What are SEO Meta Tags?
Meta tags are the content descriptors of a page in short words. They appear only in the source code of the page, not on the page itself, and give information about the content on the page. Search Engine Optimization, shortly known as SEO is the process through with a page or a website ranks higher on Google.
It involves the proper optimization of your content so that search engines show it on the top of the other pages with similar content when someone searches for it. There are guidelines about why are SEO Meta Tags important and how they are used? Meta Tags are not visible to the searchers as they are only part of the code of the page. It is hidden but some parts may be visible on the result pages such as the title tags etc. To be clear, meta tags are not the most important on page factor. Domain name, for example, is usually a much bigger factor in rankings.
You must know that not all the meta tags are SEO Meta Tags because over time many meta tags lose their close relevance with the SEO. This page with help you to choose the best of them so, your content will rank on the search engines with high quality on page.
Some HTML tags that are NOT meta tags: canonical tags, image tags, link tags, H tags, bookmark tags, etc
Meta Tags to improve the optimization of your page
There are some meta tags to take the optimization of your page to a better level.
1. Title tag
Title tags or Meta title tags are the compact summaries of your content that appear on the Search engine result pages. These are the titles you choose to be visible on the result pages of a search engine. They are one of the most important SEO Meta Tags that will certainly take the SEO ranking of your page to another level. Do not confuse it with the headline that appears on the top of the page. You can simplify and shorten the heading before adding it as a title tag to make it understandable to the search engine crawlers.
There are some tips you should keep in mind while creating a title tag.
- Add your keywords to the title tag.
- Limit it to a maximum of 60 characters.
- It should be distinctive.
- Do not use the vague title tags
- Simplify it properly.
Create a better title tag because it is the first thing that is visible to the audience and it is their first interaction with your content. Make it appealing to them. Headlines on the page could be different and more engaging than the title tags but title tags should be straightforward about your content. Code for the title tag is like
<title>headline of the page</title>
2. Meta description
The meta description appears under the title tag on the search engine result pages. They contain the clear and concise detail of your content in about 300 characters. This description helps the search engine crawlers and internet users to know if your content is what they exactly need.
Mostly google picks up the random part of the content to show underneath the title tags. It makes it clear that the meta description does not affect the ranking of your content. If the proper meta description is used, it will grab the attention of the readers to your webpage. Better activity on the page will automatically increase the ranking.
A meta description is used as a prop by the marketers to increase the traffic to their pages. It is a great opportunity to show the reader that your page includes the information they are looking for. Below are some points you should keep in mind while writing a meta description.
- Use the proper wording to grab attention.
- Use the appropriate number of keywords.
- Keep it up to the maximum of 300 characters.
- Concisely present your content to the reader.
- Do not repeat a meta description of the pages of your website.
The best meta description will help people to find the value of the given content. The code for meta description is:
<meta name=”description” content=”meta description”>
3. Robots meta tag
Among the SEO meta tags, Robots meta tags are of great importance. Robots meta tags are used to give the instructions to the search engine whether you want them to crawl index your content or not. You can specify the pages that you want to be unnoticed by the crawlers.
The content available on the web pages of a website is completely approachable to all by default. You can change the settings by using these limiting tags. If you are using copyright images or other content on your page, it can cause negative SEO. So, the robots meta tags are there to prevent it. Below are some common robots’ meta tags.
It instructs the search engine to index your page which means your content will be available to the searchers. It is a default setting of a webpage.
· No index
It instructs the search engine not to add your webpage to the search engine results page. Your page will be hidden from the people.
If you have added different links to a webpage that lead the viewers to the other web pages, this meta tag will allow the search engine to follow them. It is also a default setting.
· No follow
if you do not validate the links on the web pages of your website, you can add this parameter to the source code. It is a safety meta tag to prevent the following of any link on your webpage. The no follow tag will also change how your website interlinking affects SEO.
· No archive
No archive instructs the search engine not to archive the content of the website.
All these will improve the SEO meta tag by preventing copyright or duplication problems with your content. It is the best way to present your brand to buyers. A robots meta tag code added to the header of the webpage will look like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”/>
4. Viewport meta tag
Viewport tag is also an SEO meta tag that is important because, in the recent era, users mostly use mobile phones to search for the necessary information they need. First of all, you must know what is the viewport?
A viewport is an area where the content of your webpage is visible on the window. It is different for the users depending upon which device they are using to access the webpage. The viewport meta tag saves the viewers from the trouble of visiting a website like the size of the content. If your web pages have only the desktop version, people will likely leave to avoid the difficulty of navigation.
The developers can change the size of content and scales of the webpage using this meta tag. It makes the web pages mobile user-friendly otherwise the searchers may not like your page and bounce back. You must spend some time adding the viewport meta tags to your website to get the attention of the audience and improve results.
The viewport meta tags display the webpages in sizes according to the devices used such as computer, laptop, tablets, or mobile. The code for the viewport meta tag looks like:
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1”>
5. Alt text
In modern search engine optimization, an important thing is image optimization. Your visual content will increase the opportunity of your web pages to rank higher in the search engine result pages. Alt text ensures that the images on your web pages are visible to the search engine and people.
Alt text meta tag provides a text alternative to the image. In this case, if the image does not load, a text will appear where the image was meant to present or a screen reader will read it out. It will contain some more information about the images on your web pages.
Alt text must be chosen carefully otherwise it will do more loss than the benefits. Do not stuff the keywords in the Alt text, as it does not make sense and will just harm the experience of the users. Compactly describe your visual content.
6. Header tag
Header tags, shortly are the headings you use to give a proper structure to the page. If these are used perfectly, they steal the attention of the searchers by making their reading experience better. Header tags open up to the search engines what their content is about.
The header tags can be used multiple times in a webpage ranging from h1 to h6. Each will break the lengthy content of the webpage into different sections and enlighten their importance to the visitors of the webpage.
An h1 header tag is the main heading or the title of the content on a particular webpage while all others are the subheadings. These are important for search engine optimization but do not overuse the headings in your article as it will cause chaos.
Use the headings professionally according to the need and to introduce a new point in the text. Arrange them properly and organize the paragraphs. A heading may contain more than one paragraph. Balance them wisely.
You can improve your SEO Meta Tags for better optimization. You can use the tools like SEO checker to know the SEO status of your website and other competitors. These tools also give you some advice to implement for a better result. Apply all the meta tags in a balanced manner to rank better.
See also HTTP status codes for more important On Page SEO concepts.