5 Essential HTML Elements You Should Know For SEO

  • 5 Essential HTML Elements You Should Know For SEO

    5 Aug 2019

    A common question we get asked on our Search Engine Optimisation courses is:

    “Do you need to be able to code to do SEO?”.

    Well the short answer is NO.

    These days lots of businesses are using online website building platforms that allow them to easily create websites, think SquareSpace, WIX, Shopify etc, or they have had a site built for them using a common content management system such as WordPress, Umbraco, Magento. These sorts of content management systems are great for doing the essential parts of SEO without needing to know how to code, although when you want to take SEO a step further they can be limiting, although when you want to take SEO a step further they can be limiting.

    The long answer: The deeper you get in to SEO the more you will need to be familiar with different coding languages.

    Even then, you don’t need to be able to build a website from scratch but you should certainly be comfortable looking at HTML and be able to identify certain elements. if you're lost with all the SEO terminology and Acronyms, take a look at our SEO Jargon Buster Guide

    Viewing the HTML of a website

    Before we get into these elements you should know how to view the HTML of a website.

    The simplest way to look at the HTML of any website is, when in Chrome or Firefox, right click on white space and find “View Source” in the menu that appears.

     View HTML of a website


    So without further ado, here are:

    5 Essential HTML Elements You Should Know for SEO Basics

    1. Title Tag

    Arguably the most important on-page element when it comes to SEO.

    Viewing a competitors Title Tag can give you an idea of the main keyword they are targeting for the page.

    The HTML Element you are looking for is <TITLE> 

    <title> Your Title Tag text goes here</title>

    Title Tag HTMl Example


    2. Meta Description

    Whilst the Meta Description doesn’t directly affect website ranking, it populates your snippet in the search engine results page.

    Essentially, it is your sales pitch to get users to click through. And Google will happily change the snippet if it doesn’t think your meta description accurately reflects the user search term and will replace it with some content from the page.

    The HTML you need to find is <meta name=description

    <meta name=”description” content=”Your meta description text goes here” />

     Meta Description HTML Example

    3. Canonical Tag

    A canonical tag is used to reduce duplicate pages within a website.

    This tag affectively tells search engines to ignore the page it is found on in place of the URL referenced instead.

    The HTML Element to find is <link rel =”canonical”

    Canonical Tag HTML Example 

    4. Meta Robots

    Meta (or On Page) Robots are used to control if a search engine indexes a page.

    The best way to stop a page from being indexed (or to remove a page from the index) is to use a noindex reference in the Meta robots tag.

    The HTML element to look out for is <meta name=”robots”

     Meta Robots HTML Example

    5. H Tags

    Another important on-page element are H Tags

    H tags range from 1 to 6, with H1 being the most important.

    These are the headings and sub heading of your page content. Your main keyword for the page should be included in the H1 and then variations, synonyms or related keyword in h2, h3 etc. 

    Identifying which keywords are included in a H1, H2, h3 etc. can give you an understanding of the range of terms a site is targeting. 

    The HTML Element to find is <h#> *replace # with a number. For example:

    <h1>SEO Training Course</h1>

    H Tag HTML Example

    And that’s your 5. 

    Whilst you may be able to change aspects of your website from within your CMS, without needing to alter the direct code, if you want look at how a competitors website is optimised, for example, you won’t have the privilege of looking at their CMS, you’ll have to look at their HTML.

    So it’s always good to know what to look out for.

    If you want to learn more about SEO check out our Search Engine Optimisation For Beginners course


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