SEO for Beginners: HTML Formatting & URL Structure [Part One]

Eric Kazda  |   April 25, 2018   |  Posted in Tips

Your website may be beautiful, but can anyone find it on a simple Google search? SEO is vital to any online marketing strategy. That’s why we’re talking search engine optimization for beginners over the next few weeks. We’re taking it back to the basics to help every marketer, no matter their skill level, create a website that shows up on a prospective customer’s next Google search. This week we are covering the importance of HTML formatting and intuitive URLs.

SEO Basics Video #1

Search engines have two main functions

1) Crawling, or surveying, all the websites on the internet and building an index based on collected information

2) Providing a ranked list of the sites they have determined are most relevant to that particular search query and popular among their users

Search engine optimization goal: to become the website the engine deems relevant to those search queries

Tip #1: Place your most important content in HTML format.

Search engines crawl and index content when it’s in text form. No matter how visually stunning your website is, it could rank low if you don’t provide enough information in HTML form. If you took all of the visual graphics and images away from your website, could a visitor still understand its purpose?

Check out the difference between our text-only home page and the full version with Google’s cache tool.

How to utilize HTML on your website:

  • Providing alt text for all images
  • Supplementing any Java or Flash plug-ins with text on the page
  • Creating text transcripts for any audio or video content
  • Supplementing search boxes with intuitive navigation and a crawlable link structure

Common reasons link structure becomes uncrawlable are that the page is hidden behind a submission form, the link was created using Flash or Java, or you used too many links on a single page.

Tip #2: Construct simple, intuitive URLs

A website’s URL is seen in a number of important places during a search query. Intuitive URLs not only improve the user experience, but also give you an extra place to tell the search engine what your content is all about.

Create smart URLs by:

  • Keeping it simple, less is more when it comes to URLs
  • Using hyphens to separate words to make it easier to read
  • Using the URL to give the visitor an idea of what the page is about

Bad example:

Good example:

Terminology to remember

Search query – the words a web user types into a search engine to find relevant content

Crawlable link structure – a way to organize the links to every page on your website in a way that is easily discovered and indexed by a search engine

HTML – hypertext markup language for websites that gives structure to the text on a web page

Alt image text – a text description of visual content on a web page

More tips on the way

Utilizing HTML and creating smart URLs are only two small ways to optimize your website for search engines. Stay tuned for more upcoming SEO articles to get more tips you can put into action!


Website analytics and SEO data analysis concept
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One Comment

Barakha Rao

Structuring a URL is necessary for an improved user experience and search engine optimization. Online businesses are designed with the URLs so it requires to be important, human readable and search engine friendly.

I was actually considering of what precisely I should do improve my blog ranking before I came across your post. About permalink – use essential words in the first 3 words of URL to make it understandable. Users are more likely to click on a site that makes sense to them. Permalinks structure is one of the major element to rank higher in the Google search engine. Although I have regularly avoided the use of “stop words” in my permalink structure, but this post has redeclared my thinking & that’s what professionals are already doing.

Quick suggestion; “Hyphens” &”Underscore” are the basic word separators used in the URL. My advice is to avoid underscores as word separators in URLs. Anyways, thanks for sharing the resourceful article. I like articles of this type, ones that make you actually think. This has encouraged me a lot and I hope it will improve my ranking in Google.


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Eric Kazda

Eric Kazda is a leading expert in the interactive development industry with over fifteen years of experience. With a mastery of critical development technologies, Eric has crafted innovative award-winning work for clients both large and small. Coupling this knowledge with a real world understanding of usability and technological feasibility, his work is developed to be accessible by every user.

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