What Are Meta Tags and Why Does My Website Need Them?
You’ve undoubtedly seen something referred to as a meta tag if you’ve ever created your website. While meta tags won’t appear on the actual website themselves, it’s essential to describe your page and ensure that you’re receiving the right traffic to your page. So what exactly are meta tags, and why do they matter for your website?
In this article, we’ll take a look at what meta tags are and how they can help improve the success of your website.
What Are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are a part of the code used to describe a website. However, they have not displayed themselves but are visible in the source code.
Meta tags include a variety of information, such as the title of your page, the description, and even the keywords you’re targeting. This information is used by search engines to help understand your website and determine its purpose. It’s essentially the “data” that describes the data on your website page.
What Do Meta Tags Look Like?
The <head> section of your website code contains the meta tags.
Here’s an example:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is a description of my website.”>
The content between the tags will display in search engine results. So, in this example, the said description will be “This is a description of my website.”
Are Meta Tags Important For SEO?
Meta tags are not as important for SEO as they used to be, but they still play a role in helping your website rank. Of course, they’re not as critical as the content on your page. However, they can still help boost your ranking if written correctly. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the different meta tags you can use for your website. According to Digital Authority Partners, the four main types include:
Title tags are the most crucial type of meta tag. The title tag appears in the search engine result as the title of your page. It also appears at the top of your browser when you visit a website.
Your title should be under 60 characters and accurately reflect the content on your page. For example, if you have a blog about dogs, your title tag should explain that information.
Here’s an example of a title tag:
<title>Dogs – All You Need to Know About Them</title>
Search engines no longer use Meta Keywords, but they’re still an excellent way to target specific keywords. Therefore, they should be included in the <head> section of your code and look like this:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”dogs, pets, animal”>
The content between the tags will appear as the meta keywords.
The meta description is the second most crucial type of meta tag. The meta description is the text below the title in search engine results. Use meta descriptions to describe the content on your page clearly and concisely.
The meta description should be around 150-160 characters and accurately reflect the content of your page.
Here’s an example of a meta description:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is a website about dogs. Learn everything you need to know about owning a dog, from breeds to training tips.”>
The meta robot tag controls how search engines crawl and index your website. For example, you can use it to tell search engines not to index a page or to specify which pages you want to be indexed.
The robots meta tag looks like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
Meta robots tell search engines to index the page and follow any links on the page. You can also use “noindex” to tell search engines not to index a page or “nofollow” to tell search engines not to follow any links on the page.
What Other Factors Contribute To SEO?
While meta tags are essential, there are many other factors that you’ll need to consider that contribute to SEO, including the following:
Page loading speed
The page loading speed is a factor that’s now considered by Google when ranking websites. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check the page loading speed of your website and make improvements to optimize it.
Since most people now use mobile devices to access the internet, optimize your website for mobile. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you could be penalized by Google and lose visitors.
Headings and structure
The heading and structure of your website are also considered by Google when ranking sites. Therefore, you should use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to organize your content and make it easy for search engines to understand.
Off-page optimization is the optimization process of your website by building backlinks from other websites. This strategy is an essential part of SEO and should regularly improve your ranking.
Meta tags are an essential part of SEO, and all websites should utilize them. The four main types of meta tags are title tags, meta keywords, meta descriptions, and robots meta tags. Of course, many other factors contribute to SEO, so it’s essential to understand what meta tags are and how you can use them. Additionally, there are other things you should be doing to optimize your website.