If you've been creating websites for a little while, you'll no doubt appreciate the effectiveness of utilizing CSS and DIV tags for reducing the amount of HTML code on your websites.
DIV layers and (particularly) CSS can turn source code that's too long for notepad (and has to be opened in wordpad )into a page of easily readable code (less than 1/2 the size).
I have always designed my site templates with two priorities in mind:
2 - I try to make my pages search engine friendly ..ie: I make use of ALT tags link TITLE tags, table SUMMARY tags, and obviously the Title, Description and Keywords ..all as much as possible and while using as much common sense as possible.
I am not into scouring every single resource and every single forum and looking up info in every single search engine to find out how best to optimize my sites for each one of them. I simply optimize for Google as a first priority, and use common sense SEO methods that will [at least] not hamper my ranking possibilities on other engines. ie: I SEO my sites. I don't SES (Search Engine Stalkization - lol) them.
In short, my SEO methods merely involve making code that is as clean and as "politically correct" in regards to search engines as possible, but I don't dwell on any particular method.
I find that providing I have a bit of content on each page, and if there is a page THEME and if a certain keyword is used liberally from the TITLE tag, through to the description and keywords (note: I know that many search engines do not use these anymore) ..and if the page <h3>Heading</h3> is the same as the page TITLE, and if the keyphrase is in the page several times and if it's in links and alt tags and title tags ..I usually get GREAT rankings on ALL of the top search engines for one search term or another.
I feel that this is as far as one should go with SEO. I don't have the time to sit here, spending 2 days on one page, trying to get specific #1 rankings. I'd rather use my time learning better web dev methods and creating new content.
Having said all that, here I am now. I am asking for advice on DIV tags and SEO. I have a small problem that I have not been able to figure out. So, it's time for some learning!!! :D
I have developed a new system for me to build my sites, (with PHP) so that I can re-use content files under different domains that I own, providing that they are on my server. I simply use PHP includes. Combined with using $variables for keywords, I can give each version of the content a new set of keywords and a new template. This way I can attract traffic from search engines from the TEN ways a keywords can be typed into a search engine, and not just one :)
However, I want to go one step further than that. Actually, two steps further. I'll explain the other step after I get to my point..
I want to use a div tag to place the content at the TOP of my page. This is, of course, understandable. I simply want to make sure that search engines can get RIGHT to the content, before it trips over the header or any menu's.
Now, I do know how to do this. It's quite easy. Just a DIV layer with left:150 (leaving 100px for the left menu) and top:100 (leaving 100px for the header). It's all good right?
..well, no. See, I like to set my main table, ie: the table that my WHOLE page is in; at 100% height. This way the footer is always at the bottom of the page, where it should be ..after all, that's why it's called a footer, right?. I hate it floting around the middle of the page, when there are only a few lines of content. I like my page to take up EXACTLY the height of the browser.
I can set all this up no problem, but when I test to see what happens after I put some content into the page, the content area OVERLAPS the footer. This totally SUCKS!
So, is there any way that I can build a template that has the classic structure:
- A header
- A left menu area (150px wide)
- A Content Area
- A footer
..using a DIV layer for the content, but also so that the div layer doesn't strangle the footer once content pushes it down there.
It's a very annoying problem. I have come to some OK-ish solutions, but I just can't get it all perfected.
P.S. The other step is to make a list of keywords in a database, but I don't know how to setup a database. This way I can make the $keywords pull a search term from a database, depending on which domain it is being used for. ie: I would have a database area for "SEO" terms. Site one would pull out a position 1: Search engine Optimisation, Site two would pull out a keyword from position 2: Search Engine Optimization, Site 3: SE Optimization, Site 4: SEO Optimization etc etc... Can anyone set me in the right direction for setting this up?