Each site owner wants his site to be the best in usability, design and SEO optimization. But many do not pay attention to HTML-code, which can be a very big mistake. Code optimization is not visible to ordinary users, but its influence on the site promotion is quite significant. Take, for example, the process of making unique Title and Description meta-tags – it can raise the site’s position in search results by 20-30 points, thus bringing in more traffic.
What to pay attention to.
The page code is on the digital inner level, but its condition is very obvious on the public site, too.
Here are several reasons why you need to optimize the site page code:
- “Dirty” code interferes with the normal functioning of a web resource.
- An outdated HTML version causes the site to be distorted and inadequately displayed in the browser.
- Code non-compliance with the standards of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) causes search engines to rank it lower.
- A large number of unnecessary HTML-tags makes the page heavier and slows down the loading performance of the site, which in turn makes more people leave the site (raises the bounce rate).
- The pages also become heavy if the text is formatted with tags, rather than with cascading style sheets.
- Program elements that are scripts in the code may also make the pages heavy and slow.
It is better to start code optimization with the conversion of the website into the latest Drupal version and the modern version of Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML5. This may help you to solve a lot of problems simultaneously.
- HTML5 sites have more interactive and multimedia features that immediately make the users’ experience more comfortable and enjoyable. Hence, the behavioral factors are improved – the bounce rate becomes lower, visits duration becomes longer and the depth of view increases. In other posts on this blog, you can learn more about how to increase the visit duration.
- To provide multimedia and interactive features, HTML5 does not use third-party applications, and it makes the site faster. The faster the website works, the lower is the bounce rate.
- HTML5 sites work equally well in all types of modern browsers, so they are cross-platform.
- HTML5 Drupal-sites are well adapted to run on mobile devices – smartphones and tablets. This factor leads not only to mobile traffic increasing, but also improves the ratio of search engines, which in recent years have begun to consider the sites mobile adaptation as an obligatory feature of any user-friendly web-site.
Very often, webmasters and administrators simply do not have time to deal with meta-tags directly. As a result situations occur, which may be not acceptable for search engine algorithms. These include:
- frequent, identical meta-tags on different site pages;
- a large amount of empty meta-tags that are not filled at all.
In these cases, the web-site owner sometimes even doesn’t know the reason why the project is not progressing in the search before the next technical audit. Proper meta-tags indicate information about your site and each of its page, specifically for search engines. If you do not know whether there are duplicate or blank meta-tags on your site, contact us for help. Our experts will point out all the errors associated with meta-tags and write the recommendations on how to fix them. It is particularly important to work closely on the Title and Description meta-tags.
The title is the page headline. Recommendations for writing titles:
- It is very important to write the main keyword in the title.
- Look after the size of the given tag – it should not be longer than 60 characters, otherwise the search engines will simply shorten it in the search results and the user will be unable to read it in full.
- Do not duplicate the Title tag – for the search engine it’s all the same page. As a result, many fewer keywords than needed will be involved in the search, according to the semantic core.
The Google search engine and many others just take the descriptive text for the snippet in the result for the Description meta-tag. In fact, the Description serves as an ad for the web page. Therefore, there are the special requirements for the Description:
- As well as titles, descriptions of each page should be always unique. If there are duplicate descriptions for different pages, the search robot will treat them as one and stick them together. As a result, the search engine index reduces the number of web site pages.
- Pages description must be strictly relevant to their content. If a Description doesn’t correspond to the content of the page, people visiting the site will not find the promised answers to their questions and will become disappointed. This will lead a high bounce rate. And if the bounce rate is higher than 20%, it drops the search engine ranking of the site.
Using the tags H1-H6.
To highlight titles, use H1-H6 tags. Title H1 is the most important. It must contain the main keyword, and it should only be placed once, at the top of the page. H2-H6 are subtitles, and they can be used several times. When using these tags, it is also important to respect the hierarchy. But we will consider this question later, in the following articles.
Get rid of the hidden items in the code. The most common elements of this category are «visibility: hidden» and «display: none».
This is only a part of recommendations for pages code optimization. You will learn more in the following posts. As for the base step of the code optimization you can check your progress on the C3W service. If it is not perfect, though, don’t worry — even the official Google site does not pass this test at 100%.