What’s So Important About Site Tagging?
You must be thinking that for site tagging to be addressed in this book three times it must be very
important to SEO. And you would be correct. Even beyond the keywords and the PPC campaigns,
site tagging is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your web site shows up on search engine
The HTML tags that you include on your web site tell search engine crawlers much more about
your site than your content alone will tell them. Don’t misunderstand. Content is an essential ele-
ment for web-site design. But it’s a more customer-facing portion of the design, whereas HTML is a
crawler-facing portion. And before customers will see your content, crawlers must see your HTML.
So when you ask the question, “What’s so important about site tagging?” there’s only one possible
answer: Everything. Your SEO ranking will depend in large part on the tagging that controls your
page behind the scenes. Customers never see it, but without it, they never see you.
How Does Site Tagging Work?
Site tagging, as you already know, is about putting the right HTML commands in the right place.
The difficulties come in knowing what types of tags to use and what to include in those tags. The
basic tags — title, heading, body, and meta tags — should be included in every page that you want
a search engine to find.
But to make these tags readable to the search engine crawlers, they should be formatted prop-
erly. For example, with container tags, you should have both an opening and a closing tag. The
opening tag is usually bracketed with two sharp brackets (
). The closing tag is also brack-
eted, but it includes a slash before the tag to indicate that the container is closing (
Notice that the tag name is repeated in both the opening and closing tags. This just tells the
crawler or web browser where a specific type of formatting or attribute should begin and end.
So, when you use the
tag, only the words between the opening and closing tags
will be formatted with a bold-faced font, instead of the entire page being bold.
There’s another element of web-site design that you should know and use. It’s called cascading style
sheets (CSS) and it’s not a tagging method, but rather a formatting method. You should use CSS so
that formatting tags are effective strictly in formatting, while the other tags actually do the work
needed to get your site listed naturally by a search crawler.
Think of cascading style sheets as boxes, one stacked on top of another. Each box contains some-
thing different, with the most important elements being in the top box and decreasing to the least
important element in the bottom box. With cascading style sheets, you can set one attribute or for-
mat to override another under the right circumstances.
We won’t go into creating cascading style sheets in this book. There’s enough to learn about that to
fill at least two additional books, and in fact dozens have been written about them.
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