Back-End Manipulation Using CSS

In today’s online world, it is important to design a website with the average visitor in mind, but it is also equally important to consider search engine crawlers, who will also be reading our website. If you are new to the online marketing game, then you should know that search engines deploy small, independent bits of code throughout the worldwide web, who’s sole job is to find out what the world’s websites are all about, and to rank each one according to its content. This process is known as indexing. It’s through the use of indexing that a search engine can quickly provide a searcher with relevant results. Instead of searching the entire web, a search engine can provide fast results because it searches it’s index instead. Because of this, we must consider the web crawlers when creating our site, and we must make sure they can quickly do their job.

Aside from the usual HTML optimization ( Title, description tag, keywords, headlines, alt text, and anchor text ), there is plenty you can do to optimize your site using css. CSS (cascading style sheets ) allow you to keep your HTML file small because you can simply declare all of your style rules in a separate css document instead of on the same HTML file.

First of all, recognize that the size of your css file will be a big determinant factor in the speed at which your website downloads. You want to optimize your css file to reduce the amount of rules you have to declare. For example, creating 3 containers in your css file with the same dimensions and look could be done by only creating one rule instead of 3 separate ones. If you are working with an existing website, be sure to eliminate any unused css code in your style sheet to keep it short. This is often overlooked, and is an easy way to help decrease loading time.

The second thing to consider is that what your visitors see is not exactly what search engines see. For example, search engines cannot tell what an image is about unless you tell it what your image is about. In this case we use alt tags to be able to add descriptive text to images. This idea can go further with more advanced techniques, you can adjust the order in which these search engine bots will read your page. If you have great content, you can easily place this content in the very top of your document code so that search engines see it first without affecting what the order a normal (human) visitor will see.

With CSS you can manipulate the presentation order of your HTML code. You can place your most important information up higher so that you are guaranteed that it’s being indexed by search engines. Otherwise, crawlers may have to dig through a lot of code to find the really juicy stuff. However, asking a crawler to dig through your code is not an ideal situation, if your page is loading slowly, or if your information is too deep to crawl, crawlers will simply exit your website without fully indexing it. This can mean bad news for you because you may have a great website with great content, but is being read by no-one because of its lack of search engine visibility.

Saba Inc is a San Diego SEO and San Diego Web Design Company operating under SEO Best Practices in order to provide our clients with powerful websites that can be easily found by search engines. We help our clients to correctly target the right market online to increase ROI, and to reduce time consuming “dead” lead phone calls. Contact us today to set up a free website evaluation. We will tell you exactly where your website can improve to meet your goals.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 17th, 2011 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, css, online marketing, website tips . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Back-End Manipulation Using CSS”

  1. I agree that it is important to design a website with the average visitor in mind,

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