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Web Promotion Elements? Head? Header Tags? What...?

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By now, even novices are bound to have read something about an HTML document’s web promotion elements.

Terms like meta tags, header tags, page head, title tags, and more abound in literature on the subject. But what are these, and what purpose do they actually serve during the course of site design and a website’s promotional strategy?

While many web designers and search engine optimizers seem to preach about the importance of meta tags, header tags, W3C compliance, et al, few ‘professionals’ seem willing to render a sreal explanation about the reasoning behind their advice. In fact, the industry’s old ‘secret society’ attitude still seems prevalent to this day.

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There's a Secret Web Promotion Elements Society?

Well... sort of. And while not quite as sinister as some of the secret societies found in popular fiction, this bunch is nevertheless causing upset and confusion on a widespread scale.

Allow me to explain...

When I first became entangled in the computer industry back in 1992, PCs (of the 486 ilk) were only just entering the public consciousness and slowly becoming a part of daily life, at least for those of a naturally nerdy persuasion. In those days, the average techie was seen to be possessed of an arcane knowledge due to his or her understanding of the machine’s wily ways, and their proficiency in a mysterious language, known only as ‘DOS’.

Over a decade and a half has passed, times have of course changed, and computers are now a simple and seemingly indispensable part of our everyday routine. And yet, techie attitudes, especially within the Search Engine Optimization sector, appear to have been carried over from those early days. But while each professional does of course have methods and approaches he or she considers to be ‘tricks of the trade’, is there really any sense to these individuals keeping their clients completely in the dark about even the most basic web promotion elements they’re recommending as part of their service?

Personally I think not, so I'm going to take a shot at a couple of sticking points.

Of the many things which are accepted as an everyday part of effective web promotion, mix-ups between the Page Head and the Header Tag are probably among the most commonly made mistakes.

So what is the difference between a Page Head and a Header Tag and how do they help my web promotion efforts?

The Page Head forms the first part of an HTML document. This includes the Page Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords tags among others. Clicking here will show how the Page Head fits into the source code of an HTML page and explain what each component does.

The Header Tag: Looking towards the top of this page, you will see this page’s H1 tag (Web Promotion Elements - Head? Header Tags? What...?). These act in a similar way to a newspaper headline, and run (getting progressively smaller) from H1 to H6. The commonly made statement in SEO circles is that search engines place greater value on keywords contained within a Header Tag, but long-term experience shows that this is only true if the keywords or phrases contained within the header tag are actually directly relevant to the rest of the web page’s content.

Furthermore, this particular web promotion element should not simply be stuffed full of keywords. Instead, it works far more effectively if written for human visitors rather than search engine spiders.

While this short article is of course far from comprehensive, I hope it has provided at least a brief insight into these two, possibly the most misinterpreted onsite web promotion elements.

If you’d like to find out more about HTML and web design, you might want to take a look at the W3 Schools website, where you’ll find tutorials about just about any kind of imaginable aspect of online coding.


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