Semantic Markup SEO

Semantic Markup SEO

Semantic markup is a way to help the search engines, browsers and apps be able to identify the role of a specific block of information in a document. It provides a code that is machine readable so that it provides a definition of the type of content being shared. Right now some of the most commonly used formats include micro data, RDFa, and microformats. Each one of these has a slightly different structure but they are all supported by Google and programmers can use whichever format is easiest for them to use.


Advantages of Using Semantic Markup

Using semantic markup on your WebPages has a number of benefits with some being more significant than others. For one thing, the markup will be a lot cleaner and easier to understand. Since your content and the design become two different entities, content will never expire along with a design. It also allows content editors to spend more time developing content and less time on design. Semantic markup is very beneficial for search engines as they will be able to index the site properly which can give better rankings to content which is relevant to a search query.


By using semantic markup, one piece of content can be used on many devices. WebPages will actually become smaller by about 40% which means that there is a lot faster load time. Content is more accessible to both humans and search engines and one style sheet is able to control a whole website.


Changing the Appearance of Tags

Using semantic markup will mean that the presentational elements are alleviated from code but replaced with more meaningful ones. One example is to not use bold or italic codes to indicate a heading tag. Instead, simply use a heading tag. For example:


Bad use: <b><i>This is my Site</i></b>

Better use: <h>This is my Site</h1>

Semantic markup is more about the code instead of how the site actually looks. It gives meaning to the structure of the site without regard to formatting, fonts or colors. The text in the code basically remains the same, but the difference is in how the text is now marked up; or what tags are now used to label content. In the example, the second tag is market up with a Heading 1 tag (<h1>). This immediately sets it apart as a top level heading.


Why Put Emphasis on Semantic Markup?

We understand that site visitors are not going to be looking at the HTML code on a site. Instead they will be looking at the content displayed on a page, probably with little or no regard to the actual code that is being used. Most site visitors will not even have an understanding about how the HTML code works. But there is a visitor that will care about how the code is structured – the search engine spiders. The search engine is going to process the HTML code which is contained on your site and all the HTML tags are actually going to mean something to them. Spiders will look at the keywords in the heading tags to determine what kind of content is being displayed on the site. And because of semantic search the search engine will start here to determine what types of user questions the page is going to answer.


Getting Started with Semantic Markup

The best and easiest way to start with semantic markup is just to dive in and begin from scratch. Think about each portion of your content and ask yourself if it is a paragraph, a heading, or a subheading. Is it a numbered list where order is an important feature? Maybe it is simply a bulleted list and order is not important at all. Once you answer these questions, you can start adding your block-level markups like headings or subheadings, ordered lists, paragraphs, bulleted lists or extended quotes. You can also use a markup table when data is best presented in a table.


Now look at the text that you will want to place an emphasis on. But rather than using the <i> or <b> tags, which really do not provide any meaning, you’ll use <em> to emphasis specific items and <strong> for the items you want to strongly emphasize.