Getting your SEO game on point is more than just optimizing content through keywords or coming up with a mobile responsive and user-friendly website. You want to make sure the search engines have a clear idea of what your website is about so it can index your content and put up your web page on the results page. One area of SEO that has been overlooked by digital marketers is the importance of HTML tags.
What Are HTML Tags?
HTML tags are components of code that are used in the back-end development of a website. The purpose of HTML tags is to help search engines read and understand your website content.
HTML tags became overlooked by SEO practitioners because they believed search engines had evolved or gotten smarter to a point that diminished the value of the tags.
Because research had shown that 70% of traffic was generated by organic search, SEO practitioners focused their efforts – and the digital marketing budget – on offsite SEO techniques such as content creation, social media marketing, and email marketing.
While this is definitely a step in the right direction, HTML tags are actually a good fit in that strategy.
If your content has high-ranking keywords and meets the criteria of Google – no keyword stuffing and a keyword density of 2% or lower – web crawlers will be able to find it.
When a web crawler finds your content it will look for the HTML tags on your website to help it understand your website and how to categorize your content.
Thus, with HTML tags, you have another tool that will help your website connect with the right audience – those who really need your products or services.
7 HTML Tags Essential For SEO
Now that you’re well aware of what HTML tags are, let’s discuss the 7 best HTML tags and how they can optimize your website.
1. Title Tags
As professional web developers, we recommend that the Title Tag should be number one on your list of essential HTML tags.
To move up the search rankings, the search engines should know what your content is about. The Title Tag does this job for you. It makes it easy for search engines to understand the content of a specific web page.
Your web page is presented on the search results page as a Title Tag. Think of it as a headline that catches your eye and makes you want to click on the URL.
But first, it must be found. Therefore, your Title Tag must be optimized by containing the keyword that you want to rank for.
That’s why when we create blogs for our clients or for our website, the main keyword is always included in the title. In this article, we are trying to rank for the keywords “HTML Tags” and “SEO”.
2. Meta Description Tags
The Title Tag and the Meta Description Tag should be 1 and 2 on your list of essential HTML tags for SEO.
These 2 tags work hand-in-hand and are complementary to each other. Let’s assume you made a click-worthy Title Tag. You might entice an Internet user to click on your URL but chances are, he will pause before taking the desired action.
During that pause, he will come across your Meta Tag – a brief description of what your web page is about. The Meta Tag description should answer this question in the mind of the Internet user:
“Is this what I was looking for?”
Likewise, the Meta Tag must be optimized by containing the same keywords as the Title Tag.
To learn more about how to make effective Meta Tag descriptions, check out our recent blog “6 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your Meta Descriptions”.
3. Header Tags
Here’s a stat that will help you understand why Header Tags are important for SEO:
55% of web page visitors only spend 15 seconds reading your content.
With that little time, Internet users are not reading – but skimming your content. The statistic highlights the importance of creating content that’s easy to read.
Headers make your content easier to read by breaking it down into sections. The Header tag informs the reader what the section is about.
Header tags are differentiated as H1, H2, and H3. Where, when, and how do you use these tags?
- H1 – Reserved for the title; presented as boldface and uses the largest font size.
- H2 – The section gives the reader a description of what the title is about. In this article, our H2 defines what HTML tags are about to help our readers get a better understanding of the concept before digging deeper into the content.
- H3 – Discusses the topic. Thus, after defining what HTML tags are about, we go into the meat and potatoes of the article, the 7 HTML tags that are essential for SEO.
- H4 – Supports the points discussed in H3. In this blog, the H4 is the Conclusion and sums up the main points discussed.
As you work down the header tags the font size becomes smaller but still remains boldfaced. In some long-form blogs, the writer includes an H4 and H5.
4. Image Alt Tags
Here’s a statistic that supports having Image Alt Tags:
Content that includes graphics or images generates 94% more views.
Image Alt Tags are important because search engines cannot interpret the messages of the images that you use for your content.
An Image Alt Tag informs the search engine what your image is about.
For example, if you have an image of a person grilling steak, the image alt tag would give the following information to Google:
<image src=”grilling.jpg” alt=”grilling steak”>
In this case, the alt image tag is letting Google know that the image embedded on the blog is of someone grilling a steak.
Without an Image Alt Tag, the power of your image to bring in more views will be greatly diminished.
5. Anchor Text Tags
Linking to websites that you use as references is a great way to enhance the credibility of your blog. It validates the statistics, figures, and other key information presented that you’ve used to support your topic.
Search engines are wary about the links used on a webpage. There are content creators who stuff a page with links that aren’t relevant to the topic.
Anchor Text Tags will help avoid any confusion or misunderstanding on the links you used because this type of tag will inform the search engines on what the links are all about.
The use of Anchor Text Tags also creates reciprocity with the websites you link with and improves their search rankings as well.
6. Meta Robots Tags
A Meta Robots Tag establishes the ground rules on how web crawlers index your web page. Not all of your rules should be obligatory. Some should “suggest” to the web crawlers how you prefer they perform their functions when crawling your content.
Will the web crawlers comply? Some won’t but the good news is that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will.
Meta Robots Tags have 2 characteristics:
- The Meta Robots Tag should specify the web crawler by its name. For example, Google’s web crawler is called Googlebot.
- The provisions of the Meta Robots Tag should support your preferences and goals. For example, there might be pages that you don’t want the web crawlers to index.
If you’re consistently publishing high-quality content that is optimized with the right keywords, then you’re on the right track to move up the search rankings.
But don’t stop there.
There’s more to optimization than just the smart use of high ranking keywords. Offsite SEO is just one part of a holistic optimization strategy. Use HTML tags to further enhance the visibility of your website.
As the Internet grows in size and influence, you need every advantage to stay ahead of the competition.
We hope you were enlightened by our discussion on HTML tags. Give us a call and we can set up the HTML tags for your website.
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