Secure eBusiness Solutions

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Structured Content Helps With Your Website SEO

Make your website content structured for SEO

So what do we mean by structured content and how does it improve how your website or online store appear in search engines?

Search engines like Google look for clues in your content to the meaning of the page and the importance of content in the page. These can often be referred to as "snippets" and Google provide great advice on best practice.

The first element that is often used is the Title tag which appears in the HTML head area as 
<title>...content here....</title> this is one of the main clues that search engines use. The Title should be generally around 65 characters long and contain a good description of the main content. It will appear in search results and when you mouse over the tab in your browser.

There are other snippets like the Meta Content Description that is used in the search displayed results.

All these snippets help with your search engine results by either improving search engine optimisation or by helping the search engine to show more meaningful information about your page to the person searching.

There are other tags like the Image alt tag that help search engines understand the content that cannot be read in this case images. The "alt" tag appears in the HTML and should contain meaningful information about the image that it is associated to.

All these help improve search results.

Structured Content

Website webmasters, content managers and owners need to help search engines understand what the content on a page is all about. In this case we are talking about the content that appears between the <body> </body> tags.

In HTML there is a concept called <H> tags these are structured from H1 to H6 and are used to structure content.

There should only be one H1 tag on a webpage, or at least carefully used. Following is a short video from Matt Cutts of Google:

Structured H1 through H6

On the webpage the main title of the page should be the H1 following that the content is broken into sections so that the H1 section can contain many H2 tags. H2 sections can contain many H3 tags and so on.

With most good Content Management (CMS) or eCommerce Solutions editors the system will help you setup default formats for H1 through H6 tags so that you have consistency of font, font size and font colour.

Then when creating content is is very easy to format that content with the correct H tag.

So you can see from this example using ePages that I can select the content I want to format and then select the H tag that I want applied and its done.

Use Styling to emphasise the structure

By styling the H1, H2, H3 etc tags differently you can give a visual indication of the structure. The H1 might be larger font (or different) than the H2 which might be larger than the H3. Always make the font and font size of the content consistent so as to help make the webpage visually appealing. You can also use other HTML markup tags to emphasise the content for example by using the <strong> (important text) </strong> tags. Again these different tags should be available in your CMS or eCommerce Solution editor.
Matt Cutts from Google offers advice for web content managers in the use of H tags.

In summary you need to help search engines understand that content is important on your webpage by correctly structuring the content. If you over use some tags like the H1 tag it may result a reduced ranking by search engines. So try to follow the guideline and help make your website content more search engine friendly.