HTML Terms You Should Know to Help Your SEO

Dec 19, 2013 | Search Engine Optimization

In Episode 9 of the “What’s in Your Online Marketing Toolkit?” video series, we discussed the importance of HTML to your SEO campaign. Today’s blog breaks down the key points from the video, introducing you to the concept and some of the top terms.

HTML Terms to Know for SEO

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the language used for creating web pages. It is a behind the scenes, hidden code that contains tags and communicates to browsers how your website should appear, graphically. These “tags” create the structure of the web page.

So, why do you need to know about HTML? HTML is actually very vital to SEO. Search engines cannot read a graphical web page; instead, they read the HTML code behind the scenes. Thus, search engines need quality HTML in order to index your site and turn it up in search results. Generally, you should leave the code to the experienced web developers who know what they are doing. We are just suggesting that you familiarize yourself with some of the common tags, in order to better understand your SEO campaign.

Meta Keywords
This tag was commonly used to communicate to search engines what the keywords in your site were. However, people began misusing the tag by putting in commonly-searched keywords that actually had nothing to do with their site. When search engines discovered this, they no longer placed importance on the tag. Therefore, the Meta Keywords tag is not commonly used by search engines and can actually signify to your competitors what you consider your keywords to be. Therefore, you may want to reconsider using this tag in your HTML.

Meta Descriptions
Meta Description tags offer descriptions that communicate to search engines what your site is all about. These descriptions are also used by search engines to preview to users what your site is about on search engine results pages (SERPs). Use this tag to include your keywords, communicate to search engines what your purpose is, and offer a description to potential visitors.

Rel=Canonical
Search engines do not like duplicate content; however, there are times when your site requires pages with very similar content. If you do have duplicate pages, you will want to include this tag on the page that is most complete. This tag lets search engines know which page they should turn up in search results.

Heading
The Heading tags are a hierarchy of tags, communicating the headers of each page. H1 is the first and most important heading tag. Every page on your site should have one (and only one) H1 tag. This can utilize your keywords for the page and communicate to the search engine what the page covers.

Alt Text
Alt Text is used on images to communicate to search engines what the image is depicting, as well as to visitors who cannot get the image to load, for whatever reason. This is vital because an image does not have any SEO benefits, however, the alt text applies your keywords and lets search engines know what is there.

Anchor
The anchor tag is used to hyperlink text, leading visitors to other pages on your site (or external sites). Instead of inserting a long, indecipherable link, anchor tags allow us to create a link out of normal text. Therefore, a visitor sees “learn about our search engine optimization” and is able to click on the words “search engine optimization” taking them to another web page with more information. Also, placing the hyperlink within your keywords is great for SEO.

Of course, there are hundreds of tags out there but these are some of the more common tags which help your SEO. We do not expect you to become a web developer over night, but in order to best approach your SEO campaign, you must have a basic understanding of all elements that play into it. If you do not have the time or resources to handle your company’s SEO campaign, a third party, like Informatics, can take on your project. Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have now and in the future.