Chunkify! Part 6: Improve SEO Value And Readability With Better Formatting
- Human Formatting vs Search Engine Formatting
- Strategies That Improve Formatting and SEO
- Formatting: Double Check All Content on The Page
- One Page Exercise
As a former professor, I believe formatting is key. If a student’s paper was well formatted, the student’s grade would automatically bump up a letter in my eyes (and my gradebook).
On your B2B website - you don’t need to impress a professor. But you do need to impress users and search engines. Strong page formatting will create a better first impression with people and robots (search engines!).
For humans, good formatting simply makes it easier on the eye to scan through a piece of content. For robots, proper formatting tells search engines what to read first and what to score higher.
How Search Engines Read Web Pages: HTML
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s the language browsers use to output your website. Good HTML coding will helps search engines read and rank your page. Search engines are looking for elements like title tags (<title>), meta descriptions (<meta>), and page headings (<h1> <h2>) to decipher what your page is about and what is important.
Only have 1 H1 heading per page
The H1 heading is the first thing a search engine reads. Your H1 heading should include relevant keywords to rank with search engines. The H1 tag should declare page content.
Use headings, not just bolded text
Have your web designer style headings H1-H6 so both your human users and robot users can differentiate your bold text from your headings.
- Avoid using all of the headings on one page.
- Don’t worry about keeping them in a particular order.
Add keywords and headlines to improve your formatting and SEO.
Lists keep your content short and sweet. Break up text-heavy pages to make your users more inclined to scan or read. Check out Chunkify! Part 5 Using Lists To Break Up Content for some more tips.
Bold or italicize important phrases
Definitely do this, but make sure you do it sparingly. If you bold or italicize too much, the importance of these words and phrases lessens.
Don’t underline text, unless it’s a link
Underlining show users which are links and which are not. By underlining something for emphasis you create a lot of confusion that will mislead users.
Formatting behind the scenes
Alt text adds necessary context to images. The users can identify the purpose of the image and search engines can identify the source code.
What most don’t realize, is that content refers to more than just the words we type. Content is everything on that page, including headlines, formatting, images and more.
If you format text effectively, the search engines will easily pick up information and know what users want to see.
Use what you have learned from this post to make the necessary changes on text and images to improve your sites readability and SEO across the boards.