Jan 5, 2010

HTML basics for SEO specialists

You need to learn the basics if you intend to do SEO yourself. HTML is very important for both on-page and of page SEO optimization.

You need to know how to structure a web site, what are the value and the meaning of the basic HTML tags and how search engines see them. During a link building campaign you must know which online directories, services and sites provide quality links.

Basic HTML tags you need to know

<html></html> - this tag tells that this is a HTML document. It is the root element of HTML document.
<head></head> - this tag is a container of all head elements like title, meta-tags, styles and so on.
<title></title> -this is your page’s title. It must be located in the head of the document. The title tag is very important – it provides basic information about your page to both human visitors and search engines. SE use titles in their result pages. The title must be short and descriptive with one or two keywords in it.

<body></body> - this tag defines the document body, all text and formatting elements must go here.

<a></a> - an anchor tag. This is the most important HTML tag for you as a SEO specialist. The anchor can be used for both creating a link to another HTML document or a bookmark within the same document.
The anchor tag has several attributes but the most important of them is href. It tells the link’s destination.
Another important attribute is rel. It tells the relation between this document and its target document. If a link is marked as nofollow (rel=nofollow), it says to search engines that this pages links to unverified document and it don’t want to pass its rank and quality to the linked document.
The text between the opening and closing anchor tags is the text that will explain to humans and search engines what kind of page is on the other way of this link. Search engines pay special attention to this text so it is the best place to put a keyword. Both search engines and human visitors pay special attention to the text around a hyperlink or anchor. Humans decide to visit a page according to this text. Search engines index the page content according to this text again. Humans and search engines are quite similar, aren’t they?

If you want to learn more:
What do you need to know about links

Headings - <h1> to <h6> - these tags are used to define HTML headings. The lower the number the larger is the text shown on your browser. Headings are great way to mark titles like blog post titles or category titles for example. This blog by default has several posts on a page and each post title is marked with a heading.

<img> - this tag defines an image. Here you have two SEO-important attributes. The first is src and marks the location of the image. The second is alt and is used to mark an alternative text to be shown to the visitors. Search engines aren’t exactly humans and can distinguish what is on the image. They use the other elements on the same page and the alt element of the image tag to index the image. Using a keyword here will help you get traffic from image searches.

Read more:
Getting traffic from your images

You can learn more HTML here.

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