What are the Most Crucial HTML Tags for SEO?

HTML tags

To optimise or not to optimise, that is the question. The next question is probably how? SEO can be divided into what you do off your web page, like trying to increase your authority through link building with other reputable websites, and how you go about organising the content and its structure on your page. HTML tags are one such piece to the structuring of your on-page content. Basically, HTML is the input language that produces what we see on web pages. However, some tags are worth more than others.

Crucial HTML Tags for SEO

  • Title Tags

Pretty simple to understand (it’s in the title). These tags are the titles of your webpages which are usually what users will see first on the SERPs (search engine results pages). If your title is clear and suggestive of your content, users are likely to click through. Search engines are interested in your title tag but are more concerned with the context of your content as opposed to your title alone.

  • Meta Description Tags

Meta description is a piece of text that should appear under your title in SERPs. The small paragraph should give users an idea as to what the page is about, and encourage traffic to your website. Although meta description is no longer an official ranking factor, a well-written description that answers queries can entice users in and boost your rankings through traffic.

  • Heading Tags

Relevant and structured headings are a bonus for SEO and the user. Headings have a hierarchy of your page, with the main heading (H1) being followed by sub-headings (H2-H6), which organises your content. Your H1 tag gets the highest priority for search engines, while H2-H6 makes it easier to understand what your content is about, for both search engines and users.

  • Schema Markup

Search engines want to understand your content and how it pieces together. The more context you give, the more logical it seems. Schema markup is a shared language that organises your content and adds value to elements on your page that you deem essential to users. Some of the elements are included in your page description, making it more attractive when it appears on SERPs.

  • Image ALT Tags

Image ALT tags describe in words what your images look like. Search engines can’t see an image, so by telling them what it gives relevance to your content and makes it easier for them to understand.

  • Nofollow Attributes

Most links you put on your website are intended for users to follow. Links from quality sources provide context to your words for search engines. Attaching a nofollow attribute to a link tells the search engine precisely that. Specific links are trivial but need to be there, so instructing search engines to ignore them protects your rankings. Robots meta tags do a similar function on an entire page. These tags defend instead of improving your rankings.

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