CSS can be useful in building your website because it increases your code to text ratio. Code to text ratio is the amount of HTML code used to design your website versus the actual text on the page that site visitors see when they visit your web page. For instance, if you are still using tables then you might have a table that uses a lot of code, depending on how big the table is, but you can reduce that code with a CSS file.
CSS stands for cascading style sheet. You create a CSS file in Notepad. Or you can do it in your text editor. Either way, you need to figure what elements you want to include in your CSS file. Common elements that are included in CSS files include:
- Navigation bar instructions
- Sidebar placement and dimensions
- Page margins
- Background and text colors
- Headers and footers
- Other elements that might appear on more than one page
CSS is great for designing templates that will showcase features that will be common to multiple pages on your website. For instance, background color, text color, page design, navigation menus, etc. These elements might produce a lot of code and very little text. Your navigation bar, for instance, which could be highly graphic and include just a few links as text will have a huge amount of code. But by including that information in your CSS file and references the CSS file in your HTML file for the page, you only have one line of code versus several lines of code that the search engines have to filter through in order to find any meat.
Ideally, you want to increase your code to text ratio to as high as you can get it as it relates to your Search Engine Optimization. The higher your code to text ratio the more text you have on the page versus your html code. CSS helps with that. It allows you to put those code-heavy elements in one file and referencing them with a single line of code. This is especially important for web pages that have very little text on them. By using a CSS file to take care of those code-heavy instructions, you are doing yourself a favor and helping your website rank better for your important keywords and improve your overall Search Engine Optimization efforts.