The Six Most Important HTML Tags For SEO
March 24, 2017 | By Jeff | In Tips & Advice
Search Engine Optimization has changed and evolved over the years, but many of the basics have stayed the same. Aside from creating fresh quality content on your site, there are a few basic things that you should always follow if you want your content to be optimized for SEO. You need to leverage these six important HTML tags whenever you get the opportunity on your site. Here they are in order of most important to least:
1. The <title> Tag
The <title> tag appears in the <head> section of your website and is arguable the most important tag you should focus on to leverage search engine visibility. This is usually the first thing search engines see when they crawl your site so you should take advantage of that. It is also the first thing people see on search engine results. A good guide line for writing a good title tag is to stick to between 10-14 characters. Start with your keyword or local area keyword (make sure it’s relevant to the page) , and then add your branding words. You can also separate each block with dashes “-“, commas “,”, or pipes “|”. IE: Carpet Cleaning & Sales In NJ | Ted’s Carpet Emporium
2. Header Tags <h1> <h2> <h3>
These tags appear in the body of your site and break up your content into sections. The h1 should be treated as the title header of your content, while the h2, and h3 tags should be used to break up several paragraph headers in order of importance and text flow. Once again, you can use a phrase with your keyword or key phrase. Contrary to popular opinion, it is okay to have more than one h1 tag on your site. With the normal use of HTML5, it is okay to have multiple h1 tags as long as they are separated apart between <section>, <article> or <aside> tags.
3. Bold Tags <b>, <strong>
These tags both do the same thing, they make text bold in your body. Search engines pay more attention to bold text than to normal text, so you can leverage your keywords and phrases by placing them in bold text in your paragraphs, or links. Generally <strong> is the more widely used tag in modern HTML coding.
4. Image File Name & Alt Text
Image file names should be written with a relevant keyword in the file name. Don’t go crazy with it. Maybe one or two words should work. You don’t want a super long filename. The other important thing to remember for <img> tags is the alt tag which appears inside the <img> tag. This is used mainly for screen readers for the seeing impaired. It is also a powerful tool to use for SEO. Think of the alt parameter as a tweet describing your image. Keep it short and descriptive, and try to fit a keyword or phrase into that description. Just make sure that it makes sense.
There are many hyperlinks on your website. You should make sure to include your keywords or phrases inside hyperlinks to other sections of your site. Make sure if you are fitting in keywords into your content, make sure it flows well with the text and doesn’t read like spam.
6. Description Tag (honorable mention)
While the description meta tag is no longer a thing that affects your ranking, it is still important to write a relevant and descriptive meta description for your page. This is the paragraph of text that appears after the title in search engine results, so it is in your best interest to make sure that users know what it is they’re about to click on or you might lose them.