Lines of text called SEO Meta Tags can be found in the source code of a website. Both Google and searchers can understand what a page is about thanks to these texts. Despite not being visible on the page itself, it functions admirably behind the scenes. If used properly, these brief text passages can raise your rankings and your site’s click-through rate (CTR).
In this blog, we will share an overview of meta tags, what they do, how you can effectively use them and why it matters to your SEO strategy.
Let’s get going!
What are SEO Meta Tags?
The HTML tags that describe the content of your page to search engines and website visitors are called meta tags. Only the page’s source code contains the Meta tags, which anyone may view by pressing the Ctrl+U keyboard shortcut.
As the first impression and point of contact for all search engines, Meta tags are essential elements that appear in the HTML code of a website page and inform the search engine what the page is about.
In many different sectors, metadata can refer to a variety of different things, but when it comes to SEO, they have a very specific set of requirements. The three main ones are headers, meta titles, and meta descriptions. We’ll use the terms “generic meta tags” and “meta keywords” to refer to two significant exceptions.
Your website’s infrastructure must be properly constructed in order to optimise it fully. The best practices for meta titles, descriptions, and headers currently in use are likely to be applicable in the future, so whether you’re changing meta tags on an existing site or making them from scratch, make sure you first understand the standards.
What is a Meta Title?
The Title tag is the first HTML element that describes your website to both users and search engines. All browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and others, support the title element.
Always include your Title tag in your website’s <head> section.
<title>This is Title Sample</title>
The meta title is the first element of any website on the SERP that users of Google or other search engines see (Search Engine Results Page), and the meta title shows in blue for organic search results.
The meta title has a lot of sways because it is one of the factors that have the biggest impact on how well a webpage performs for its chosen keywords. In addition to rank, it significantly impacts a page’s CTR (Click-Through Rate) as well.
This means that a meta title must strategically use keywords to rank highly and get users to visit a website.
A meta title should be between 50 and 60 characters in length. While there is no harm in using a longer title, Google will shorten certain characters and insert an ellipsis.
When your title is too long or irrelevant, another way to optimise for Google is to replace it with information from the content itself, such as the H1 or H2 headings.
Meta descriptions are still crucial today, if not more so than they were before. It’s important to remember that “the perfect meta title” must adhere to a set of guidelines to be effective.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a one-sentence summary that briefly explains the topic of a page. On the SERP, this text is utilised as a preview. You will find the meta description right below the meta title in the search result, and not usually visible once you enter the site. Similar to the meta title, it once seemed to have more influence on a page’s rankings, but its function has altered due to numerous revisions and modifications.
<meta name=”description” content=” This is a meta description sample. We can add up to 160 characters.”>
A meta description on desktop search results pages can be up to 160 characters long. On a mobile device, the restriction is roughly 130 characters. To make the title fit both desktop and mobile as much as possible, it is advised to strive for 150 characters.
Its major goal is to succinctly and attractively convey the page’s information (a teaser or sort of blurb). This is why the meta description is so crucial. It contributes significantly to a page’s click-through rate.
What are Header Tags?
Readers and search engines can understand the structure and logic of a webpage thanks to header tags. Although headers (sometimes known as just “titles”) are frequently overlooked in favour of meta titles and descriptions, they are just as crucial.
From 1 onward, the size and relevance of header tags are indicated by a number that represents the tag. The largest and most significant header is marked with the h1 tag, followed by the h2 and so on.
Headers are seen on the page when a user enters the site but not in search results, in contrast to titles and descriptions.
They are so crucial that they serve as the page’s major titles that it is considered best SEO practice to place your main title as high up on the page as possible, followed by several H2 headers.
What are Generic Meta Tags?
Contrary to metadata like titles and descriptions, general meta tags are part of a specific website’s source code and do not appear on the page itself (which are quite unique in that they appear in certain areas of a page – more on that further down). Visitors cannot see general meta tags like canonical and robot tags.
What is a Meta Keyword?
Use the keywords you want to rank for in the meta keyword tags, and Google will take those into account when calculating your page rank.
However, many webmasters exploited this tag to try to rank as high as possible, resulting in another Google upgrade and a more sophisticated algorithm that eventually ignored this tag entirely.
Whether or not this tag has any impact on pages is still a topic of debate. Wherever the meta keywords are used, we advise removing them entirely. In our opinion, Google might view these as a spam factor (we know it is on Bing).
Thanks to meta keywords, competitors can also learn more about the keywords you’re targeting and the sites where you’re using them.
What is an Alternative Text (Alt) Tag?
Since search engines cannot read photos, you must add appropriate Alt text to the images for the search engine to consider them.
|<img src=”http://example.com/xyz.jpg” alt=”xyz” />|
It’s really simple to add an alt tag, and you should essentially do it for all of your images. It improves accessibility and may aid Google in deciphering what is happening in your image.
What is a Robots Meta Tag?
An HTML tag called “Robots Meta Tag” tells web crawlers whether or not to index a certain web page.
There are Four Key Values for Search Engine Crawlers in the Robots Meta Tag:
- follow – All of the links on that webpage will be followed by the search engine crawler.
- index – The entire web page will be indexed by the search engine crawler.
- nofollow – All of the links on that webpage will “NOT” be followed by the search engine crawler.
- noindex – The entire web page will “NOT” be indexed by the search engine crawler.
The Syntax for the Robots Meta Tag:
|<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”> – Means not to index or not to follow this web page.
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”> – Means index and follow this web page.
Why Do SEO Meta Tags Matter?
The first impression someone has of your page on a SERP comes from the meta tags. A compelling meta description will encourage users to visit your website. They make sure that search engines are aware of the subject matter of your content so that the website will appear in the relevant results.
Your website needs meta tags for a number of reasons:
- On search engines, they assist users in finding what they’re looking for.
- They are the first factor a user will consider to decide whether to visit your website or not.
- They aid in improving page rankings for particular subjects, keywords, and search terms.
A comprehensive site audit is necessary for SEO to work to its best potential. It should consist of keyword research, proper on-page execution, and, most importantly, good ol’ original content that benefits users.
An optimised on-page implementation is required for a web page to appear anywhere in search results. Despite this, content is still important. Users will leave a page with great meta tags but poor content if it is not interesting or relevant to them.
If you want to successfully achieve a remedy of great content and meta tags, you can always work with a reputable SEO agency to ensure that you can utilise the meta tags effectively.
Start Implementing SEO Meta Tags Today!
Understanding the importance of meta-data, particularly SEO meta tags, is crucial for achieving success in the ever-competitive online landscape. By optimising your meta tags, you have the opportunity to make a significant impact on your website’s search engine visibility, click-through rates, and overall user experience. The careful selection and placement of relevant meta tags can effectively communicate the essence of your content to search engines and potential visitors, leading to higher rankings, increased organic traffic, and improved engagement.
However, optimising meta-data is just one piece of the SEO puzzle. To truly excel in the digital realm, it’s crucial to partner with experts who understand the intricacies of search engine optimisation. That’s where TopRankings comes in. Our team of experienced professionals has a deep understanding of the ever-evolving SEO landscape, including meta-data optimisation. We can provide comprehensive guidance, innovative strategies, and the latest industry insights to help you stay ahead of the competition and achieve remarkable results.
So, why wait? Elevate your SEO game today by leveraging the power of meta-data with TopRankings. Contact us now to embark on a journey towards higher search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and unparalleled online success. Let us be your trusted partner in driving your digital growth and making your mark in the online world.