Search engines evaluate several aspects of a website for on-page optimization. Some of those aspects include:

  • website structure
  • content
  • relevance
  • SEO tags
  • user experience

But there’s more than one type of SEO tag. Some have become obsolete with the changes in the algorithm, while others remain crucial. The tags that are being used and relevant today are discussed below.

1.Title tags

A title is the first thing the reader sees on a page or blog post. A well-crafted title increases web traffic, which in turn impacts search rankings positively.

The Title tag is visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) and social networks. Since this tag helps the user understand what the web page content is about, it is important to Google. The tag may not directly impact SEO, but it holds importance and works indirectly behind the scenes to help in SEO.

Earlier, inserting keywords in the title tag was considered important because the search engine would read it. But now, it is not mandatory as Google has modified its algorithm to read the page’s entire content to determine its usefulness to a searcher, rather than just relying on the title.

The best practices include:

  • Frame a unique title for each page of your website. It should describe the content of the page accurately and concisely.
  • Frame the titles within 60 characters so the entire title can be viewed on the SERP
  • Try to insert the main keywords in the first half of the title naturally, as we intend to write for human beings but should please the search engine too
  • Use your business name/brand name in the titles, wherever appropriate

2. Meta description tags

This tag explains the content of the page in detail. It is displayed in the SERP below the title. Since it impacts the interaction of a searcher with the website, it is an important tag. It is essential to have the meta description framed so that the searcher understands that his query can be answered on your website page. Re-framing existing meta description tags for a website can improve the click-through-rate and reduce the bounce rate.

The best practices include:

  • Write for people, but include important keywords
  • Frame unique descriptions for each website page that portray the value provided
  • Use catchy CTAs
  • Write within 160 characters, including spaces

3. Heading Tags

Heading tags are HTML tags used to identify headings and subheadings within the page content. The H1 tag indicates the main heading of the page, followed by H2-H6. The first tag is mandatory, whereas the other five are optional. The tags can be used based on the content framed for each page. The purpose of using H2 to H6 is to organize content logically so it is easy for the search engine to navigate the page. It also breaks down content, making it easy-to-digest for the reader.

The best practices include:

  • H1 of each page should reflect the page title
  • Use primary keywords in H1
  • Add secondary keywords in H2, H3 tags
  • Use the tags as required. Over-using them affects the readability of the content

4. Bold and Italic Tags

Use the bold tag to emphasize certain words, as required in the content. Use the italic tag to highlight important parts of the content. When these two tags are used in moderation, it improves readability and the user experience. It is a good idea to scan the web page where these tags are used to ensure that the content is easy to read and does not confuse the reader.

5. Image Alt Attributes

This tag describes the content of the image. This tag is important for two reasons:

  • Image Alt attributes help search engines read the content of the image, because the search but can only read the text to “see” images
  • Alt text added to an image is displayed to the visitor while the image is loading on their device, or if the image is disabled on their browser.

It is important to add this tag to the images added to any piece of content on your website. Search engines would also display results for “Google image” searches based on the text added for an image. It is crucial for e-commerce websites to add text to all the images on their website to ensure meaningful interaction from web users.

The best practices include:

  • Optimize images that are likely to be searched for in a ‘Google Images’ search – infographics, product images, training images, flow charts, etc.
  • Frame clear and descriptive Alt text
  • Use keywords naturally in the text (don’t force it to feed the search engine; the bot would recognize it)
  • Add Alt text on pages where you have less content

6. Nofollow attributes

The outbound links that are used to link your web content to other relevant websites are Nofollow attributes. The link building plan is a very important part of SEO. These external links direct people to other useful resources that back up your data or give more information on the relevant keyword linked. Since it helps users understand your content better, it is crucial in SEO.

The best practices include:

  • Link to trusted sources that will enhance your online credibility
  • Do not link by paying for it (sponsored links). Google catches it.
  • Remove internal links with anchor text like, ‘sign in’ and ‘register’. They are a waste of crawl budget.
  • Monitor links on comments or other user-generated content. It is spamming.

7. Robots Meta Tag

This tag is used to hide pages that do not add value to your website so Google does not see it. A page-level robots meta tag instructs the Google bot to not follow any links on that page. This attribute is used to hide thin content.

Some examples:

  • There may be some web pages that need to be on your website but do not add much value to users.
  • Incomplete content pages or pages that have yet to be optimized
  • Drafts of blog posts that are not yet published
  • Special deals accessible only by direct links and not open to all viewers

In the above-mentioned cases, noindex and nofollow tags are of great help since they allow you to control what the search engine can ‘see’ on your website.

8. Schema Markup

Schema markup helps you organize data in a logical way. Structured data lets the search engine understand what certain words relate to, which in turn aids in SEO. Assigning schema tags to certain page elements helps in ranking for snippets. When small chunks of information are helpful and appealing to users, your website can rank for primary and secondary keywords.

These tags also help in increasing the click-through-rate and reducing the bounce rate.

The best practices include:

  • Creating a map of the important pages on your website
  • Relate the concepts to add the attributes
  • Implement the markup using structured data markup helper
  • Test the markup to ensure it is added properly

9. Viewport Meta Tag

This tag allows you to configure how a page would display on any device. Since information is consumed on a laptop, mobile phone and tablet, it is essential for your website to load quickly and without any hitches on any device that the viewer is using.

The viewport meta tag does not affect SEO and ranking on SERP. The reason this tag is important is that it determines the user experience, which directly affects whether the viewer will visit your website again. It might be a small change that is necessary for every page on your website. Be sure to add the tag to all the blog posts that are added on your website. It is these small changes that add up to providing a good user experience.

SEO Tags Boost Your Overall Strategy

Any SEO strategy needs to be monitored for results, worked and re-worked constantly to suit the current needs of the search engine and users. While making changes to suit and get the desired results, it is the small changes that continue to hold equal importance.

A few years back there were many tags that were in the picture. In 2019, the above mentioned 9 tags are crucial to any business website. Particularly if you hold a law firm or dentist website, then you should practice all these tips to optimize your website. You may consult your law firm marketing or digital marketing company to implement the same.

Ensuring all the tags are constantly used on all your web pages will help improve the user experience. Some tags are vital to search engine optimization and directly affect the on-page SEO and search engine page rankings. Other tags that do not directly contribute to SEO are to improve the user experience. After all, Google wants to improve the user experience by displaying the most relevant and informative results. So when you constantly work at ranking high in SERPs, it makes sense to keep your website attractive so that it will continue to drive the users back to it repeatedly.

Apart from these tags, if you have a niche website that requires adding other tags vital to SEO, you could formulate them to improve your search engine optimization strategy.