What Is HTML?

Jake Sheridan
Nov 30, 2021

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How do we communicate with computers?

We couldn’t converse with them using human speech before voice recognition technologies. Instead, we invented new languages that computers could comprehend.

HTML is perhaps the most essential of these languages. HTML is the backbone of most web pages; it tells browsers how to arrange information into titles, headers, paragraphs, images, lists, links, tables, forms, and other elements.

In the early days of the internet, utilizing HTML syntax to mark up text-based documents was more than enough to allow the sharing of academic publications and technical notes.

However, as the internet expanded beyond the walls of academia and into the homes of the general population, greater demand was placed on web pages in terms of formatting and interactivity.

In this post, we’ll look at what HTML is, the importance of HTML, if HTML is necessary for SEO, what HTML tags are used to optimize SEO, and what SEO means in code.

Let’s get started.

What Is HTML?

HTML, which was first published by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, is currently utilized by 92 % of all websites, including most of the ones you visit.

HTML is a markup language used to specify the fundamental structure of online pages. HTML instructs browsers how to process content and show it to the viewer by using tags and attributes. With HTML, you may designate which parts of the document are titles, lists, images, and so on. You can also hyperlink a word, insert an image, italicize a typeface, and perform a variety of other things.

HTML is an abbreviation for “Hypertext Markup Language.” The term “hypertext” refers to text that contains references to other text or pages, commonly known as hyperlinks. With a single click of the mouse, you may navigate to any location on the internet. Rather than reading a web page in the order in which the author lays it out, as we would in print, we may use hyperlinks to move to another portion of the same page, a different page on the current website, or an entirely new website.

Hyperlinks can also open an email, a PDF document, or multimedia items, such as a video or audio file.

The web was transformed when information was linked together in this manner. HTML and the internet, when combined, allow anybody to access any sort of information from anywhere in the globe, in whatever order they choose.

The term “markup” refers to how HTML “marks up” the page using annotations included inside the HTML file. These annotations are not visible on the web page; instead, they function behind the scenes, instructing browsers on how to display the content to visitors.

The simplest component of the acronym to grasp is “Language.” HTML, like every other language, has its own syntax and alphabet.

HTML’s status as a programming language is a point of contention among web developers and specialists. Although some argue that the two are not mutually exclusive, the majority defines HTML as a markup language rather than a programming language.

HTML is not a programming language since it cannot build dynamic functionality.

To grasp this distinction, we must first understand what a programming language is. All programming languages must “do” something, whether it is evaluating expressions, defining variables, or changing data. These languages teach computers not just what to do, but also how to accomplish it. In web development, JavaScript is the most commonly utilized programming language. Python, PHP, Java, and C/C++ are also prominent programming languages.

The root element that defines the whole HTML page is the <html> tag.

HTML and CSS, along with graphics and scripting, are the building blocks of Web pages and Web Applications.

HTML’s first version had only 18 tags. Since then, several versions (HTML2, HTML 2.0, HTML3, HTML4, HTML4.01) have been released, each with a slew of additional tags. HTML5’s most recent version has 110 HTML tags.

Every HTML page has a collection of HTML elements, which include tags and attributes.

Web browsers accept HTML documents from a web server or local storage and convert them to multimedia web pages.

HTML has really become more user-friendly. If you compare the source code of an HTML5 page to the source code of a similar page written in HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0, the HTML5 page will most likely include less code.

HTML documents are files with the extensions .htm or .html. A web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari) reads the HTML file and displays its content for internet users to see.

HTML components are the foundation of a web page. A tag tells the web browser where an element begins and ends, whereas an attribute describes the attributes of an element.

An element’s three primary components are:

  1. Opening tag: The opening tag indicates where an element’s impact begins. The tag is surrounded by angle brackets that open and close. To make a paragraph, for example, use the start tag <p>. The class attribute on the paragraph’s start tag (“<p>”) may be used to provide style, among other things. For example, to italicize the text in all paragraphs with the class “moreinfo,”
  2. Content – this is the output that the rest of the users view.
  3. Closing tag — same as the opening tag, but with a forward slash before the element name. For example, to end a paragraph, use </p>.

HTML Attributes

  • Attributes can be assigned to HTML elements.
  • Attributes offer information about the element that is not provided by the element itself.
  • Attributes are defined as name/value pairs, such as charset=”utf-8.”

It’s also worth noting that HTML has become a web standard. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is in charge of maintaining and developing HTML specifications, as well as delivering frequent updates.

Why Is HTML Important?

You may use HTML to not only structure texts with headers, paragraphs, lists, and other components, but also to incorporate images, videos, audio files, and other multimedia using hyperlinks. You can also connect to other web pages on the same or other domain. This enables users to explore your website and hop between web pages housed on various web servers with ease.

Even after adding headings, images, and hyperlinks, you’d still have a pretty basic web page – and that’s on purpose. HTML is intended to provide a simple foundation for the addition of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript (JS). CSS is responsible for styling which includes formatting; changing the color, font, and alignment of components to modify your design and layouts.

You may use JS to create dynamic features like pop-ups and photo sliders. As a result, 72% of marketers say content development is their most successful SEO strategy.

HTML can also be used to build items other than web pages. It may be used to create tables for data organization. Forms can be created to collect user information, conduct transactions, make bookings, or place orders. HTML may also be used to create emails.


Is HTML necessary for SEO?

Since web developers use HTML to create expansive, beautiful websites, it can be assumed that we are not going to learn code overnight. While someone working with your website should be quite familiar with HTML (whether it is a team member, SEO company, or website developer), you will just need to know the basics.

In a nutshell, the answer to the frequently asked question, “Do you need to know HTML for SEO?” is yes. You do not, however, need to be an HTML expert. You’ll be OK as long as you grasp the basic HTML and people in charge of your website or SEO know a lot more.

Which HTML tag is used to optimize SEO?

If you want to create a web page that is useful to people and, more crucially, search engines, you must include essential HTML elements. These are some of the most essential HTML tags that you can use to optimize for SEO:

1. Title Tags
Title tags are used to create the clickable headlines that appear in SERPs. The title tag is the first place Google will look for headline ideas, and if a title tag is present, Google will almost certainly make it the primary headline in the relevant result. As a result, improving the title tag offers you some influence over how your website appears in the SERP.

2. Meta description tags
Meta description tags are used to provide descriptions that appear in search result snippets. Google does not always employ meta description tags to produce these snippets, but if the meta tag is present, your meta description is likely to appear on the SERP.

3. HeadingTags (H1-H6)

Heading tags are used to arrange your pages for the reader as well as search engines. It’s no secret that few people read through an article today; instead, we skim the text until we find a portion we like, read that bit, and then bounce. And if the article isn’t divided into pieces, many people will go straight away since it’s simply too long. As a result, headers are useful reading aids from the standpoint of the user.

4. Image Alt Text

While the major aim of alt text is online accessibility, the alt attribute’s SEO goal is picture indexing. The primary aim of image alt text is to assist users in understanding the image when it cannot be read, for a visitor who is blind. Alt-text is an important component of how pictures are indexed in Google search from an SEO standpoint. For example, an image tag may look like this: < img src=picture.jpg alt=”Favicon!”>

5. Schema Markup

Rich snippet features are added to normal SERP snippets using schema markup.
Schema.org provides a set of tags developed collaboratively by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and Yandex, and the tags are used by webmasters to offer more information about various sorts of sites to search engines. In turn, search engines utilize this data to enrich their SERP snippets with a variety of rich features.

6. Canonical Tags

The canonical tag protects you against duplicating content. The gist of it is that, through no fault of your own, any given page might have several addresses. They can be caused by a variety of artifacts, such as HTTP/HTTPS and various tracking tags, or they can be caused by the numerous sorting and customization options accessible in product catalogs.

All HTML documents must begin with a declaration of the document type:<!DOCTYPE html>.

What is SEO in code?

SEO in code is the web design process of designing or rewriting your website’s programming so that search engines (such as Google) can read and index your content.

Professional SEO code (programming) is an often-overlooked search engine ranking strategy that may give a cost-effective boost to organic search engine results for small and mid-sized organizations that may not have the means for a big link-building effort.

Don’t forget: check out the other definitions (over 200) in our growing SEO glossary.


Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of HTML.

You may be wondering how you can improve your HTML site’s search engine optimization at this point. At the risk of repeating myself, it’s a good idea to keep tweaking your content, head, title, tags, description, and so on. Don’t make changes every week; that’s too often to see if you’re improving or hurting your page rank. At the same time, don’t put off updating your copy for years.

You don’t have to like HTML tags, but understanding which ones are crucial for site SEO is a necessity. If you want search engines to rank your sites, make it easier for them by including helpful and relevant information in the HTML code.

Loganix can execute a marketing plan for your website if you don’t have the time. We will build an SEO plan to your company’s unique needs and implement it ourselves, allowing you to focus on what you do best: operating your business.

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Jake Sheridan on November 30, 2021

Founder of Sheets for Marketers, I nerd out on automating parts of my work using Google Sheets. At Loganix I build products, and content marketing. There’s nothing like a well deserved drink after a busy day spreadsheeting.