Websites are meant for traffic. They are the highways and byways of the internet that, if designed properly, should keep the customers coming back for more. Most of your website’s traffic comes directly from a search engine like Google or Bing, as there are many people who don’t directly type in your exact URL. Instead, they search through these engines for terms that are relevant to their question or need. An excellent way to capture your target audience on these search engines is by using HTML tags for SEO.
What are Tags in SEO?
You might be wondering what we’re talking about when we say “tags.” HTML tags are tiny tidbits of HTML code that define your website content and helps search engines understand it better. When you build a website and introduce it to the World Wide Web, search engines implement a process called “crawling.” When these engines “crawl” your site, they are scanning and reading each of your pages’ HTML. This is the first step in site recognition. However, search engines decide if your content is worthy of being indexed or not. Indexing just means enabling it to appear in search results. The goal is to for the search engine to recognize your site and index it, so it shows up in search results.
If your HTML tags are lacking, your website performance and overall SEO will suffer. Why? Because search engines won’t be able to understand your content, thus inhibiting their ability to effectively determine your content’s meaning and its specific categorization.
Types of HTML Tags
There are a variety of HTML tags you should be including in your SEO strategy, These include:
- Title Tags
This tag is the title of the web page and is one of the most critical tags you can use. Search engine algorithms rely more so on these tags to determine what each web page is about. It’s the headline or larger text you read after you search for something using a search engine, which should describe the topic and entice readers to click for more information. This tag should include your target keywords, so the search engine understands how to rank you in the results.
- Meta-description Tags
Meta-description tags are essentially a brief summary of what your content is talking about. Think of it as a subheading to your headline title tag. This text appears underneath the title tag in the search results. Both your meta-description and title tags should include the same keywords to make it easier for search engines to recognize.
- Header Tags
Have you ever heard someone talking about H1s, H2s, or H3s? This is an abbreviated way of saying headers. The lower the number, the larger the text. For example, an H1 would be the title of the page while the H2 would be a slightly smaller subheading, and so on with the H3. These tags help you organize your content so it’s easy to read and understand for users and search engines.
- Image Alt Tags
Many companies miss out on the incredible opportunity that image alt tags have to offer. They concentrate completely on the words and forget to tag their images. If you want your images to rank on Google, you’ll have to add alt tags to all the images on your site. This way, if someone happens to search in the “Images” tab on Google or another search engine, you’ll have a better chance of showing up.
- Anchor Text Tags
If you have a solid SEO strategy, chances are, you’re linking to external sources within your content. But how do search engines know what these links are about? Anchor tags. These tags tell them the destination of where you’re linking and the topic covered in the link. When you have good anchor tags, search engines will understand what search query you should rank for, ultimately resulting in improved search volume and website performance.
- Canonical Tags
All websites have duplicate pages, whether you think so or not. Search engines can crawl the same web page with a few separate URLs. When you add canonical tags, you tell the search engine which specific web page you want them to focus on. Instead of confusing the engine, it’s best to be as specific as possible with canonical tags.
HTML Tagging Tips and Tricks
So, what’s the secret of how to write good meta tags? We’re here to show you the ropes! Below are a few common best practices to keep in mind when creating your tags.
Watch Your Character Count
Did you know that Google only displays around 50-60 characters of a title tag? To avoid getting cut off in search results, aim for tags that are less than 50 characters long. Be sure that your meta-descriptions are also approximately 160 characters, as you don’t want these cut off either. And let’s be honest, sometimes shorter is just better these days when our attention spans are so short.
The most important thing you can do when it comes to your SEO strategy is to be descriptive. Keep in mind that search engines don’t know what you’re thinking or what you’re trying to get across in your content. So, you need to tell them what they need to know. Using modifiers can add some much-needed description and appeal to your HTML tags. Some commonly used modifiers include the words: tips, how-to, buy, top, find, etc.
HTML tags serve more than one purpose. Yes, they help you get on Google’s good side by describing your content in a way it understands. However, HTML tags also play an integral role in persuading users to click on your search result and increase your click-through rate. Tacking numbers onto your title tag is an excellent way to spark interest in your potential customers. This could be a year (How to Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy in 2021) or a top-ten list (The Top 10 SEO Tips to Skyrocket Your Ranking).
Add Keywords Consistently
Each page on your site should offer value to the user, whether it’s answering a specific question or providing a product or service that meets their need. It’s essential to use your target keyword(s) in both your title tag and meta-description to ensure that you show up as relevant in the search results. This way, Google will love you and your audience has a chance to fall in love with you too! Try to insert your primary keyword toward the beginning of the title to get the point across as quickly as possible. Remember not to overdo it though and avoid falling into the temptation of keyword stuffing to gain an unfair advantage. Aim for a good balance, and you’ll be golden.
Don’t just be like everyone else; stand out from the crowd with unique title tags and meta-descriptions that draw customers in. Ask yourself if you would keep scrolling after reading what you just wrote. If so, you should make some edits. Each page of your website is different, so your tags should reflect this. Add a little personality, humor, or other types of creative flair to each page tag to evoke interest and hopefully attract the right customers (and keep them coming back).
How to Add HTML Tags to Your Website
Now that you have a better understanding of what HTML tags are, you’re probably wondering how you can add them to your website. There are a couple of different ways you can do this.
One way is to have your web developer login to your Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla and add the coding to the necessary areas of your site’s HTML code. Here are some examples of how each tag looks:
Title tags: <title>Insert Title Here<title/>
Meta-description tags: <meta name=”description” content=”Whatever you want to say to summarize your page.”>
Headers: <h1>Insert Heading Here </h1>
Alt tags for images: <img src=”ImageName.jpg” alt=”what are you cooking”>
Anchor text tags: <a href=”URL”>Insert Text Here</a>
Canonical Tags: <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://yourwebsite.com/”>
Another easier way (especially if you’re technically challenged and don’t have any coding background) is to use a plugin for your website. These can be installed in your CMS and allow you to input the title, meta-descriptions, and other tags into the fillable fields instead of dealing with code.
Leave the Tagging to a Team of Professionals
Just having a website isn’t enough to attract customers. You need a plan to build your online presence and a search engine optimisation strategy that works, including HTML tags. Are you having trouble connecting with your audience online? Not seeing the results you want? Or maybe you’re still confused about HTML tags and need some assistance in that arena. The expert team at Higher Ranking is ready to assist you with increasing your visibility and ROI, building your brand awareness, establishing a strong online presence, generating quality leads, driving more traffic, and boosting sales for your business. Managing your SEO is nothing short of overwhelming for a business owner that has plenty of other things to worry about. Focus on your customers, employees, and running your business, and let us handle the rest. Contact us today to see how we can help by calling 03-9399-1469 or sending us a message on our website.