HTML is handy for those using a blogging platform just as much as it is for those who aren’t. While it is strongly recommended that you use a CMS to publish your content to the web, the technical difficulties associated with getting this set up might be difficult for you. If you have to hand craft your content, you want to make sure you are using the right tags in order to guarantee the search engines are interacting with your site properly.
These tags can also be helpful if you are using a content management system like WordPress or Joomla. Knowing about them is essential to using them. On these content management systems the tags are implemented in a slightly different way, so make sure you reference your user’s guide to find out how to take advantage of them.
1. H1, H2, H3
Most search engines will look to your header tags to see what your content is about. They pick this information up in a number of different spots, but the heading tags get a lot of the attention. If you put your key phrases in these tags, then the sites will know that your content has a lot to do with these key phrases.
For instance, if you are writing a blog about blueberry pies, but your entire site is about baking in general, you may want to mix and match your header tags in that article to get the best effect. The following examples are great for your headers.
H1 Should read:
Baking Blueberry Pies the Easy Way.
H2 Should Read:
Can Blueberry Pies be this easy?
And H3 should read:
Baking Blueberry Pies Will Make Everyone Happy.
This will ensure that the search engine knows that this page is about blue berry pies while also giving you the opportunity to tell it that it’s about baking. Since the search engines find every site to be about baking, they will be more likely to learn what the whole site is about.
2. Img Tags
These tags are very important. It’s required for you to put a picture into your posts. Having images in your posts are a secret way to get extra SEO points.
Make sure that with each IMG tag you also use the ALT attribute. This tells the search engine, in plain text, what the picture represents. Having lots of pictures about your topic can help to put you higher in the search engine ranks.
3. Anchor Tags
The anchor tag is probably the most important on this list. It will enable you to link to other content on your site as well as others. Make sure that you regularly link to your own content in order to tell the search engines what your site is about.
Make sure that you don’t ever have more than 100 links on a given page. Search engines don’t like this and your site may get flagged. But if you include at least one link on every page, that will help a lot.
Integrating the anchor tags into your posts on a regular basis is easy. You should always stay on topic, though, because the search engines will learn what your site is about based on what you link to just as much as what links to you. A good place to find high quality content that won’t compete with your site is through Wikipedia.
4. Meta Tags
Using meta tags is a great way to make sure that the search engines know what your site is about. There are two tags that you should know about: Meta Description and Meta Keywords. Each of these are used independently to tell the search engines what your site is about.
The description is what will show up to a user who finds your content on the Internet. This will help them make a decision as to whether or not to click to your site or to a competitors, so bring out your best writers game. The search engines also learn what your site is about.
The keywords tag will help the search engines know when to return your site versus another. This alone won’t do much, but when combined with the other search engine optimization tips, it will help. But remember, it’s not a magic bullet!
5. P, DIV, SPAN
The final three tags rounding out our tutorial are absolutely important if you are going to properly organize the content on your site. Remember that the search engines don’t care what your site looks like as long as nothing is hidden from view. By structuring your content with these tags, you will be able to make sure that the search engine gets the right idea about your site.
The P tag will indicate that you have started a new paragraph. This is far better than working without it, as then all of the content jumbles together. The search engine can still figure out what your site is about, but you will not be able to intelligently style your pages without it.
The DIV tag helps to identify “dividers” on your page. Putting all of the sidebar links in such a tag will enable you to style them using style sheets without filling your page with useless styling content. It’s one of the most important tags for anyone looking to make their site look good without annoying the search engines.
The SPAN tag is like a combination of the P tag and the DIV tag, and allows you to style a span of text. Doing this is useful if you want to bring attention to a string of characters in your content, but you don’t want to confuse the search engines. You may also want to be able to provide different types of designs for different users.
Regardless of your skills using HTML, all of these tags will come in handy. If you understand what each one is used for and how to best employ it, then it can easily be useful for you. Now that you know, you can prepare better content for the search engines.