HTML, the Hypertext Markup Language is the foundation of your website. But did you know that HTML tags also affect your SEO performance? In South Africa, it is crucial for small business websites to function well in SEO ranking. So, what are the HTML tags that can improve website SEO performance in South Africa? Let’s find out with this article.

How do HTML Tags affect Website SEO in South Africa?

HTML is the standard language used for creating web pages. It defines the structure and content of a webpage, including headings, paragraphs, images, links, and other elements.

SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, is a set of standards every web designer/developer has to follow in order to rank their websites higher on a search engine’s result page.

HTML plays a crucial role in search engine optimization (SEO) by providing search engines with the necessary information to understand and index the content of a webpage.

Here are some key aspects of the relationship between HTML and SEO:


Structuring content in a proper hierarchy helps with SEO

HTML allows you to structure your content using various tags such as headings (h1, h2, etc.), paragraphs (p), lists (ul, ol), and more. Search engines use this structure to understand the hierarchy and relevance of different parts of your content. Properly using headings, for example, helps search engines determine the main topics and subtopics of your webpage.

When it comes to heading tags, the best practice is to maintain a short structure. HTML allows us to use up to 6 heading tags (h1 to h6), but it is highly advised not to use all of them in your web design unless it does make sense. Search engines rarely pay heed to tags beyond h3. So, for best results, keep your structure limited to tags h1 to h3. Do not skip heading levels. For example, if you have used the h2 heading tag, do not use the h4 heading tag next. Use h3 to denote proper hierarchy in your content. That way, it also appears visually more pleasant.

The H1 heading tag is treated as the title of the content on your page (not to be confused with the title tag). Hence, do not use more than one H1 heading tag. Let this heading tag contain the keyphrase you want to optimise your content for.

The example of Title Tag in HTML. It is treated as your content's title and is considered a significant contributing factor to your SEO score. | Common HTML Tags that Improve Website SEO in South Africa

An example of an H1-Title Tag on your webpage.


Keyphrases in Meta Description (meta tag) are absolutely a must

HTML includes meta tags that provide information about a webpage to search engines. The most important meta tag for SEO is the meta description, which provides a concise summary of the webpage’s content. Search engines often display the meta description in search results, so it should be compelling and relevant to encourage click-throughs.

An example of Meta Description | Common HTML Tags that Improve Website SEO in South Africa

This is what Meta Description looks like on Google Search results.

If you are using something like Yoast SEO, the plugin itself would prompt you that you are missing headings, a title, or a meta description. Else you would have to define a separate meta tag in the ‘head’ section of the code. To yield the best results, it is highly recommended that your meta tag must include the key phrase. Make sure your meta tag does not exceed 160 character limit  This boosts your SEO score significantly.


Don’t forget to write a compact, yet descriptive title

The title tag, specified in the HTML head section, is another vital element for SEO. It defines the title of the webpage, which appears as a clickable link in search engine results. An optimised title tag should accurately describe the content and include relevant keywords to improve visibility and click-through rates.

The title tag appears on the tab of your web browser when a visitor clicks on your website through the Google search engine results page. It is NOT the H1 heading title of the content of your website. The title tag significantly influences your keyword’s performance. You may also consider adding your brand name for maximum visibility on the search engine.


Adding alt-text to images adds accessibility and contributes to SEO

You can set a custom caption and alt-text for each individual image on your website. It is not always the case that an image would load for your visitors. Sometimes, something may go wrong on the server’s end and the image may not load at all. During such occurrences, an alt-text helps define the contents of such images. Websites with images having alt-texts perform significantly better than websites that do not practice alt-text.

An example of Alt-Text. When the Image does not load, you will see the alt-text on your screen instead. | Common HTML Tags that Improve Website SEO in South Africa

An example of Alt-Text. If the image does not load, you will be seeing the text instead.

Pro tip! Your image alt-text can also include your keyphrases. This will further contribute to your SEO score.


Semantic markup in HTML5 has made structuring easier

HTML5 introduced semantic elements like header, footer, article, section, and nav. These elements provide additional context and meaning to the content. Search engines can interpret semantic markup to better understand the structure and relevance of different sections within a webpage, which can positively impact SEO.

While HTML is essential for SEO, it’s worth noting that search engines consider various other factors as well, such as quality and relevance of content, backlinks, page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and user experience. HTML lays the foundation for proper optimization, but it’s crucial to implement comprehensive SEO strategies beyond HTML to maximize visibility and organic search traffic to a website.



In South Africa, ranking your website on Google search is crucial as it will give you more visibility. Understanding how these basic HTML tag practices affect your website SEO is indeed helpful in South Africa. However, to make matters simpler, there are many assistant plugins that can help you with SEO in 2023, such as Yoast SEO.

An alternative option to that would be hiring a professional web design and SEO agency in South Africa. Digital Lime Green is a Cape Town-based web design agency, and our goal is to provide quality web designs and SEO services to small businesses in South Africa. For more information, feel free to reach out to us today and we will be glad to help you out.