How to optimise your website's HTML for search

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo use your site's HTML coding to help them decide how to rank your site. Within the HTML, SEO mainly takes place within invisible meta tags, which explain which results search engines should include your website in. Use this guide to learn more about meta tags and their significance.

  • Title tags
  • Keyword tags
  • Description tags
  • 'Alt' tags

Title tags

Title tags are often seen as the most important meta tags. The text you put between the title tags will become the clickable listing for your website on search engines, so try to make sure you've used your keyword at least once. Google will display up to 66 characters, so try to keep your title text short. Your title tags should look like this: < title >Your title text here

  • Your title tags are the most important meta tags
  • Your title text will come up as your clickable listing on search engines
  • Try to keep your title text below 66 characters

Keyword tags

While there is debate among SEO experts as to exactly how important keyword tags are after they were subject to widespread abuse in the early days of the internet, search engines still definitely place some importance on keywords, so make sure you include the tags at the top of your page. They should look like this: < meta name="keywords" content="your keyword here" / >.

  • Search engines still place some importance on keyword tags
  • Make sure you have embedded the correct coding at the top of your page
  • See our guide to using keywords

Description tags

The text you place in the description tag will come up on most search engines as the text below the link to your page, so again, it's important you include your keywords in this. You should also ensure it has provided an accurate explanation of your website - but keep it below 160 characters, which is Google's limit. Your description tags should look like this: < meta name="description" content="Your description here." />.

  • Description text will come up as the text below your link on search engines
  • Try to include your keyword in your description
  • Make sure you keep it below 160 characters

For a step by step guide on how to write the perfect meta descrition, click here.

Alt tags

This tag provides alternative text for images if they don't load, and helps visually impaired people navigating the internet using special software by providing a description of the image. Because search engines also can't 'see' the image, they use the Alt text to determine the subject of your images, and therefore your website - so try to include your keyword in Alt tags. Your Alt tags should look like this: < img src="yourimage.jpg" alt="Your alt text here" title="Your alt text here" >.

  • Provides alternative text as a substitute for images
  • Search engines use alt tags to help determine the subject of your website
  • Try to include your keyword in your alt tags

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