There are two potential scenarios when a client comes to us to talk about Search Engine Marketing. The first and most frequent scenario is the client who has a website and isn’t getting enough or any traffic at all. The second and far less frequent is a client without a website but enough foresight to understand that just having a website isn’t enough. We love the second scenario. We’ve a blank canvas to start with and an opportunity to set the client on the road to success by getting things right from the off. Whilst it’s possible to take an existing website and increase traffic and search engine placement, by far the best route is to do things right in the beginning.
Building a website for Search Engine Success
There really are no great secrets to how you should go about building a website that search engines will like. Quite simply, if you want search engines to like your website then there is no better place to start than building your site to W3C standards.
About Web Standards
In the beginning the Internet was very much like an unruly child and to some degree it still is. The problem was we were given all this great technology to help us communicate with each other but with a lack of formally set out rules to guide us we were allowed to run wild.
“The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards.”
By adhering to specifications and guidelines set out by the W3C when building websites we are using what is accepted within the industry as best practice.
Search Engines like Websites Built to Web Standards
It’s true, we’ve seen time and time again that when we build sites to W3C standards they achieve a level of search engine success our no-standards compliant competitors can only dream of.
Well, the most obvious difference between a standards compliant site and a non-standard compliant site is the use of CSS for laying out the design rather than nested tables.
Tables should be used for tabular data, so says the W3C and not for laying out the design of a site. The intended use for tables was always to layout tables of information but they quickly became the norm for laying out web designs. Using tables for layout causes significant code bloat as well as causing accessibility issues for screen readers. Search engines aren’t really interested in code, they like content. Using CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) for layout means much leaner code and therefore makes it easier for search engine bots to find the content.
If you’re planning a new website make sure the company you choose to build your site build it to W3C standard. If you already have a site and you’re not sure if it’s built to web standards use the W3C validation service to check.
If you’re site is not built to web standards talk to us and we will advise on how best to go about addressing the problems. In some instances a full rebuild is advisable but in most cases a site can be retro fitted to achieve W3C standards. You can also request a Free website analysis from us which will include W3C validation.
Creative Director – PushON Ltd
The Online Marketing People