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Trichrome Media





16 Mar 2017
Is site content 'king'?

Further to the piece I wrote last week about the importance of blogging to SMEs (small or medium sized enterprises) I thought I’d provide a few more details about how to maximise a site’s Search Engine Optimisation capability.

There is a fair amount of debate regarding this subject, but if we concentrate on the basics we can provide a great starting point.

So, according to Isi Dixon, who presented last week’s seminar on behalf of the D2N2 Growth Hub (www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk), there are a set of criteria that search engines such as Google really look for in a web site.

One of the most important elements to successful SEO is regular site updates. A blog is a fantastic way of doing this, and Isi gave us some useful information on how to best go about writing one.

Apparently 300-500 words is recommended. This shows the search engine robots that trawl the net looking for new content that your blog actually has some content. Further to that, making sure you use your chosen keyword in the first paragraph is a good idea, and if possible within the URL of the blog page you are creating.

Relevant content – it is imperative that your blog is relevant to the site you are blogging on. Of course, if your site is about random thoughts then the content is probably always relevant, but for most of us the site has a purpose. For instance Trichrome Media is about web design, development and digital media production, so the blog articles should be about just that.

Isi also stated that “content is king”. Getting inbound links to your website is great, using keywords is fantastic, but ultimately the content of your web site is what matters, and this is what a blogger should be concentrating on.

Well, that all seems fairly straightforward doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the things that search engine robots look at aren’t just limited to content, keywords and inbound links, and this is where the role of a skilled web designer/developer becomes important.

Search engine robots also look at the code that drives a website.

When I asked, at the end of my previous blog article, “So you need to ask yourself… is my coding accurate and error-free?” I wasn’t joking.

For many bloggers and front-end users this aspect is conveniently ignored, because this is the part about SEO that actually requires some expertise and geeky knowledge.

I’ve seen many, many sites out there on the WWW that tick all the boxes for content, keywords and so-on, but with a simple right click on their site, and choosing ‘inspect’ a whole world of nasties can be revealed.

This is why Trichrome will never use WordPress. It is possible to get WordPress to be error free and drive a very nice looking site. Unfortunately ‘error free’ is not the same thing as ‘efficient’. I am regularly staggered by the sheer volume of code used to drive WordPress sites – this makes it far more difficult to create a nice efficiently coded website, and will lead to a lower SEO score.

To put it in SEO terms, if two sites had the same content, but one uses four times as much code to drive it, the more efficiently coded site will get a higher SEO score.

As skilled web developers and coders, we just cannot bring ourselves to go down the WordPress route, but not just for the excessive code reason, it’s also quite difficult to really get into the absolute nuts and bolts of WordPress resulting in a certain loss of control over the details.

However, there are worse options out there. Wix is just one of a host of what we call “it couldn’t be easier” site building tools. I’ve yet to witness a Wix site that didn’t show a multitude of coding errors. It may look great, but those search engine robots will be busily marking the score down for every single error they find.

So, in summary, although there is a checklist to adhere to with regards to content and SEO, efficient code is just as important. So give the ‘inspect’ test a try… feel free to do it on this page right now! Just right click on the browser window and choose ‘Inspect’. If your browser is saying there are errors in the code then those search engine robots will know!

If your browser is refusing to let you do the ‘inspect’ test try it using Microsoft Edge (the latest incarnation of Internet Explorer) – I believe this is a standard feature. If you’re using other browsers you may need to add the feature through a ‘developer tools’ add-on… which might be something I cover in a future blog!

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