Do more with less!

If you look at things that are important in order to stand out, do it well, etc. Then you can actually reduce that to a number of essential components. Because these components determine success. Unique and efficient are perhaps two of the most important factors.

In this item I want to indicate how you can do more with less.

Do more with less

It may sound like an empty slogan of which there are so many on the internet. But if we look from a technical point of view, you can often achieve just as much or sometimes even more by actually doing less.

“The art of omission” goes too far because just leaving out things does not necessarily make a website or platform better. The point is that you look closely at how certain things are built up with names from a technical SEO (search engine optimization) perspective.

Sometimes when building such things are overlooked and let’s face it that really is the best. Even though they have SEO in mind.

It is more about using all possibilities as efficiently as possible.

Practicle example – Links

An example of a situation that often occurs; Blog items and their display on a homepage, archive pages etc.

Often the logic of such a representation is as follows;
A preview image, a title, properties (category, date, author, comments) a summary, a read more link.

  • To the image we put a link to the message so that people click on the image with the message.
  • We will put a link around the title so that people who click on the title will end up with the message.
  • We put a link around the comments so that people click on the message when clicking.
  • We put a link on the read more so that people click on the message by clicking.

All of them are logical choices at the core, BUT, if you look from a technical SEO point of view then this is far from optimal. First let me explain why;

On all the links you make, a number of elements must always be present that make a link a link. Think of the goal, the anchor text, a title attribute. Does all sound logical?

What if I say that for 1 blog item on such a page you have 4 links to the same, with probably almost the same anchoring texts. You thereby create two concrete problems; DOM complexity and a degradated link structure.

DOM Complexity

A Document Object Model (DOM) is an object-oriented approach to structured documents such as HTML, XHTML and XML documents. Yes’ a whole mouth full, perhaps more accurately the DOM stands for the overall structure of your page.

Everything you add to the DOM makes the DOM larger and therefore more complex. The more complex the DOM is, the longer a browser will need to be able to display it (rendering).

As we all understand, if a browser needs longer to render it takes longer to see a fully working page. This then has an effect on the overall page-load (moment at which a page is fully available). And that has an effect on SEO again, since speed is a ranking factor.

So best practice is not to make your DOM unnecessarily complex as in this practical example. Try to arrange the link to the message so that you only have to configure it once. This will usually save you DOM elements and keep your DOM cleaner / more logical, which in return will only benefit your pages in terms of experience and ranking.

Degradated Link Structure

In addition to making the DOM more complex than necessary in this practical example, you also have to deal with 4 links where you can better deal with the relationship of those links.

If you can link the link in this example to both your image and your title, you have the two most important items for linking to your page.

A read more may even be a bit retro. There are studies that claim that they work better, but if you have shaped your image and title properly, more options are totally unnecessary. People understand the principle of clicking the image or title to read more. Do not spend a semantic element such as a link on it (and any other elements about design). It is not necessary!

Comments are a slightly different story; they can have absolutely an advantage in stimulating your visitors to further interaction but what is important is also to deal with the anchor texts and the concrete link.

The anchor text if you would render multiple comment sections would be the same. (Suppose you have an item with an equal number of comments twice on the page) To make them different you could add the title of the item and hide the title.

Before we continue; hiding elements is not the way to use. This is because Google is not a fan of so-called hidden content, but Google makes a distinction between how this works for navigation elements and referring to comments is naturally a navigation action. That is why it is not seen as a problem.

In terms of link, it is true that you do not want to have multiple points pointing to 1 and the same URL. Because why should you refer twice (or more) to one and the same? If the other entry is not optimal, you should ask yourself.

For comments you can therefore usually refer to a more specific discussion url. Think for example when using a CMS (content management system) like Wordpress to #respond or if you have an ID with the name comments you can also opt for #comments. This way the urls of the comment items remain unique.

It may look like nitpicking but I assure you that’s not the case. Search engines like Google absolutely take these aspects into account, but also various other tools that give a sort of ranking (among others Seobility, Seositecheckup, Woorank, Dareboost etc.) take these under consideration.

This makes it absolutely worthwhile to deal well with DOM Complexity and Link structures.

I hope that you can build up your website a lot more neatly and in a more structured way as a result of these tips. If you want me to look at your website once to see if there are pain points, please let me know!

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