Although meta tags are one of the core aspects of search engine optimization, they are often overlooked. This often makes it much harder for search engines to get important information about your website, such as the title, description, and how the page should be indexed.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are generally used to provide fragments or bits of crucial data for search engines and browsers. By providing these tags, search engines don’t have to make guesses about certain information, such as the description, title, or other important features about your site.
Why Should You Optimize for Meta Tags?
In recent years, most search engines have placed more priority on ranking pages with more meaningful content higher on the SERP. Essentially, this means that the days of simply matching keywords are over and if your site does not have other high-quality features, then it will be ranked much lower.
Fortunately, meta tags can be used to feed Google relevant information about your website, such as its title, alternative text, what pages should be indexed and so much more. This can be especially helpful in giving you control over how Google and people making searches see your website, which can lead to an increased number of visits.
However, while the knowledge about meta tags grows every day within the SEO community, most businesses utilize them wrongly, leading to catastrophic results for their websites. This is mostly why it is hardly a surprise that most SEO agencies have begun to offer meta tag optimization services, as it is simply not just about using them but using them most effectively.
What are the Most Important Meta Tags?
This is the most familiar meta tag, as you come across it in any Google search you make. This tag is essentially used to provide the main piece of information about the detail of your content, allowing users to make quick judgment calls about whether they should visit a site or not. As most users will only skim through a page’s title before moving on to the next result, your title tag must be as informative as possible, while also remaining brief and straightforward.
This tag often follows the title on the SERP and is used to provide a quick description of the content on your page. So, after a user has read through the title, they will likely move to your description to see if your page is going to be worth their while.
Robots Meta Tag
This tag is often used to indicate whether a page should be indexed by a search engine or not. It can be easy to get confused by the robot meta tag, especially if you have not come across it before, however, it is extremely important that you understand it as any mistake can lead to Google ignoring all the pages on your website.
For certain websites, such as e-commerce sites, you may have various pages that are near-identical. However, most search engines don’t like duplicate content and tend to rank pages that have duplicate content lower on the SERP. To avoid this issue, you can use the canonical tag on these pages to let the search engine know the original page.
This is one of the most important meta tag SEO optimization strategies. While images have become an increasingly important part of the web, ensuring that they are accessible is also extremely important. In addition to this being extremely helpful for those who make use of screen readers due to visual impairments, it also helps search engines understand what an image is meant to mean.
The header tags are an extremely popular tag on the web used to denote the structure of your website. In general, they are used as sub-headings to break up your content into meaningful sections, making it much easier for Google and other search engines to know what your content is about.
How to Optimize Meta Tags?
- Your title tag should not exceed seventy characters.
- Structure your page with header tags.
- Be sure to place all your meta tags within the “<HEAD>” HTML tag.
- Limit the number of characters in your meta description to 180.
How to Optimize Meta Tags for Local SEO?
- Include your city in the meta title.
- Include your region and main area in the meta description.
Meta tag optimization in SEO is one of the most hidden aspects of search engine optimization. Naturally, this means that most people don’t follow the tips and rules, leaving Google and other search engines to guess crucial information about their page. However, by following the title and meta tags optimization rules, you can get to decide how you want the data of your content to be displayed to the user.
This can be especially crucial if you are trying to rank highly in a field that is extremely competitive, or where you feel that having a natural touch can help pull in more users. You must also remember, it is simply not enough to have a meta tag, you must also be sure that they are fully optimized so that they work for you and your brand.