Call it Search Engine Optimization. Call it SEO.
Call it an absolute necessity. Call it incredibly overrated.
Whatever you call it, you’ll find a wide variety of beliefs, definitions and declarations as to just what it means. And exactly what it involves.
Here at Amplitude Digital, we believe that SEO is comprised of three tiers:
Content, site architecture and inbound links.
And we believe that if even one of these three major building blocks is missing, your organic search results will suffer.
When it comes to that second tier, site architecture, one important component is properly using HTML tags when writing a blog post.
And just what are these HTML tags? Put simply HTML tags are pieces of HTML code that are relevant to search engines – as well as readers. Below is a further breakdown, along with some strategies for optimization.
Title tags are essentially the headline that sets up your post. Since you’re writing for individual readers as well as search engines, it’s vital to ensure that your title tag is both readable and compelling. For search engine purposes, you’ll want to make sure to include the keywords that you’re targeting in this title – in the front, if possible. And because search engine result pages (SERPs) are limited in length, you’ll want to keep your title tag between 30 and 70 characters. That way, you make sure the entire title is visible. You’ll also want to make sure that title tags – along with all the other tags we discuss here – are unique. And remember that when it comes to title tags, there can only be one per page.
The meta description is the short description of content that shows up below your title on a search engine results page. Once again, remember that real people (readers, competition and potential clients alike) use search engines, so you’ll want to make the description accurate, relevant and readable. Although Google doesn’t use the meta description for ranking factors, it does search for the description in organic listings, which means your potential site visitors will, also. You’ll also want to limit the description length to between 70 and 156 characters, so that the complete description is visible in the search results. And remember to do your best to keep these tags unique. Like title tags, there can only be one per page.
Meta Keyword Tags
Meta keyword tags may not have any effect on search engine rankings, but they are an excellent way to track the terms you’re targeting in your optimization. Readers can click on specific keywords to locate other posts on the same topic, so you’ll want to make sure you feature content that’s focused on the terms you’re using. And again, do your best to make these tags unique.
Headline tags, also known as H1 tags, not only make your text show up larger in size and boldfaced, but they also indicate importance to search engines. You’ll want to use the H1 tag in headlines, instead of just bolding a title, for this reason.
Your use of tags (H1 and H2) shows search engines how your page is organized, creating an outline of sorts for your page. Make sure to use them that way, rather than using them indiscriminately. You’ll want to try to keep them under 70 characters too. And make sure that your headline tag is different from your title tag.
Image ALT Tags
Image ALT tags allow you to describe an image in more detail. By not using the image ALT tag, you’re missing out on servicing visitors to your site who have images turned off, as well as all the SEO benefits of this tag. Like all the other types of tags, these tags should always be unique, and appear on every image on a page. Try to keep these tags to 100 characters or less.
In a nutshell, that’s the essence of HTML tags.
The following is a handy, quick-hit summary of the types of HTML tags involved in site architecture:
|Optimal Length||Best Practices|
|Title Tags||30-70 characters||Keywords in front, compelling to readers|
|Meta Description||70-156 characters||Accurate description of content|
|Meta Keyword Tags||n/a||Keywords should reflect content|
|Headline Tags||70 characters or less||Used to show organization of page; signify importance|
|Image ALT Tags||100 characters or less||Describe an image|
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