A lot of people ask me which elements and tags in HTML are most important involving Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. I have listed below Important SEO HTML Tags from most important to least important (even though all are important), and general rules about Indexing Limits, Link Building, and other SEO tips and tricks. I have also included a downloadable free Quick Reference Guide / Cheat Sheet for your use.
The <title> tag defines the title of the document, and is the only required element in the head section.
Title Tag Format (Recommended)
KEYWORD – CATEGORY | WEBSITE TITLE
The <h1> to <h6> tags are used to define HTML headings. <h1> defines the largest heading and <h6> defines the smallest heading in size and importance.
<h1>Most Important Heading</h1>
<h2>Second Most Important</h2>
<h3>Third Most Important</h3>
<h4>Fourth Most Important</h4>
<h5>Fifth Most Important</h5>
<h6>Sixth Most Important</h6>
Font Style Tags
The following tags renders selected text as bold text or strong (highlighted) text.
One of the most frequently missed elements are images. Both the filename and the alternative text are important and should contain your keywords.
<img src=”KEYWORD.jpg” alt=”KEYWORDS” />
Hyperlinks / Linking
Hyperlinks are used to create a link to another document or bookmark, by using the href attribute
<a href=”http://www.yoursite.com/webpage.html” title=”KEYWORD”>KEYWORD(S) in text</a>
*note: Your file name(s) should also contain your keyword(s)
I have listed some brief examples of good and bad SEO URL Building. The goal is to get your keywords in the URLs, Parameter Depth less than 2, and URL / Folder Depth less than 4.
http://www.yoursite.com/page.php?keyword (contains keyword and parameter depth is less than 2)
http://www.yoursite.com/keyword1/keyword2/keyword3 (contains keyword and URL / Folder depth is less than 4)
http://www.yoursite.com/page.php?id=1&var2=2&var2=3 (there are no keywords in the URL and parameter depth is greater than 2)
http://www.yoursite.com/page1.html or http://www.yoursite.com/page2.html (there are no keywords in the URL)
File Sizes and Character Limits
Search Engines often flag sites and files which are to big, to many links, or tags which contain to many characters, due to keyword spamming. I have listed some of the following general rules.
This is the most important tag and if left out of your webpage, Search Engines will not index your site. The general rule is No more than 70 characters, but I try to keep the title to Less than 60 characters to make sure your site is included and the title is not chopped off.
A maximum of 874 characters is allowed for this tag, but it is not recommended you use that many characters or you can suffer from keyword saturation. Be sure to use highly targeted keyword phrases and only include words that can also be found in the viewable part of the Web page.
No more than 150 characters for the Meta Description Tag because most search engines will only display a maximum of 150 characters of text for the description in their search results. This helps insure your description makes sense in the search results.
No more than 150 Kilobytes is suggested prior to including images, video, CSS, and other elements. This is just the text / code in your webapge.
Number of Links
There should be no more more than 100 unique links per webpage.
Download SEO Quick Reference Guide / SEO Cheat Sheet
Download - SEO_Reference_Guide.pdf
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