Tag! Are You It? Quick Tips for SEO Tagging
By Nick Maus
You’ve written great content, had professional photos taken, built a great website but still are not seeing the traffic you expected. This is how most of my conversations start when people find out I work in marketing. Most business owners are left scratching their head after investing so much money in to their website and having little to no ROI (Return On Investment).
The most common attempted solution to this problem is to buy expensive radio and print ads, which can be difficult to measure if tracking has not been properly implemented. Some companies are willing to spend thousands of dollars monthly in an effort to drive traffic to their new site. Traditional marketing can be extremely effective if set up properly within the right markets, but there are more effective, less costly solutions to increase your brand position.
I run website SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audits on a daily basis to determine what is decreasing the ranking within various search engines. These problematic areas play a big role in how search engines decide your site quality, relevance and worth placing on page 1 or page 100 of a search.
Quick fact: 95% of all websites I audit have tagging issues.
We could spend all day talking about the different types of tags that are found within a website. However I’m going to focus on two types of tags, ALT tags and H tags. Search engines send crawlers out to read the content on a website and classify the quality of content on a website. Since images on your website have no searchable text it is impossible for the search engines crawlers to know what the pictures content pertains to.
ALT tags allow you to define what topics and themes are in the photo so that search engines like Google know what your website and business is all about. This “rich content” is one parameter that search engines use to decide how important your website is to users and help link the site to keyword searches.
Now for something slightly more complex, Header tags (H tags). The simplest way to explain an H tag is that they are the semantic HTML tag used to define the importance of heading text on a webpage.
Webpages can have multiple H tags and usually are defined as H1, H2, H3, etc. decreasing from the most important (H1) to the less important tags. Best practice, and there are always exceptions to the rule, is to only have one H1 tag per page.
Why does this matter? When a webpage has (5) H1 tags, (0) H2 tags, and then (4) H3 tags search engines can’t determine what is important and what’s not. It’s like saying “These 5 things are most important, these 0 things are next most important, and these 4 things are 3rd most important.”
Confused? So are Google and Bing. There is no hierarchy of importance in this example, which means the search engines can’t determine what is going to be most useful to users. Making a full circle, this type of situation means that when users are searching keywords looking for a product or service your company provides you are less likely to come up on the first page of the search engines.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I know if my website is optimized with all the right ALT tags and H tags, Nick?” Great question!
There are several ways to do this, some of which require knowledge of HTML coding, 3rd party software or download our free SEO Guidebook today!