HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

What is HTML?

HTML, an abbreviation of Hypertext Markup Language, is the standard markup language used to define how the contents of a website will be structured and displayed to users. 

Virtually all websites are either coded in HTML, or built with technologies that are layered on top of HTML code. The newest available data suggests that HTML is used by 94.2% of all websites whose markup language is known. This simple reality makes reading and writing HTML code an essential skill for both web developers and digital marketers.


What is a Markup Language?

A markup language is a standard system for inserting tags into a text document to control its structure or format. Markup languages HTML is one of the most commonly used markup languages, along with SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) and XML (Extensible Markup Language).

A marked up document (e.g. an HTML document that represents a web page) includes both the content to be displayed and the markup defining how the content should be displayed to the user. When the page is displayed, the content is presented as defined by the markup, but the markup remains hidden.


How Does HTML Work?

HTML is a markup language that provides instructions for web browsers to display text, images, video, and other content as a structured web page. 

Most web pages are saved as an HTML file on the host server. When you visit a web page, the host server sends the corresponding HTML file to your web browser. Your browser interprets the HTML file and renders it into the visual representation of the page that appears on your screen.

HTML is the primary language on which websites are based, but it’s not the only one. Most websites also use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the presentation, formatting, and layout of their pages, including things like fonts, font sizing, and colors. Many websites also use Javascript or other scripting languages to control the behavior of dynamic elements.


What are HTML Elements?

Elements are the building blocks of an HTML document. An element in HTML is comprised of three main parts:

  1. Opening Tag – The opening tag includes the name of the element and any attributes that may be assigned to it. Tags in HTML are wrapped in opening and closing angle brackets. 
  2. Content – The content is the text whose structure or appearance is being defined.
  3. Closing Tag – The closing tag appears just like the opening tag, but with a forward slash between the opening angle bracket and the name of the element. Closing tags signify where an element ends in an HTML document.

There are approximately 130 different elements that can be defined in HTML, each with their own unique tag. 


How Does HTML Impact SEO?

The implementation of HTML on your website has a significant impact on your search engine optimization (SEO).

Search engines like Google use web robots known as crawlers to read the HTML documents that make up your website and understand the structure and contents of your pages. This process allows Google to accurately index your web pages so they can appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for keywords related to the products and services that you provide. 

Many of the most widely recognized SEO best practices relate directly to HTML implementation on your website, including things like:

  • Including the target keyword in your URL, Title Tag, and H1 Header Tags,
  • Using alt attributes to describe the contents of images, which can’t be read by crawlers, or
  • Using canonical tags to tell search engines which URLs you’re focused on ranking.

When the HTML used on your website is clean, error-free, and follows established best practices, search engines like Google have an easier time indexing your content. Quality HTML also contributes to a strong user experience by making your website appear organized, structured, and visually appealing.


Optimize Your Search Performance with SEO-Optimized HTML Implementation

As a leading SEO agency for SaaS, Directive follows established SEO and HTML best practices when implementing new web pages or executing A/B testing for our clients. 

We also perform detailed technical SEO audits as part of our Customer Generation methodology, making changes that increase the impact of our search marketing efforts and drive SQL generation for our B2B SaaS clients.

Want to learn more about the relationship between HTML implementation and SEO success?

Book an intro call with our team, or Join Society and gain access to free advice and exclusive content from our team of SaaS marketing professionals.

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