SEO Blog > Effectively Tagging Your Content: Images, Links, and Headings
In my last blog, we talked about making sense of metadata. Now, let’s cover how to effectively tag your content.
Folder Names and File Names
Search engines don’t care what you call your files. But it may help your visitors if they see a webpage named “koromo-koi” instead of “prod-ID=3043”. Whenever possible, use human-readable file names.
Should you use hyphens or underscores in filenames? It used to make a difference if the file name was koi-food.html or koi_food.html. It doesn’t matter anymore.
The Headings on the Page
First, let’s look at the page heading. Just like any magazine article, a page should have a heading. Search engines pay attention to headings because these carry information about a page. The heading should use the H1 tag (H1 = heading). Here’s an example of an H1 tag:
<H1>Japanese Koi for Ornamental Ponds<H1>
The most common problem with headings is use of the wrong tag. Many web designers don’t like the H1 heading because it uses a big font. They choose instead images, SPAN tags, or DIV tags. That looks nice, but search engines can’t tell if those images are headings. Body text that uses SPAN will be treated as body text, not as header text. Search engines want to see a heading because these contain information.
To get the search engine to index the heading, use an H1 tag to mark the heading. You can still have your design. Use CSS to modify the look of the H1 tag so it renders the way you want it.
Here are two tips for tagging headings:
- Use your top keywords as the first word in the heading, such as “Koromo Koi Farms of Palo Alto.”
- There are several <H> tags. <H1> denotes a first-level heading;<H2> denotes a second-level heading, and so on (there is also <H3>, <H4> etc.) Use an <H1> at the top of your page, followed by an <H2>.
The Text on the Page
The text on the page should be descriptive, informational, and include the main keywords.
Here are some points to keep in mind when creating body text:
- Use your keywords in the first two to three words of the body text.
- Use words that mark information, such as news, guide, and summary.
- Use the <p> tag to mark body text.
- Write naturally. Don’t stuff keywords into a page. Don’t use keyword-density tools. Search engines have tools to detect machine-generated text.
- Add a short summary (two or three lines) at the top of the page. This tells people that they’ve arrived at the right page.
If it’s relevant for your organization, add your street address, city, state, and telephone number on your index page and your product pages. When people look for local services, search engines will give priority to local websites.
Tip: Don’t open the first paragraph with a sentence that starts with a clause, such as “If you are looking for something nice to put in your pond…” People scan the first few words of the first paragraph. If it’s not relevant, they go back to the search engine. Open the first sentence with your keywords. For example, “Koromo koi are ideal for your backyard pond.”
Links within Your Site
Links on your pages let your visitors go from one page to another within your site. To get your visitors to click on the links, write text that offers useful information. Put your main keywords in the anchor section of the link. Here’s an example of a link:
Read <a href=koi-fungus.html>how to cure fungus in koi</a>
The text “how to cure fungus in koi” is in the anchor section.
Put the links within paragraphs as part of sentences.
Don’t use generic or broad links, such as “Products”. Use the names of products, such as koromo koi, asagi koi, and so on.
Don’t put a list of links at the bottom of the page. Search engines have learned that people don’t click on those long lists of links, so these don’t matter.
Tags in the Images
To provide accessibility to the Web for visually impaired users, the ALT attribute can be placed in an image link. This allows descriptive text to be added to an image.
Don’t put keywords into the ALT attribute in order to influence search engines. Do this only to help visually impaired users. If you add too much text to the image tag, this may be seen as an attempt to influence the search engine.
Here are some points to keep in mind for tagging images:
- Add your USP to the ALT tag in the image link.
- Don’t put too much text into the ALT tag. The amount of text should be proportionate to the size of the image. If the image is a small button, don’t add a long paragraph of text.
Here’s an example of an image link with an ALT tag:
<img src=”images/logo-koi.gif” width=”600″ height=”200″ alt=”Koromo Koi for Your Pond at Koi-Planet.com in Palo Alto.”>
That’s it for today. If you’re hungry for more SEO tips:
Read my last blog, on Making Sense of Metadata.
Read the next blog in the SEO series, where we cover link-building, sitemaps, and language translations.
Visit my guide: Content Marketing Central, full of insight and actionable tips to improve your content marketing strategy.