered. They are trying to boost the SEO value by helping the search engines to find keywords they may want to focus.
In this, we can use CSS to make sure that search engines correctly understand which words need to be set as important without annoying the readers. We can take some XHTML examples like below:
Next, you can write simple CSS rules as:
This CSS code will prevent the SEO-centric em and strong tags from being boldfaced or italicized while appearing on screen.
Organizing well is the key
While you are working on CSS, you have the scope of organizing the code whichever way you want. With this, you can ensure that your keyword-rich content is arranged right near or top of XHTML and then push the sidebar below the content area. CSS can put the sidebar anywhere you want it to be or need to display it visually.
To summarize, we can say that CSS will help you to make your websites load much faster and make it easier for the crawlers to understand. Working on CSS will help save a lot of time and effort of the developers too and make the links much more dynamic and attractive.
Author Bio: Ramon Daimler is a consultant at St. Louis agency, offering front-line SEO services to a wide range of corporate clients in this region. He also used to write on blogs and website about latest SEO advancements and techniques.