Meta tags are an integral part of search engine optimization (SEO). They provide search engines with useful information about your website’s content and structure, helping to ensure that your pages are properly indexed and that users can find the information they are looking for.
Despite their importance, many website owners overlook the importance of meta tags, leaving their website at a disadvantage when it comes to search engine rankings.
In this article, we’ll discuss meta tags, the importance of meta tags in SEO, how to create them, and how to use them to improve your website’s visibility. With the right approach and a little bit of effort, meta tags can help you maximize your website’s potential and ensure that your pages are properly indexed and ranked in search engine results.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta Tags are HTML tags that provide information about a web page, such as its title, author, and keywords. They are used by search engines to help index web pages and improve SEO rankings. They are also used by browsers to display information about the page, such as its title, author, and description.
The Meta tags are snippets of code that are not visible on the page itself but are included in the source code. They act as little descriptors that can help search engines understand what the page is about.
<title>My Web Page</title>
<meta name="author" content="John Doe">
<meta name="description" content="This is my web page about cats.">
<meta name="keywords" content="cats, animals, pets">
In this example, the title tag identifies the page’s title, the meta tag with
name="author" provides the author’s name, the meta tag with
name="description" provides a description of the page, and the meta tag with
name="keywords" provides keywords for the page.
<title>My Web Page</title>
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
<meta name="googlebot" content="noarchive">
In this example, the meta tags with
name="googlebot" provide instructions to search engine robots. The
"noindex" value tells search engines not to index the page, and the
"noarchive" value tells search engines not to store a cached copy of the page.
Tags are pieces of information that are used to provide additional information about a webpage or blog post. Visible tags – such as those seen on a blog post – are located on the page, while meta tags are only visible to search engines and those who know where to look, as they are found in the header of the page’s HTML code. Meta tags are also known as metadata, as they provide data about the data on the page.
Why are Meta Tags Important For SEO?
Meta tags are important for SEO because they help search engines understand what your web page is about. They provide information about the page’s title, description, and keywords. This information is used by search engines to determine the relevance of your page to search queries and to rank it accordingly.
Meta tags are pieces of HTML code that appear in the head of a web page. These tags provide metadata about the page, such as its title, description, and keywords. This information helps search engines understand what the page is about and index it correctly.
For example, if a web page is about “shoes for men,” the meta tags might include the title “Shoes for Men,” the description “Find the perfect pair of shoes for mens,” and keywords such as “men’s shoes,” “shoe styles,” and “footwear.” This information helps search engines understand that the page is about shoes for men, and it will be indexed accordingly.
Meta tags are also important for SEO because they can be used to optimize the page for specific keywords. Including relevant keywords in the meta tags can increase the chances of your page appearing in the search results for those keywords.
Meta tags are just one part of SEO, but they are an important part. When used correctly, they can help search engines understand and index your web page correctly, increasing your chances of appearing in the search results.
Common Types of Meta Tags
Below are the commonly used Meta Tags:
The title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. It is typically displayed on top of the browser window and the search engine results page (SERP) as the clickable headline for a given result and is important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag is typically the first thing a user sees when searching for something online.
<title>Home | My Website</title>
In this example, the title tag specifies the web page title as
Home | My Website. This title will be displayed in the SERP when someone searches for related keywords, helping them identify the page more quickly. Additionally, the title tag can help boost the page’s SEO value and help it rank higher in the SERP. Social media sharing platforms such as Facebook and Twitter also use the title tag when displaying a link to a web page.
The meta description tag is an HTML tag that briefly describes a web page’s content. It is used by search engines to display a short summary of a page in search results. It is also used by social networks when a page is shared. This tag is important for SEO and can help to increase click-through rates in search results.
<meta name="description" content="This is an example of a meta description. It is a short summary of what this page is about and it should be unique to each page on your website.">
Google has confirmed that the keywords in meta descriptions do not influence rankings, but they are still important. A well-crafted meta description can attract users to click on your website from the search engine results page (SERP). This could ultimately improve your rankings because a higher click-through rate indicates that your website is relevant to the keywords used. Additionally, Google may use the meta description as the snippet of text in the SERP, giving you more control over how your website is presented.
Google’s motivations are somewhat unclear, yet their behavior speaks for itself: meta keywords are not as important as they once were. However, meta-descriptions still carry significant weight.
Meta Keywords are HTML tags that are used to provide keywords and phrases to search engine crawlers. These tags are a list of words or phrases that are related to the content of the webpage. They are typically placed in the page’s head section.
<meta name="keywords" content="web design, SEO, HTML, CSS">
In the example above, the meta keywords tag provides the search engine crawlers with a list of keywords and phrases related to the webpage’s content. These keywords are “web design,” “SEO,” “HTML,” and “CSS.” This allows search engine crawlers to understand the webpage’s content better and place it in the appropriate search results.
Note: Marketers used to take advantage of search engine algorithms by inserting keywords that had nothing to do with the content of their page in order to get higher page views. This tactic was called “keyword stuffing,” It was a way to get traffic from more popular pages whose content related to whatever was trending at the time, such as Lindsay Lohan. Google soon found out about this and decided to no longer include meta keywords as one of their ranking factors, as it was too easy to manipulate and misused.
Meta Robots Tags
Meta Robots Tags are HTML elements used to instruct search engine robots (also known as “crawlers” or “spiders”) how to crawl and index a web page. These tags help search engine robots understand what content should and should not be indexed on a given page.
For example, if you wanted to prevent search engines from indexing a specific page on your website, you could use the Meta Robots Tag to instruct search engine robots not to index the page. It would look like this:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />
On the other hand, if you wanted a page on your website to be indexed and included in search engine results, you could use the Meta Robots Tag to instruct search engine robots to index the page. It would look like this:
<meta name="robots" content="index" />
The Meta Robots Tag is a powerful tool that can control how search engine robots index and crawl your website.
It can also be used to tell search engines to follow the page’s links or not to follow the page’s links. For example, meta robots tag such as “index, follow” would tell search engines to index the page and follow the links, while meta robots tag such as “noindex, nofollow” would tell search engines not to index the page and not to follow the links.
Image tags are HTML tags used to display an image within an HTML document. They can be used to display images of any size or format, including JPEG, PNG, and GIF files. Image tags are usually placed within the
<img> tag, which contains the image source and other optional attributes such as the image’s size, alignment, and alt text.
<img src="myimage.jpg" width="400" height="200" alt="My Image">
In this example, the
<img> tag is used to display an image called “myimage.jpg,” which is 400 pixels wide and 200 pixels high. The optional attribute “alt” is used to provide a text description of the image, which is helpful for visually impaired people or using a text-only browser.
In addition to the title, description, keyword, robots, and image tags, several other meta tags can be used to provide additional information about a webpage. These include:
1. Viewport: This tag helps control how a page is rendered on different devices. It allows developers to set the page width and zoom level and determine the number of pixels the page should be scaled to.
2. Open Graph: This meta tag was introduced by Facebook and is used to create a more social media-friendly web page version. It allows developers to control how content appears when shared on social media platforms.
3. Canonical: This tag is used to indicate which web page version should be indexed by search engines. It helps prevent duplicate content from appearing on the search engine results pages.
4. Refresh: This meta tag tells the browser to reload a page after a specific time period. It can be used to redirect visitors to a new page automatically.
5. Author: This tag is used to specify the author of a web page. It is often used by search engines to determine the relevancy of a page in search results.
6. Content-Language: This meta tag is used to specify the language of a web page. It can be used to help search engines better understand the content on a page.
How To Check Meta Tags Of Any Website?
To check the Meta Tags of any website, just:
- Visit the website you wish to check the meta tags of.
- Right-click any blank area on the page and select “View Page Source” or “View Source.”
- A new window will appear with the page’s HTML source code.
- Look for the
<head>tag; within it, you’ll find the meta tags. As an example, for the TechABU.co website, the meta tags look like this:
<meta name="title" content="TechABU">
<meta name="description" content="TechABU is a Technology Hub that strives to get you the latest technology news, technology tips & tricks, programming, marketing, and much more.">
<meta name="robots" content="index, follow">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
<meta name="language" content="English">
How To Add Meta Tags To Your Website?
Adding meta tags to your website is an easy process that can help to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. Meta tags provide search engines with information about your website and its content. Here’s how to add meta tags to your website:
Determine What Meta Tags You Need:
The most common types of meta tags are the title tag, description tag, and keywords tag. The title tag should contain the title of your page, while the description tag should contain a brief description of the page’s content. The keywords tag should contain a list of relevant keywords related to the page’s content.
There are many online Meta Tag generators available you can use. You just need to enter your data, and the tools will automatically generate the Meta Tags for your website in the appropriate format.
Add Meta Tags to Your Page:
Once you’ve determined your meta tags, you can add them to your page. Most content management systems (CMS) have an area where you can add meta tags. If you’re coding your page manually, you can add the tags to your HTML document’s <head> section.
Test and Monitor the Results:
Once you’ve added the meta tags to your page, test the results by performing searches on popular search engines and monitoring your website’s traffic. This will help you determine if the meta tags are having the desired effect.
Following these steps, you can easily add meta tags to your website and improve its visibility in search engine results.
Meta Tag Best Practices
Here are some best practices when it comes to using meta tags:
1. Title Tags: Title tags should be unique, descriptive, and no more than 60 characters long. This is important because search engines will use this information to determine the relevance of a page to a user’s search query. For example, a title tag for an online shoe store might look like this:
<title>Online Shoe Store | Best Prices on the Web</title>
2. Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters long and accurately describe the page’s content. This is important because search engines will use this information to determine whether or not a page is relevant to a user’s search query. For example, a meta description for the same online shoe store might look like this:
<meta name="description" content="Shop for the best selection of shoes online. We have the best prices online, with free shipping on all orders." />
3. Keywords: Keywords should accurately describe the page’s content and should be relevant to the page content. This is important because search engines will use this information to determine the relevance of a page to a user’s search query. For example, keywords for the same online shoe store might look like this:
<meta name="keywords" content="shoes, online, store, prices, free shipping" />
4. Canonical Tags: Canonical tags should be used to specify the canonical version of a page, which is the version that search engines should use when indexing the page. For example, if multiple versions of a page have the same content, the canonical tag should be used to specify which version of the page should be indexed. For example:
<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/shoes/">