9 HTML Tags (& 11 Attributes) You Must Know for SEO

HTML is a markup language that bureaucracy the root of maximum webpages.

It is arguably one of the vital basic portions of technical SEO.

Using HTML parts, SEO execs are in a position to be in contact details about the web page to customers and seek bots.

This can lend a hand to elucidate the significance, nature, and order of content material on a web page, in addition to its dating to different webpages.

The Difference Between Tags & Attributes

To perceive the adaptation between tags and attributes we want to be sure we’ve were given our terminology proper.

Many other people will use the word “tag” and “attribute” interchangeably, however let’s be exact.

The structure of the beneath HTML part is in 3 portions:

  • The opening tag.
  • The content material particular to that tag,.
  • The last tag.

For instance:

<h1>Welcome to my web page about kittens</h1>
  • “<h1>” opens the tag.
  • “Welcome to my page about kittens” is the content material of the tag.
  • “</h1>” closes the tag.


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This part is a header and can be used as a visual identify on a webpage to introduce the content material about kittens.


Tags will have to have the outlet <X> and shutting </X> parts so as for the tag to work.

There also are empty parts, like <br>, which shouldn’t have any content material or finish tag to them.


Attributes are added to parts to switch them. They take a seat inside the part, comparable to:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.instance.com" />

3 Basic HTML tags

In order to make an invaluable webpage, there are a couple of key tags which are wanted.

<!DOCTYPE html>

The <!DOCTYPE html> tag is the first actual tag on a webpage.

It necessarily introduces the web page as being a webpage.


The <head> tag introduces the primary phase of the web page.

This is the place details about the web page, that received’t be displayed at the web page, is contained.

It’s essential to understand concerning the <head> as that is the place one of the most the most important tags for SEO want to be housed.


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The frame tag comprises the tips at the web page that your guests will see.

Here is the place your reproduction, photographs, and movies will move.

The frame may even space one of the most different HTML tags we’ll discuss later.

Common Tags for SEO & the Attributes Used in Them


The <meta> tag sits inside the <head> of the web page.

It can comprise attributes that describe details about the webpage that received’t in truth be observed within the content material of the web page.

This meta tag is steadily referred to as “metadata” on account of the attributes which are used with it that regulate such things as the “meta description” and the no-longer-used “meta keywords.”

Name Attribute

The identify characteristic is used with the <meta> tag.

It is largely some way of specifying to any bots which might talk over with the web page if the next data applies to them or now not.

For instance, together with <meta identify=”robots” content material=”noindex” /> method that every one bots must take realize of the “noindex” directive.

You will steadily pay attention this referred to as the “meta robots tag.”

If the next had been used <meta identify=”googlebot” content material=”noindex” /> simplest Google’s bot would want to take realize of the “noindex” directive.

This is an effective way of giving instructions to a couple seek bots that don’t seem to be wanted for all.

Noindex Attribute

The “noindex” characteristic is one often utilized in SEO.

You will steadily pay attention it being referred to as the “noindex tag” however extra as it should be it’s an characteristic of the <meta> tag.

It’s formulated:

<meta identify="robots" content material="noindex" />

This piece of code permits publishers to decide what content material will also be incorporated in a seek engine’s index.

By including the “noindex” characteristic, you’re necessarily telling a seek engine it would possibly not use this web page inside of its index.

For instance, this turns out to be useful if there may be delicate content material you wish to have not to be to be had from an natural seek.

For example, when you have spaces for your website that are supposed to simplest be out there to paid individuals, permitting this content material into the hunt indices may make it out there with out logging in.


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The “noindex” directive must be learn to be adopted. That is, the hunt bots want in an effort to get entry to the web page to learn the HTML code that comprises the directive.

As such, watch out to not block the robots from gaining access to the web page within the robots.txt.

Description Attribute

The description characteristic, higher referred to as the “meta description,” is used with the <meta> tag.

The content material of this tag is used within the SERPs, beneath the content material of the <identify> tag.

It permits publishers to summarise the content material at the web page in some way that can lend a hand searchers decide if the web page meets their wishes.


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This does now not impact the ratings of a web page however can lend a hand inspire clicks via to the web page from the SERPs.

It is essential to understand that during many circumstances Google will forget about the content material of the outline characteristic in prefer of the use of its personal description within the SERPs.

For steerage on easy methods to optimize your description attributes, see Jeff Riddall’s post.


The identify tag is one you’ll be aware of should you’ve been round SEO any period of time.

Also identified colloquially because the “meta title”, it’s the tag you utilize to outline the identify of the web page. It sits inside the <head> of the website.

As such, it’s not visual to customers when at the webpage. However, apparently within the browser bar, within the SERPs, and lets you symbolize the relevance of a web page to a searcher’s question – each to the hunt bots and customers.

It is crucial part in SEO. To in finding out extra about excellent follow with identify tags learn Corey Morris’ article.


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<h1> to <h6>

The headings tags are used to signify which portions of HTML content material must be styled as headings.

The tags take a seat inside the <frame> of the web page and subsequently the textual content is visual to customers viewing the web page’s content material.

The heading tags must be used to lend a hand construction the web page.

When making a web site builders will be sure that kinds are related to every form of heading tag.

This method the phrases wrapped in a <h1> tag must glance other from the phrases wrapped in a <h2> tag.

This is helping customers to decide when a bit of textual content is a part of the phase that went prior to it, like titles and subtitles.

The heading tags additionally lend a hand the hunt bots to decide the construction of the content material on a web page.

For additional data at the significance and use of header tags, see Sam Hollingsworth’s excellent article.

Link Tags & Href Attribute

As SEO execs, we spend numerous time chasing hyperlinks.


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But have you learnt how a link is structured and subsequently why some hyperlinks are gave the impression to be price greater than others?

A regular link is largely an <a> tag. It’s structure is as follows:

<a href=”www.instance.com”>anchor textual content of link is going right here</a>.

The <a> tag signifies this is a link.

The href= characteristic dictates the vacation spot of the link (i.e., what web page it’s linking to).

The textual content that sits between the outlet <a> tag and the last </a> tag is the anchor textual content.

This is the textual content {that a} consumer will see at the web page that appears clickable.

This is used for clickable hyperlinks that can seem within the <frame> of the web page.

The <link> tag is used to link a useful resource to any other and looks within the <head> of the web page.

These hyperlinks don’t seem to be links, they don’t seem to be clickable. They show the connection between internet paperwork.

Rel=”nofollow” Attribute

The rel=”nofollow” characteristic tells bots that the URL inside the href characteristic isn’t one that may be adopted by them.


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Using the rel=”nofollow” characteristic is not going to impact a human consumer’s skill to click on at the link and be taken to any other web page. It simplest impacts bots.

This is used inside of SEO to forestall the various search engines from visiting a web page, or from ascribing any good thing about one web page linking to any other.

This arguably renders a link needless from the normal SEO link-building point of view as link fairness is not going to go in the course of the link.

There are arguments to mention that it’s nonetheless a really helpful link if it reasons guests to view the linked-to web page in fact!

The “nofollow” characteristic can be utilized by publishers to lend a hand search engines like google to understand when a linked-to web page is the results of fee, for instance, an ad.

This can lend a hand prevent problems with the link consequences because the writer is admitting that the link is the results of a valid deal and now not an try to manipulate the ratings.

The rel=”nofollow” characteristic can be utilized on a person link foundation like the next:


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<a href=www.instance.com rel="nofollow">anchor textual content of link is going right here</a>

Or it may be used to render all hyperlinks on a web page as “nofollow” via the use of it within the <head> like a “noindex” characteristic is used:

<meta identify="robots" content material="nofollow" />

For additional information on when to make use of the rel=”nofollow” characteristic, you’ll learn Julie Joyce’s (*9*).

How Google Uses the rel=”nofollow” Attribute

In 2019, Google introduced that there can be some adjustments to how it used the “nofollow” characteristic.

This incorporated informing us of a few further attributes which may be used as an alternative of the “nofollow” to higher specific the connection of the link to its goal web page.

These new attributes are the rel=”ugc” and rel=”sponsored.”

They are for use to lend a hand Google perceive when a writer needs for the objective web page to be discounted for ranking sign functions.

The rel=”sponsored” characteristic is to spot when a link is the results of a paid deal comparable to an ad or sponsorship. The rel=”ugc” characteristic is to spot when a link has been added via user-generated content material comparable to a discussion board.


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Google additionally introduced that those, and the “nofollow” characteristic would simplest be handled as hints.

Whereas in the past the “nofollow” characteristic would lead to Googlebot ignoring the required link, it now will take that trace underneath advisement however might nonetheless deal with it as though the “nofollow” isn’t provide.

For extra details about this announcement, see Matt Southern’s (*11*).

Hreflang Attribute

The objective of the hreflang characteristic is to lend a hand publishers whose websites show the similar content material in a couple of languages.

It directs the various search engines as to which model of the web page must be proven to customers so they are able to learn it of their most popular language.

The hreflang characteristic is used with the <link> tag. This characteristic specifies the language of the content material at the URL related to.

It’s used inside the <head> of the web page and is formatted as follows:

<link rel="exchange" href="https://instance.com" hreflang="en-gb" />

It’s damaged down into a number of portions:

  • The rel=”exchange” which means the web page has another web page related to it.
  • The href= characteristic denotes which URL is being related to.
  • The language code is a two-letter designation to inform the hunt bots what language the related web page is written in. The two letters are taken from a standardized listing referred to as the ISO 639-1 codes


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The hreflang characteristic will also be used within the HTTP header for paperwork that aren’t in HTML (like a PDF) or within the web site’s XML sitemap.

Using the hreflang characteristic appropriately will also be tough. For additional information on its use, see Dan Taylor’s article on its right kind implementation.

Canonical Attribute

The rel=”canonical” characteristic of the link tag permits SEO execs to specify which different web page on a web site, or any other area, must be counted because the canonical.

A web page being the canonical necessarily method it’s the primary web page, of which others could also be copies.

For seek engine functions, this is a sign of the web page a writer desires to be thought to be the principle one to be ranked, the copies must now not be ranked.

The canonical characteristic seems like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.instance.com/" />

The code must take a seat within the <head> of the web page. The internet web page mentioned after the “href=” must be the web page you wish to have the hunt bots to imagine the canonical web page.


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This tag turns out to be useful in eventualities the place two or extra pages will have same or near-identical content material on them.

Uses of the Canonical Attribute

The web site may well be arrange in this sort of manner that this turns out to be useful for customers, comparable to a product record web page on an ecommerce website.

For example, the principle class web page for a suite of goods, comparable to “shoes”, will have reproduction, headers, and a web page identify which have been written about “shoes.”

If a consumer had been to click on on a clear out to show simplest brown, measurement 8 sneakers, the URL would possibly trade however the reproduction, headers, and web page identify would possibly stay the similar because the “shoes” web page.

This would lead to two pages which are same excluding the listing of goods which are proven.

In this example, the web site proprietor would possibly need to put a canonical tag at the “brown, size 8 shoes” web page pointing to the “shoes” web page.

This would lend a hand the various search engines to needless to say the “brown, size 8 shoes” web page does now not want to be ranked, while the “shoes” web page is the extra essential of the 2 and must be ranked.


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Issues With the Canonical Attribute

It’s essential to understand that the various search engines simplest use the canonical characteristic as a information, it’s not one thing that must be adopted.

There are many circumstances the place the canonical characteristic is not noted and any other web page decided on because the canonical of the set.

For additional information on easy methods to use the canonical characteristic appropriately, see Matt Southern’s article.


The <img> tag is used to embed a picture right into a web page of HTML.

The symbol tag does now not insert the picture into the web page as such, however hyperlinks to it in some way that permits the picture to be visual at the web page.

It necessarily creates a container for a picture this is hosted in other places.

The structure of a <img> tag is as follows:

<img src="https://feedpress.me/link/13962/14140681/imagename.jpg" alt="that is the outline of the picture">

This tag comprises two attributes, person who is very important for the tag to work, the opposite which will also be left clean.

Src Attribute

The src= characteristic is used to reference the positioning of the picture this is being displayed at the web page.


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If the picture is positioned at the identical area because the container it’ll seem in, a relative URL (simply the tip a part of the URL, now not the area) can be utilized.

If the picture is to be pulled from any other web site, absolutely the (entire) URL must be used.

Although this characteristic doesn’t serve any SEO objective as such, it’s wanted for the picture tag to work.

Alt Attribute

The above symbol tag instance additionally comprises a 2d characteristic, the alt= characteristic.

This characteristic is used to specify what exchange textual content must be proven if the picture can’t be rendered.

The alt= characteristic must be provide within the <img> tag, however will also be left clean if no choice textual content is sought after.

There is a few get advantages to taking into account using key phrases inside of a picture alt= characteristic. Search engines can’t decide with precision what a picture is of.

There were nice strides made in the various search engines’ talents to spot what’s in an image. That technology is a long way from easiest, on the other hand.


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As such, search engines like google will use the textual content within the alt= characteristic to higher perceive what the picture is of.

Use language that is helping to give a boost to the picture’s relevance to the subject the web page is set.

This can help the various search engines in figuring out the relevance of that web page for seek queries.

It is the most important to keep in mind that this isn’t the principle explanation why for the alt= characteristic.

This textual content is used by display readers and assistive technology to allow those that use this technology to grasp the contents of the picture.

The alt= characteristic must be thought to be before everything to make web sites out there to these the use of this technology. This must now not be sacrificed for SEO functions.

For extra details about easy methods to optimize photographs, learn Anna Crowe’s article.


This information is an advent to the core HTML tags and attributes it’s possible you’ll pay attention about in SEO.

There are many extra that move into creating a functioning, crawlable, and indexable webpage, on the other hand.


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The crossover between SEO and construction skillsets is huge.

As an SEO skilled, the extra you’ll learn about how webpages are built the simpler.

If you wish to have to be informed extra about HTML and the tags which are to be had with it, you could experience a useful resource like W3Schools.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by creator, December 2020

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