I was reminded again recently why Microsoft Office and html do not work together whilst assisting a client with their WordPress blog. They asked me to find out why their blog was performing poorly in the search engines and I was looking for answers.

There are obviously many on-page and off-page factors that impact on a website or blog’s SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and in my experience the best place to start is with the html on your pages. The good news is that if you’ve chosen to use a CMS such as WordPress then it is designed to produce nice, clean html. The bad news is that you will spoil it if you are careless when adding your posts or pages.

It is extremely important to bear in mind when using word processors such as Microsoft Word, that despite appearances to the contrary, they add lots of unnecessary formatting code such as font tags. Your website or blog should reference all of its styling etc. via its external Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and this code is unnecessary.

When I began to view the html of the posts and pages, I saw examples such as this …

<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”> </p>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Times New Roman;”>Hi there,</span></p>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Times New Roman;”>Thank you for visiting this page!</span></p>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”>
<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Times New Roman;”>I’ve been working really hard this week.</span></p>;

All this to display less than 20 words, I think not 🙁

So why should you care? You want your website or blog to gain a good search engine ranking right! Well it’s important to always remember that when search engine spiders crawl your website or blog pages/posts, one of their main tasks is to analyse the text and index the content. One aspect that affects how your content is indexed is the keyword density and this makes it extremely important to avoid the use of code such as this.

What Can I Do About It?

So what’s the solution? I’ve always found the simplest way to avoid this issue is to copy and paste from Microsoft Word into the Notepad program which comes bundled with Microsoft Windows. This copies the text in ASCII format (just the text without the unnecessary clutter) and I then paste it into my file or WordPress editor. Yes, you’ll still have some work to do with formatting etc. but you’ll have nice clean code.

If you are using a CMS such as WordPress that uses the Tiny MCE editor, then you’ll be pleased to know that they have already provided an easy to use inbuilt solution. To paste content from a Microsoft Word document into WordPress via the editor, do as follows:-

  1. Select the text that you want to paste into your WordPress from MS Word and copy it ready for pasting.
  2. Makes sure that your WordPress editor is in Visual mode and click on the button Paste from MS Word appearing on the toolbar with the Microsoft Word logo which says “Paste from Word” when you hover the mouse over it.
  3. This loads the Paste from Word window into which you paste your text.
  4. Click on the Insert button and the text is inserted free of any Microsoft Word formatting.

 

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