Today we’ll dissect the basics you need to know about heading tags and alternate tags and how they can affect online marketing. As your trusted source and SEO agency in Denver, we’ll outline what you should know and understand. For example, what exactly is a heading tag? There are many pieces to the puzzle, and heading tags and alternate tags are all part of the mysterious clockwork that go into SERP rankings.
A heading tag, or sometimes referred to as an h1 tag, is usually the title of a post or text that is emphasized on a web page. The h1 tag and the title tag are usually identical, but this is not always the case. For a refresher, the title tag is the clickable link that shows up on a SERP page. The h1 tag is the prominent text on the web page where your content is hosted.
Think of your h1 tag as the headline in a newspaper article. It is often the largest text, and it summarizes the content below it. It’s a pivotal piece of your SEO strategy because it either guides visitors to your page or leads them away, and it all depends on how you use your h1 tag.
For starters, you should only have one h1 tag per page, and it should be at the top of the page. If you have more than one h1 tag on a page, determine which would work best as an h2 tag.
Secondly, your h1 tag should utilize the most important keywords for that specific page.
Last, and possibly most important, is that h1 tags should be able to summarize the page’s content to the reader.
Occasionally you might have a developer set the h1 tag as your logo, but this is not helpful for SEO. Web crawlers cannot read images, so an image used in an h1 tag will be futile for SEO purposes. The h1 tag occupies expensive real estate on your web page, so it should be filled with keywords and compelling copy.
Alternate Tags Explained
Now let’s talk about alternate tags. What is an alternate tag (sometimes call alt attributes)? These are tags that are used to describe images. Because web crawling robots cannot take meaning from images, you must insert tags to describe the image that you are presenting on a page.
Quite literally, you are telling a robot what it is viewing. However, if an image doesn’t appear for a user, the alt text will appear to tell them what they would be viewing, had the image appeared to them. Another good example is when visually impaired people use software that ‘speaks’ a webpage to them to describe what they would be viewing. When this software comes across an image, it would read aloud the alt tag to describe the image.
The best alt tag is just a plain and simple English description of an image or object. Let’s say that you have a picture of a MacBook on a page. What is the best way to describe this using alt text? A fair answer would be: Apple MacBook 13-inch laptop computer. Keep your alt text short and simple, usually you want to use no more than 16 words.
Admittedly, your alt text is not a huge part of your SERP ranking, but it is indeed part of the equation. You’ll want to include alt text for all images used on a page. However, this would exclude bullet points or images used to organize the content of a page.
At The Great Online in Denver we realize that there are many different tags to describe content, and it can be confusing. Please don’t be afraid to contact The Great Online with questions, comments or concerns.