How CSS Can Help Your SEO

How CSS Can Help Your SEO

What do you think would be the best thing about using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in How Can CSS Help Your SEOyour site's design? Is it easy website maintenance? Styling or flexibility & control with CSS styles? Those are indeed nice benefits!  For business owners though,  the most rewarding advantage is CSS will return more benefits to your search engine optimization. You are wondering how? Before delving deep into this topic lets look at what CSS is and its general advantages in supporting user friendly website design.

General Advantages of CSS

As many web designers know already, CSS plays a great role in controlling the appearance of content in a webpage. In its simple terms, CSS is a style sheet language that allows web designers to attach styles such as spacing, color, font, etc. to HTML documents. With CSS styles the designer has great flexibility and control of the exact page appearance; from precise positioning of layout to specific fonts and styles. Its benefits include:

  • Easy maintenance of the website
  • Easier to make updates and editing
  • Makes code lighter and cleaner

Search Engine Optimization & CSS

Increase The Accuracy Of Indexing

One of the big benefits of CSS in SEO is that it helps build an SEO friendly website.  CSS requires light code compared to the cumbersome table based HTML codes. Search engine spiders  love to index web pages with clean and light code. In most cases the search bots stay away from going deep into complex HTML code to get to indexed codes. So it is better to use external CSS files to design and determine the design attributes of your website. This keeps the HTML code clean and spiders index your web pages more accurately; this will result in better search engine rankings. Maintaining clean code makes a huge difference to your site's SEO.

Today, there are many tools on the web that show the actual code over text ratio weight of your site. The reason is that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! prefer light-weight sites to heavier ones. It is the textual content that they look for in a particular site and not the code. Excess code is clutter - something search engines don't like!  With CSS, excessive code can be separately stored in an external file. The actual page will be clean and simple, the way engines like it to be.

Makes Your Website Easy to Access

With the emergence of smart phones the number of users accessing the internet has reached a tremendous level. It is reported that at present, one third of the world's population is using hand held devices like cell phones for getting at Internet. Here, website accessibility counts a lot. With CSS you can make your website more accessible. So for making your site accessible to handheld users you simply create an additional CSS document which will be called up in position of the regular CSS document. This is not achievable with a HTML tabular framework. CSS adds to the accessibility of a webpage document by clearly separating it's structure from presentation. The webmasters are able to weed out the excess HTML to make the pages simple and more visible. So make sure to add an additional CSS document to boost your search engine optimization efforts.

Fastens Download Speed of Website

As I said earlier, CSS uses less code than tabular layouts, it downloads faster than tables. With tabular content browsers need to read twice before exhibiting the content .  Firstly to analyze the structure and then to determine the inside content. The content will be visible only after the entire table is downloaded and rendered. But if we  place all the code in an external CSS document, it will get downloaded faster on the user's PC. Another advantage of using CSS code in your webpage is it helps manage the order of items to be downloaded on your screen. Most web users prefer to see content than images, and CSS allows you to have control to make content appear before the slow loading images. User friendly attributes are things that search engines love to see!

Cross Browser Compatibility

CSS is compatible with all major browsers like Mozilla, IE, Opera and Netscape and now Chrome. By making your website load faster and make it easier to maintain, saves a lot of time.  

I could keep writing about CSS but I think you get the picture.  CSS is the butter on the bread;  the sugar in the tea; the peanuts in the peanut butter.  If you don't have it - things just dont seem right.  So make sure when you get your next website design project completed that you are using the latest in CSS.

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12 Comments

  • avatar
    Andrew Jhonson 

    on 

    This is indeed a great article. CSS always plays a vital role in web design and it always gives you opportunity to make your website Google friendly. I have compiled few factors ‘why Google loves CSS’ that you can check at http://www.bestpsdtohtml.com/get-to-know-why-css-is-good-for-google/

  • avatar

    A killer application for CSS is content repositioning, this is done by using content containers (called div) and some CSS you can reposition the content where you want it.

  • avatar

    With the help of CSS, you can move the elements which are important from search engine’s viewpoint to the top of the HTML file. Moving your important content to the top of the html file will help search engines to find your content and index it properly.

  • avatar

    Nice post Mars. Sounds like you are a designer yourself. 🙂 It does seem that CSS is the way people are going. It means that search engines dont have to sort through code.

  • avatar

    I don’t believe that ‘search bots’ are incapable of indexing a site that has a simple table based structure.
    Sure, CSS will be cleaner, but lets ask the question of CSS-standards support in the various different browsers. Can we successfully implement CSS 2.0, or CSS2.1 specifications across all browsers? Especially the very noteworthy “CSS table model” specification.
    In certain situations, a table-based structure provide a cleaner, less bulky solution to a bunch of CSS-hacks to make something as simple as equal height columns possible.

  • avatar
    Rajesh Balakrishnan 

    on 

    Good post about the help of CSS. It’s true that the search engines like semantic pages. It’s also a widely held notion that search engines like lean/clean code. Building a site using CSS and web standards can defiantly encourage the development of search engine friendly sites. This link http://alistapart.com/topics/code/css/ may provide css helps/resources.

  • avatar

    Guess with the popularity that CSS is enjoying the days of simple HTML table based web design are coming to an end. CSS for sure does amazing things for a website which one could never done with plain hypertext design.

  • avatar

    Nice read about CSS. Cascading Style Sheets has become a technology popular with web developers and SEO professionals alike. CSS creates easily readable pages, rich in content that wins a higher ranking in search results. A higher site ranking means better visibility on the web, more visitors and increased sales or number of contracts.

  • avatar

    Exactly Asha! CSS makes our site easy modifiable. A well produced page with optimized code may give a better look and authority than a site with large sections of poorly constructed HTML.

  • avatar

    Very nicely written indeed. CSS can provide some compelling SEO benefits, that makes your site a treat for spiders.
    Another benefit is if two different sites offered similar content, but one had a better code build behind it, then the search engines might give the better coded site an edge.

  • avatar

    Very good post about CSS and SEO Asha. As you have articulated CSS is very useful for SEO. Search engines place high priority on H1 and H2 text/keywords. And without using CSS, the tags most likely will not fit the look and scheme of your pages. CSS can be of great help to alter the look of the tags to your liking.

  • avatar
    Graphic Design 

    on 

    Thanks a lot for the great post.

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