HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, which instructs web browsers what to display. Although it is not directly visible to web users, it is the backbone of the World Wide Web. Most web browsers allow users to view the HTML source of the web page they are currently browsing.
HTML is composed of different elements that are enclosed in angle brackets. Elements are typically placed between opening and closing tags. Using these elements HTML documents create a hierarchical structure that contains headings, paragraphs, lists, and other content. HTML is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Below is a very simple example of a HTML document that illustrates its hierarchical structure.
HTML and SEO
These are a few of the various HTML elements which should be optimized for search engines:
- Title tags should contain important keywords, make sense to the user, and be less than 70 characters long. Having well-formed title tags will also influence click-through rate from search engines.
- Each page should contain no more than a single H1 tag, which should only be used for the broadest topics.
- Links should have relevant anchor text, which informs search engines about the content of the target page.
- Images should have alt tags containing keywords relevant to the picture.
Try entering some html into this box and see how a browser would display it. Here are some basic HTML elements you can experiment with.