Creating a well organized blog is as important for aesthetics as it is for SEO. Using a correct blog structure makes it easier for readers to get through long texts and for crawlers to discover content. Every copywriter should understand the HTML elements in their text editor, what they do, and be able to add their own elements quickly and efficiently.
If you’re using WordPress, all these elements are easy to add in your text editor. If you need to brush up on any HTML terminology, we have you covered: HTML Defined.
SEO HTML Elements
Header tags structure your content, much like chapters and titles in books. Each header is part of a hierarchy, which means that when you apply header tags they must employ a logical flow to your content.
Using header tags will change the look of your text, which is usually out of your control if you’re using a CMS (For WordPress, CSS or the theme of your site controls the look of header tags). But it’s important to only use header tags for semantic meaning, not to change the look of your text.
It’s also important to only use one h1 for each blog post. If you can have more than one h1, you’re writing about too many topics in one blog. Think of the h1 as the title of a book and the rest of the headers as the chapters and subtopics.
Pro Tip: Usually, WordPress uses the title of the blog post as the h1, so add your HTML header tags starting at h2.
Adding header tags
Navigate to the titles and subtopics you want to markup in the your text editor. Add an opening header tag before the text and a closing header tag after. It should look like this: <h2> Text Here </h2> , <h3> Text Here <h3>
Do you have paid links on your blog? Are you an affiliate marketer? Are you being paid to guest blog? If yes, you should use a no follow value on your paid links. A no follow tells Google that you don’t want to pass link equity.
The no follow value was created in 2005 to combat paid link schemes that were used to manipulate rankings. Now, there are plenty of paid linking on the web, being used to build buzz, generate traffic, or network with other sites. This is an acceptable way to market sites, products, and goods, but if it’s being paid for there should be a no follow to stay in Google’s good graces.
Adding a no follow
Navigate to the link, after the opening <a> tag, add rel=”nofollow”. It should look like this: <a rel= “nofollow” href= “http://paidlink.com/”>Anchor Text</a>.
Defining the Rel Attribute
You will see the rel attribute used for more than just the no follow value. In fact, you have probably seen it used all over the web. The most common value associated with the rel attribute is next and prev. These are also used in the SEO community to indicate to Google the pages in a series of content. They define the next and previous page in a paginated series.
Paragraphs, Block Quotes, & Lists
Block-level elements create organized line breaks and margins. They seem like small parts of blog, but they change the way your content looks and makes it easier to organize. Every block-level element will tell the browser to display it with a new line both before and after.
The paragraph tag is exactly what is sounds like. Every new paragraph will be enclosed in a paragraph tag. When using WordPress, every time you press enter, a new paragraph is added. Adding content to paragraph tags allows them to be styled with CSS, like other elements on the page.
Block quotes should be used for long quotes that span multiple lines. Browsers will indent block quotes and they will be styled based on your CSS/theme. If you have shorter quotes that are only a sentence or two, use the <q> element (quotation), which doesn’t change the look of the quote, like block quote elements do.
Block quotes shouldn’t be used for styling. If you want certain portions of your text indented, CSS should be used. Block quotes give crawlers semantic information about the text so using it for aesthetics should be avoided.
Adding block quotes and quotation tags
Block quote: Press b-quote on your text editor toolbar and add your text between the opening and closing tags. You can also manually write a block quote opening and closing tag and add your text in between.
Quotation: In your text, add <q> before the beginning of your text and </q> at the end. Quotation elements are the inline versions of a block quote, meaning they won’t start a new line.
List can be created in the visual editor in WordPress, but the code is also easy to add manually. Ordered lists use numbers and unordered lists use bullet points. The type of numbering for ordered lists can easily be changed to letters (upper & lowercase) or Roman numerals (upper & lowercase).
- Ordered Lists
- Unordered Lists
<ol type= “I”>
To change the type of numbering, navigate to your ordered list (it will look like the code above), add type= “I” to the <ol> element for Roman numerals.
Pro Tip: Want more ordered list options?
type= “A” – numbered with uppercase letters
type= “a” – numbered with lowercase letters
type= “i” – numbered with lowercase Roman numerals
Have a list of words with definitions? Like a glossary. Consider using a description list.
<dd>a list of terms with a description of each term.</dd>
<dd>lists inside lists</dd>
- Description List
- List is a list of terms, with a description of each term.
- Nested Lists
- Lists inside lists
Looking for more HTML to make your blog even more SEO friendly? Use our Meta Tag Every Site Needs guide. All our suggestions are easily added in WordPress and cover most of the SEO basics to help your blog rank and crawlers understand your content.
As always, if you have any questions or want to leave a comment below, we’ll answer them right away!