Web Design and Search Engine Optimization at Don Johnson Design, LLC.

Search Engine Optimization

 

Meta Tags, Title Tags, Header Tags, & Alt Tags

Is there a secret to getting ranked high in Search Engines? Yes. The answer is Hard Work! Even though using Meta Tags, Title Tags, Header Tags, and Alt Tags can help your site get ranked, they are not an industry secret. In this article I want to discuss the importance and relevance of these tools in Search Engine Optimization. Let's start with Meta Tags.

What are Meta Tags? In a nutshell, Meta Tags are information that a web designer includes in the head portion of the code (HTML) of a website. Meta Tags are placed in the head of the code in order to communicate specifically to search engines. Many moons ago, Meta tags were vital to a website's performance because all of the Search Engines used them as a synopsis of a website's content. Nowadays, different Search Engines use various means to rank as website's ranking. Remember, Google uses over 100 variables in their algorithm when determining its rankings. Meta tags are definitely a big part of that formula, but not as much as they were in the past.

Please don't get me wrong, Meta tags are still highly important, they are where your keywords and description go in the code. As I mentioned in the Keywords article, keywords are essential to any website that wishes to rank high in search engines. But, there is a fine line between using Meta Tag Keywords in an effective manner and abusing them all together. This is the gray area of SEO. How much and how often should keywords appear in the Meta Tags and in the Meta Description? The answer is: Well if I told you that, then you wouldn't need our services, now would you?

As with Meta Tags, Title Tags are also quite important in SEO. Again, there is a very fine line as to how to best use Title Tags. How much is too much? One thing is for sure. You are to use Title Tags to better describe the specific page and to add to Keyword Density. Use Title Tags in an effective manner and they will aid in your site's ranking.

Header Tags are a lost art. If you look at a random webpage code from today and compare it to a webpage from five years ago, you will notice that it has changed drastically. The designers and programmers have gotten better, but unfortunately, they have also forgotten some of the basics. Back in the day, Header tags <H1> were used quite often. Nowadays, those larger print category Header Tags have been replaced with colorful images, which look pretty, but can not be read by Search Engines. Some of those images do not even have Alt Tags to accompany them. Due to the fact that Search Engines can not read images and there are not Alt Tags accompanying the images, those main category Title Tags virtually disappear to the spider when it crawls through the website. This is not good for SEO and should be avoided at all costs. Your category Header Tags should be visible to everyone, especially the Search Engine Spider.

As you just read, I mentioned using Alt Tags for all images on your site. Alt Tags are extremely important for a couple of reasons. The first is the obvious. They allow for a description of a picture to be read out loud by screen readers for the blind or visually handicapped. According to the American with Disabilities Act, your website should be compatible to those who have special needs. Although it is very difficult to make a website fully handicapped accessible, the addition of Alt Tags to your images complete with descriptions will help with the process.  

The second reason for using Alt Tags is for SEO. Since the spider can not read the image you have displayed on your page, you must provide some written text to have the content in the image to be counted. Since, you want to use Alt Tags anyway, why not add some Keyword Specific Alt Tags to describe your images. This multi functional tag will prove very valuable to your Search Engine Positioning and will also aid those who need some additional assistance when viewing your website.

By using Meta Tags, Title Tags, Header Tags, and Alt Tags in an effective way, you can really improve your chance of showing up higher in the various search engines. Just remember, they are not miracle cures to your SEO needs, but they are a great start.

Search Engine Optimization
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