HTML for SEO impact

Modifying HTML elements to achieve the best SEO

Content is often the first area considered when improving SEO but the HTML itself can contribute towards the impact. Take a moment to look at the construction behind your presentation to reveal how it could be improved.

  • The page title element is the most important area to consider. This is the clickable link in the search engine results page so it is what potential visitors rely most upon to decide whether to visit your site. It is comprised of about 70 characters so there should be room to tell people exactly what they will find at the other end of the click.
    • It is important to aim to have keywords in key positions, such as the start and end of the title – this will make them more compelling for the human eyes browsing the search results. Placing keywords in key positions is quite different from listing every keyword possible that could be put into the title – such a title would not be compelling to the human reading it.
  • The meta description element is a much less important factor for search engine algorithms. It is however viewable by humans in the results page as an extra line of information to better justify clicking on the link.
    • This description should be a 20 — 40 word summary that fully utilises the keywords that people will be searching for. Consider secondary keywords that qualify the primary words in their search.
  • The meta keywords element at one point was a major component of search engine optimisation. Nowadays it is of no real importance as it is ignored by search engines (due to wide-scale abuse) and is not seen by visitors. However older search engines may still use this information so it is wise to include it on your page.
  • The heading elements should prioritise keywords. Clearly convey a structure from H1 to H6 so that the content is broken down into meaningful sections.
  • Alt attributes are the text descriptions given to images when the images themselves are not displayed. They are viewable by only a small number of visitors depending on their browser settings, i.e. people browsing with images turned off, using text-only browsers or screen-readers. However they do provide search engines with context information for the page and are used in image searches so care should be taken to craft these into accurate descriptions.

The elements within your content and how you use them can bring to the fore the qualities that visitors want to find. Search optimisation requires the marrying of content to these elements as these are the elements that are seen in the search pile.

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