HTML Tags for SEO – Best Practices & 9 Important Tags

In today’s digital world, it is no secret that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the lifeline for any business. You cannot deny the importance of SEO for any type of website. No matter your website is developed using any programming language, the edge that SEO offers is unmatched. Before we look into the technicalities surrounding […]

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In today’s digital world, it is no secret that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the lifeline for any business. You cannot deny the importance of SEO for any type of website. No matter your website is developed using any programming language, the edge that SEO offers is unmatched.

Before we look into the technicalities surrounding SEO for HTML websites, let’s give you a quick refresher on basic SEO.

SEO – A Quick Refresher

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques that involve ranking your website higher in search results. SEO drives organic traffic to your website. It is focused on targeting unpaid traffic to your website. Hence, your website appears in top search results based on the keywords that your SEO campaign utilizes.

What is Onsite SEO?

Onsite seo is the process of optimizing your website. The most important on site seo elements include your title tags, header tags, meta description, and website structure.

HTML SEO – Getting Started

SEO demands greater scrutiny of your code if your website is developed using HTML. If your website is developed in any other platform but HTML, you will not need to dive deep into your code. However, there is a silver lining; for websites in HTML, you can make any number of changes on the go.

You can modify your code for HTML pages in any way you deem appropriate for your SEO requirements. You only need to know the best possible ways to do so. This way your SEO campaign will flourish and generate the required revenue.

Now, without further ado let’s dig deep into the ways you can make your HTML website ideal for your SEO campaigns. Remember, digital tools like SEO encompass a very volatile set of rules that keep on changing for the better with time. Hence, we will be discussing all the latest tips for making your HTML website SEO-friendly.

HTML Tags You Need for an SEO Friendly Website

1. Title Tags

You need to make your <title> tag as descriptive as possible. The description should consist of relevant keywords that enhance the organic SEO for your site. Most sites work on either of these two tags, thereby ignoring one of these two altogether. Using keywords that are rich in context will do wonders if you use the <head> tag and <title> tag in tandem.

2. Meta Descriptions

Let’s be straight up, meta descriptions directly have no impact on your site’s SEO ranking. Why do meta descriptions hold any importance then? The answer lies in the fact that meta descriptions alone will not boost the SEO ranking, rather they will complement various SEO strategies that you may deploy.

You should go for keywords and phrases that are long-tailed. These will attract organic visitors that are ready to convert into a revenue source i.e ready to make a purchase or hire your services. Moreover, well-written meta descriptions can be used to target different locations for local SEO as well.

3. Header Tags

Header tags are used to give headlines to different sections on your website. These help in the organization of your content. Search engines make use of these tags to determine the hierarchy of your content. You get six header tags i.e., h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 that you can use to give headlines to different sections of your site. Out of these, h1 is the most significant tag while h6 is the least significant one.

You can use header tags multiple times on a single page. However, make sure not to overuse a single header tag as search engines may mark it as spam. Moreover, every header tag should have unique content. The use of header tags is limited to the headlines only. Do not use them for giving subtitles or adding more context to your headlines.

4. Body Tags

The body tag is used to give a structure to the main content on your website. You need to make sure that your <body> tag contains all the relevant keywords and phrases. These should be rich in context and must have a high organic value. The use of body tags will help you in targeting your content for specific keywords that you want to rank for.

5. Anchor Tags

Anchor tags are used to give a hyperlink to another section on the same page or to some other page altogether. You can also use anchor tags to give a link to an external website. The text that you highlight for giving the hyperlink is called an anchor text. You need to make sure that your anchor text is relevant to the page you are linking it to.

The relevance of your anchor text is of utmost importance as it tells search engines what the page you are linking to is all about. Moreover, the use of relevant anchor text will also help you in ranking for those keywords.

6. Image Tags

You need to make sure that every image on your website has an ALT attribute. The value of this attribute should be a brief description of what the image is all about. You can also use keywords in your ALT attribute. This will help you in ranking for those keywords.

You should also make sure that the size of your images is not too large. Large image files take a lot of time to load. This increases the loading time of your website which is bad for your SEO ranking.

7. Sitemap

A sitemap is an XML file that contains all the important pages on your website. This file is used by search engines to index your website. You need to make sure that your sitemap is up to date and contains all the important pages on your website.

You can create a sitemap using various online tools. Once you have created the sitemap, you need to submit it to Google Search Console. This will help Google in indexing your website quickly.

8. Robots.txt

The robots.txt file is used to give instructions to search engine bots about which pages on your website they should index and which they should not. This file is placed in the root directory of your website. You need to make sure that your robots.txt file is well- optimized and does not block any important pages on your website.

9. Favicon

A favicon is a small icon that is used to represent your website. This icon is displayed next to your website’s URL in the browser’s address bar. You need to make sure that your favicon is relevant to your website and is of a good quality.

The use of a favicon helps in branding your website and makes it easy for users to identify your website in the browser’s address bar.

Other Important Website Factors That Affect SEO

Layout a Clean Framework and Design

Make a robust plan for your HTML website’s design and navigation. Any design that is tough for humans to navigate will definitely be difficult for any search engine to crawl. When the search engine will find it tough to crawl your website, it will directly affect your SEO.

Even if you intend on building a website with a few pages (or hundreds of pages), start your HTML coding by planning the user-friendly navigation. The science is simple; an easier-to-navigate site will help the users as well as the search engine for boosting your SEO campaign.

URL Naming Conventions for Your Website Pages

You can manually change the URLs of your pages with HTML. Grasp this opportunity to create URLs that are rich in keywords specific to your business needs. This again will be beneficial for both the visitors and search engine crawling of your website, as was the case in point number one above.

For instance, one of the pages of your site is dedicated to “school bags”. It should be common knowledge to include “school bags” in the URL of that page. However, you will find a lot of URLs out there that overlook this common knowledge and thereby harm the organic SEO of that specific page.

Unique Content is the King of SEO

Adding unique content to your pages with rich keywords will do wonders for your SEO for an HTML website or any website in general. The reason is simple; unique content is the king of SEO! However, one thing to remember is the context i.e. utilizing those keywords that are pertinent to your business within your content.

One tip while searching for keywords can be found in your PPC campaign. PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is the paid advertising done by you for ranking better in searches. Those keywords that perform best in PPC campaigns can be utilized for your content. This will help you in foregoing hefty payments for PPC while developing your own organic SEO.

Include External and Internal Page Links

Including an external link within your content will let the search engine know that your content originates from a trusted site. This will increase the SEO ranking and cater to a wider audience due to the trustworthiness of your content.

Similarly, including internal links will let the user find relevant topics of interest within your website. It will make the search engine know that the page is well-connected to your website. Therefore, including an external and an internal link is vital for SEO ranking. It is recommended to use internal links that offer similar or related products to your visitors. This will drive the traffic all while the user stays on your website for related items as well.

Test Your Site’s Page Load Time Frequently

If your website takes longer to load, it will discourage visitors. Make sure you code and test your pages for their load time frequently. There are two advantages to this practice; one you can test the quality of your HTML code vis-a-vis load time. Second, the organic traffic will stay on your website for longer periods of time. A win-win situation.

Flash or JavaScript is not recommended

The elements included in JavaScript or Flash may look classy on your website but alas they cannot be read and tracked by search engines. Simply put, Google will not be able to comprehend the content available in any of these two elements. Hence, adding menus in JavaScript or Flash is strongly discouraged.

Protect Your Online Reputation

Remember we talked about internal and external links in point number seven above. These links pass on their credibility and reputation to your website and vice versa. Therefore, if you have no moderation in place for spam comments and other such negative practices, it is recommended that you moderate such practices.

There are different ways you can intimate the search engine crawler that you do not vouch for the website that you have linked to. This topic is beyond the scope of this discussion, however, you can find a ton of resources on the internet.

The Final Verdict – What You Learnt

SEO is vital for any online business. If you are developing your site in HTML, the SEO can yield even better results as you have more control over the code. However, there are a few delicacies involved in the SEO process while building an HTML website. These consist of the practices and steps that you can take to enhance your SEO for an HTML website.

Our ten points for your SEO needs for an HTML site can be summarized easily. Start off with planning a proper framework and navigation for your website. Use keywords rich in context for your URLs. Furthermore, make your <head> and <title> tags descriptive using relevant keywords. Do not ignore the meta descriptions as they offer a complementary boost to your SEO campaign.

Next, develop unique content for your website pages and include both external as well as internal links to them. While you add images and videos to your content, tag them accordingly so that the search engine may find them while crawling. Moreover, when you are done with all these aspects, test your site for load time. A slow-loading website page will discourage visitors therefore you need a closer look at its code. The menus should not be added in Flash or JavaScript as the search engine is not able to craw through these elements. Finally, take care of your online reputation by deploying moderation techniques!

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Roger Avila

Roger Avila

Roger is an SEO Manager at JetRank based out of sunny San Diego, CA.
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