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The 5 Essential HTML Tags for SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting is the foundation to the organic SEO process. The aim of a SEO copywriter is to properly keyword optimize each page in the proper places.

In this blog post, we are going to outline the most essential HTML tags for SEO copywriters, along with some copywriting tips on how to keyword optimize each of them.

1. Page Title Tags

The title tag, as the name suggests, is simply the main topic of the webpage. For this reason, you'll definitely want to keyword optimize this HTML tag with your primary keyword target.

Title tags should be concise (typically under 70 characters is ideal) for most search engines only display so many characters. And because the title tag is what shows in the search results as the main headline of the listing, it's important to get a little creative and write a compelling title that also respects keyword inclusion.

Tips for writing optimized title tags:

  • Always include most of the primary keyword target (if not exact phrase match) in the title tag. Only add secondary keyword variations if they make sense.
  • Each page should have a unique title (duplicate page titles can hinder SEO performance.)

2. Meta Description Tags

The Meta description tag is an embellished version of the title tag. This description also appears in the search engine results right below the title tag. Most search engine will display about 160 characters of the Meta description, so here you have more room to write and compel searchers to click your listing. Get creative with your Meta descriptions and really test your copywriting skills. Be sure to also include your primary keyword target early in the description to establish greater keyword relevancy for the page.

Tips for writing optimized Meta descriptions tags:

  • Try include the exact phrase match of the primary keyword target as early as possible in the Meta description. Try using a secondary keyword variation toward the middle or end of the description, if it's logical.
  • Like titles, each page should have a unique Meta description. • Use action-oriented words that call users to take action (e.g. 'Discover, Explore, Uncover')

3. Header Tags

The 'h' tag, or header tag, is like the title of your webpage. Here you'll want to use your keywords strategically by using at least one h1 tag, along with h2 and h3 sub-headings. The idea is to organize your content by topic and break apart each idea with various headers. Although you can use h1-h6 tags on a webpage, h1's-h3's carry the most weight.

Tips for using header tags:

  • Use the primary keyword target in the first h1, and use secondary keyword variations in h2's and h3's down the page
  • Apply CSS for styling so that it headers look the way you want them throughout each page of the website

4. Italics and Strong Tags

Rather than using a simple 'b' or bold tag in the copy, always use the strong tag, for this offers more weight to search engine spiders. Strategically strong tag your keyword targets throughout the copy to help establish greater keyword relevancy. 

Also use italics around keywords or phrases where you want to express emphasis. Although these text styling tags offer minimal SEO weight, these SEO copywriting techniques help to enhance the copy of your pages.

Tips for using italics and strong tags:

  • Only use strong tags or italics per each keyword (avoid strong tagging every reference of a keyword phrase.)
  • Be creative and use these text styling elements to enhance the readers' interaction with the page.

5. Image Alt Tags

The image "alt tag" stands for "alternative text." In rare instances (such as an old computer or web browser) when certain images cannot be render, alternative text will be show. This text is crawled by search engine spiders, so it's important to keyword optimize this text when appropriate.

The keyword is "when appropriate." You'll only want to include keywords in the alt tag only when it truly reflects what the image is about. For instance, if you have a picture of a family at a park, but your alt tag is keyword optimized for "hair loss treatments," the alternative text will not make much sense. Tips for using image alt tags:

  • Keep your alt tags relevant and concise
  • In addition to the alt tag, try including your keywords in the actual file name of the image
  • Also see if you can add keyword references in the image properties, such as the summary, description, or image tags

There are several factors that determine on-page SEO authority. Using these five HTML tags is one of the most effective ways to optimize your website for greater keyword relevancy. Just be sure that you do this ethically and avoid keyword stuffing. Overusing keywords can have adverse results, for Google now targets and penalizes websites that have way too high of keyword density.

Write with a purpose and write righteously. Rank on, my friends.

 

About the Author

This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky of Top of Mind, a Traverse City SEO and social media engagement firm. Tyler has been a professional organic search marketing expert for over five years. To learn more, you can connect with Tyler on Google Plus.

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