What are Meta Tags

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What are Meta Tags? Best Fish and Chips in London. Micky's Fish and Chips Serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Perhaps your business provides affordable goods and services, yet your website fails to drive traffic. Developing comprehensive digital marketing strategies enables business owners to showcase their goods and services online effectively. 

SEO performance-driven solutions ensure your website ranks high on Google and remains highly visible to potential customers. Meta tags represent easy-to-use tools to optimise your website for search engine inquiries. 

Meta tags give business owners control over their website’s information. Continue reading to learn more about meta tags and how to use them. 

What are Meta Tags?

Photo by Meelan Bawjee on Unsplash

Meta tags are essential phrases used for building websites in HTML and XHTML. They include crucial metadata that helps define the nature of your website. For example, by including “Best Fish and Chips in London” in your meta tags, Google more easily recognises your web page as primarily focusing on food reviews and recommendations. 

Without meta tags, well-written articles promoting local businesses may fall short of reaching an audience by not appearing in search results.

The importance of meta tags should not go overlooked, as all search engines use meta tags to display search engine results. Meta tags bolster search engine result conversions to your website, growing your traffic and number of potential customers. 

Luckily, implementing all types of meta tags is a straightforward process. Your webpage’s head section provides space to include every kind of meta tag. 

Sites like Google Search Console provide valuable information regarding the readability and functionality of your website. Meta tags offer an easy, cost-effective way to strengthen your relationship with popular search engines and drive traffic to your growing business. Before investing in expensive webpage development services, consider auditing your website for meta tag abnormalities. 

What are the Types of Meta Tags? 

Different meta tags serve different functions to optimise your website. While some meta tags improve the searchability of your website, others control how mobile-friendly your site is for smartphones and tablets. Some of the meta tags web crawlers like Googlebot understand include:

  • Meta Description Tags
  • Meta Title Tags
  • Meta Robots Tags
  • Meta Viewport Tags
  • Meta Charset Tags
  • Meta Language Tags

Meta language tags indicate the desired language displayed on your web page, while meta charset tags depict how text appears to users. All meta tags serve unique purposes; however, their common overarching goal is to make viewing your content as easy as possible. For those with special needs or learning disabilities, larger text and text-to-speech functionality make your content accessible.

Growing your new website amidst the competitive world of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is a unique challenge. With Google indexing over 30 trillion pages, finding a foothold for your website requires effort and strategy. Updating metadata lays the groundwork for your web page to thrive amid aggressive competition for the top search results.

Here are some of the most popular meta tags you can use to improve your website:  

Meta Title Tags

Meta titles provide page titles for search engines to display results. Suppose you include “Best Fish and Chips in London” as your meta title, and Google recognises your meta title as a fitting description of your webpage. In that case, Google uses “Best Fish and Chips in London” as the page title in search results. Instead of leaving your webpage’s search results up to automation, consider adding a concise meta title to guide more users to your site. 

Meta titles help search engines understand the subject of your content. Perhaps you operate a lifestyle blog and post articles on varying topics like food, exercise, meditation, medicine, and sleep. Automated search engine bots may encounter confusion when correctly displaying search results for this site since its content is so diverse. Meta title tags allow webpage owners to define how search engines classify their sites.

Benefits of Meta Titles

When searching online for goods and services, customers feel most comfortable choosing websites that appear relevant to their inquiries. Meta titles provide the specificity to match up with user searches. Business owners can define their services instead of leaving customers to guess.

Before paying hundreds of dollars for SEO strategies, ensure your existing metadata accurately describes your webpage. Well-constructed meta-title tags produce precise search results for users to consider.

How To Write Meta Title Tags

WordPress plugins like Yoast and Rank Math provide tools to insert meta title tags with minimal effort. When constructing compelling meta titles, consider the following:

  • Write brief titles, no more than 60 characters, to ensure they fully appear in search results.
  • Use descriptive language that describes your business accurately and creatively.
  • Never overload meta titles with keywords.

Remember, meta titles do not appear on your webpage; meta tags exclusively function to communicate with search engines and provide brief descriptions of your services. All keyword phrases and content belong in your webpage’s articles.

Meta Description Tags

Meta description tags expand upon the brief descriptions in meta titles. These tags briefly outline the content of your webpage and provide summaries for search engines to display. Appropriately crafted title tags and meta descriptions lead customers to your target web pages. For example, if “Best Fish and Chips in London” serves as your meta title, a helpful meta description may include more information, such as “Micky’s Fish and Chips Serves Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” 

Photo by Peter Dawn on Unsplash

Benefits of Meta Descriptions 

Like meta title tags, meta description tags highlight essential information for search engines and customers. A compelling article title found through search engines quickly becomes less appealing if the accompanying description seems irrelevant or useless. Tailor your meta description tags to the needs of your target audience.

Meta description tags provide additional opportunities to include keywords. While overloading descriptions with key phrases can hinder user experience, one or two keywords strategically placed within a meta description tag may improve your searchability on Google.

Thoughtful meta description tags increase the CTR, or click-through rate, of users visiting your web page. Meta description tags compare nicely to real estate. Prospective homebuyers visiting a property with a deteriorating roof and an ugly exterior probably won’t step inside. Conversely, beautiful homes with manicured gardens and fresh coats of paint entice passers-by to look closer. Meta description tags provide a fresh coat of paint to encourage users to continue exploring your web page. 

How To Write Meta Description Tags

Engaging meta description tags include: 

  • A short, concise description of your webpage no longer than 160 characters.
  • Helpful information intended to draw customers to your webpage
  • Creative language that sets your webpage apart from the competition

Like meta title tags, meta description tags do not appear on your website’s homepage. Think of meta description tags as an additional opportunity to describe your webpage to customers before they visit. 

Meta Robots Tags

Meta robots tags do not appear in search engine results but impact how search engines interact with your webpage. These tags instruct search engine crawlers like Googlebot to crawl, index, and follow webpages. 

Benefits of Meta Robots Tags

Meta robots tags affect how search engines index your webpage. Indexed web pages appear prominently in search results, allowing millions of potential customers to come across your content. Search engine crawlers use meta robots tags to signal to search engines that your content is safe and trustworthy for visitors. 

Google refrains from indexing and promoting websites unwilling to abide by their Quality Guidelines. Meta robots tags validate that your website contains safe, reliable information for indexing. Strengthen your relationship with SERPs by updating your meta robots tags. 

How To Write Meta Robots Tags

Meta robots tags include the following values:

  • Index: Communicates to automated bots that a webpage accepts their indexing process
  • Noindex: Communicates to automated bots that a webpage declines indexing
  • Follow: Enables automated bots to follow additional links on web pages
  • Nofollow: Prevents automated bots from following additional links on web pages

Misuse of meta robots tags results in the omission of your webpage from search results. Always double-check what meta tags your webpage is using to avoid costly mistakes. 

Most commonly, the default “index, follow” serves webpages appropriately. Still, webpages with many links that may appear spammy to search engine crawlers benefit from customised “noindex, follow” meta robots tags. 

Meta Viewport Tags

Meta viewport tags communicate to search engines the size of web pages when viewed on mobile devices. More people than ever before use smartphones to conduct internet searches, and even the most helpful web page will deter viewers if incorrectly formatted for mobile devices. Utilising meta viewport tags guarantees that viewers on all platforms can view your content as intended. 

Benefits of Meta Viewport Tags

Mobile-friendly websites convey up-to-date information and trustworthiness. Meta viewport tags allowing access for those using phones and tablets significantly improve site readability. If you think your website excludes mobile users, Google Search Console offers auditing services that quickly identify meta viewport tag errors. 

How To Write Meta Viewport Tags

Most web design services set up an automatic viewport that gets the job done. However, if you notice complaints from visitors that your content is difficult to read on mobile devices, fear not. Manual entry of meta viewport tags requires only a brief update to your HTML page’s section. 

Are Meta Keyword Tags Useful? 

Meta keyword tags often prove ineffective at increasing traffic to your web pages. In 2009, Google publicly stated that they would no longer use meta keyword tags to rank search engine results. Stuffing the maximum amount of keywords into your metadata only triggers spam alerts and reduces your web page’s trustworthiness. 

Instead of using outdated meta keyword tags, consider utilising web development services and improving the content on your web page. Making the layout of your web page more functional, updating all metadata, and providing easy ways for customers to connect with you prove much more effective at increasing engagement on your web page.

Why Are Meta Tags Important? 

Meta tags help SERP users form their first impression of your web page. For example, if you type “best fish and chips in London” into a Google search, and the top result reveals a meta title tag “10 Best Fish Recipes”, you may skip that page, feeling it is too general to meet your needs. Even if the “10 Best Fish Recipes” article includes beneficial information for locating fish and chips, visitors will pass it by in favour of meta title tags that describe their inquiries exactly. 

Learning how to write meta tags also prevents truncated snippets. When your meta description tag contains too many characters, or the automatically generated snippet uses a sentence with too many words, the description for your web page appears unfinished. Unclear meta descriptions and title tags confuse users looking for specific information. Custom meta tags avoid confusion and allow website creators to guarantee that their content looks perfect.

Meta tags help eliminate duplicate content. Google alerts you if you find different articles with identical meta descriptions or titles. If you leave your metadata unchanged, Google automatically selects the best web page among the duplicates. You can ensure search engines index your content by crafting unique meta tags.

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