3 things to know about HTML

Here’s a little something I wrote about what I’ve learned about HTML, the language that drives the layout of the web.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) has become one of the underlying technologies that make the modern internet possible. You don’t have to become an HTML master for typical use. Learning three simple aspects of HTML can greatly improve your content creation and search engine optimization skills.

HTML Uses a System of Nested Elements to Create Website Pages

HTML uses a library of tags to tell web browsers how to interpret content. Each tag describes how an element should appear on your screen. For instance, if you want to make a section of text bold, you would place < strong > before the text and < /strong > after the text.

All tags are written inside of angle brackets. When a browser encounters a “<>” it knows that the characters inside the angled brackets are an HTML tag. “” tells the browser to stop applying the tag to a page’s content. A handful of elements — such as , which creates a line break — do not require end tags.

HTML Creates Links Between Pages

HTML is the standard method for creating links between internet documents. Links are created with the < a > tag, which stands for “anchor.” You can also add tags that tell browsers whether they should open hyperlinks in the same tab or in a new one.

Without hyperlinks, the World Wide Web would not exist in its current form.

HTML Elements Can Improve Visibility to Search Engines

Not all HTML elements tell browsers how to display content. Some provide useful information for people willing to look at the source material. These elements also communicate important information to search engines.

HTML tags used to help search engines are called “meta tags” because they contain descriptive information such as the page’s title, description, and keywords. Including meta tags makes it easier for search engines like Google to identify a page as something a user might want to see. Without meta tags, websites rarely appear on first-page search engine results.

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