When looking to optimize your website, one of the very first things you should do is take a look at your source code. Is it long and unclear? Hard to read and find what you're looking for? If so, then you probably aren't using a Cascading Style Sheet, or CSS, as it's more commonly referred to.
A Cascading Style Sheet is a method used to give web designers more control over the style of each page — allowing them to customize each paragraph, title, header, or bulleted list. CSS gives you the ability to specify font, size, and color of anything you want without having to repeatedly insert specific lines of code.
Using Cascading Style Sheets is crucial to your website's optimization. Here are a few reasons why:
- Using regular HTML codes to define things like font tags can be very cumbersome. It inserts extra unnecessary code into the source code of your website-therefore diluting your keyword density to search engines. Search engine spiders won't just read the content that shows up on your site, they read every single line of code. You don't want to pollute your source code with excessive HTML.
- CSS gets the same result as the basic HTML you're used to- only it does it better! Instead of placing the style tags in the actual code, it is placed in an external file. A simple and brief statement is placed in the source code to call to that external file where all your bulky style codes are laid out. This leaves your page clean and simple.
- The use of Cascading Style Sheets will also allow browsers to read and load your webpage very rapidly. This is good for search engines- spiders want to read through your website as fast as they possibly can. With CSS, you can have all the effects you want without slowing down the search engine spiders you are striving to impress.
- Converting old HTML layouts to CSS can typically cut anywhere from 25 to 50 percent off file sizes. They give you the added benefit of simplified, adaptable structure and the separation of code in a presentation. CSS gives you total freedom- you can group rules together to save additional space and name cases whatever you wish.
- There is nothing you can do in HTML that you can't do with CSS. In fact, CSS gives you even more customized control than any other method. Cascading Style Sheets go far beyond HTML control, allowing you to assign background colors or images to any HTML element rather than just the body. It also allows you to add borders to any element you choose.
- One of the most instantly rewarding benefits of Cascading Style Sheets is that they are a huge time saver. Code it once and never again! Let's say for example, your site is coded with HTML; the header on each one of your sites pages is written in blue text. One day you decide you want to change the look and feel of your site and you want to change the headers from blue font to a bold black. With HTML, you will have to go to each page and physically change each header. Depending on the size of your site, that could be very time consuming. If you had used CSS, then you would simply open that external file, change the header tag color from blue to black and you're done! That one change will automatically update every header without you having to manually change each one.
The benefits of CSS are simply too much to ignore. Cascading style sheets will help your website be more efficient and rank better with search engines. To a search engine, a website that is coded in CSS says several things about your company: you embrace foward technology and that your content is modern, up-to-date and relevant. Using CSS is THE MOST SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY way to create a web site TODAY! It is like candy to Search Engine Spiders. It will ensure that the spiders come back to your website more than your competitors that still use tables. If everything was the same between two websites, except one used a table based layout and the other used CSS layout, the CSS web site will always rank higher in the Search Engines.
Full CSS gives you the best possible foundation to go forward with doing Search Engine Optimization for your website.