alternative, is a specific type of attribute that refers specifically to the alternative text you may see
in place of graphics.
Most people who are not professional web designers use the terms “tag” and “attributes” interchange-
ably. That’s why you often see alt attributes referred to as alt tags.
Several different tags and attributes are used when placing keywords into the coding of your web
site. This chapter covers five of them, but there are far more attributes on a typical web page. For
example, although it’s not covered in this chapter,
is an attribute that’s often used on a
web page to specify the background color of the page.
Title tags are perhaps the most important SEO tags for any web site, and if you can place your key-
words in the beginning of the title tag, that improves the effectiveness of those tags much more. The
maximum number of characters allowed by most search engines for title length is 60 to 65 for proper
display. However, a few search engines allow fewer or more characters in a title.
Search engine spiders use these title tags as the main source for determining the web-page topic.
Spiders or crawlers examine the title, and the words used in it are then translated into the topic
of the page. That’s one reason it’s always best to use your keywords in your page title, and to use
them as close to the beginning of the title as possible. The text included in the title tag is also the
text that will appear in SERPs as the linked title on which users will click to access your page.
For example, if you have an informational web site that provides guidelines for choosing retirement
funds, and the most important keywords for your web site are “retirement funding” and “retirement
income,” then a page title (which is the text used in the title tag) along the lines of “Retirement
Funding Options to Increase Income,” is highly relevant to the topic of the site. Spiders will crawl
your site, and because the title tag is the first element encountered, the spider will “read” it and then
examine your site, as well as the keywords used in other places on your site (which you learn about
shortly), to determine how relevant the title is to the content of the site.
That’s why it’s vitally important to target the most critical keywords in the title tag. You may use
20 keywords on your web page, but two or three of those keywords (or even just a single phase)
are the most important keywords you’ve selected. These are the keywords that should be used in
your title tag.
Another important factor to remember when using title tags in your web-site design is to create a
unique title for every page in the site. Make the title as descriptive as possible, and again, use the
most important or effective keywords you’ve selected for the page, because the words you use in
your title tag will appear in the reverse title bar, or the tab title, of your web browser, as shown in
Now that you know why you should use a title tag, the question becomes what exactly does a title
tag look like, and where do you use it?
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