Various types of meta tags are critical for search engine optimization (SEO). This article will go over what meta tags are, how to create them, and available meta tag generators. For additional questions on meta tags, contact SEO Design Chicago. We have trained professionals who can help you improve your website’s SEO through the use of meta tags.
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Meta Tags and SEO
What are Meta Tags?
Meta stands for “metadata.” This means there is data that the tags give (in other words, data about the data on the web page.) Meta tags are small segments of text that describe a web page’s content. They exist only in HTML cod on the back-end of your website. If you were to open a new search, as you look through the results, you might notice that there are smaller words under each listed website. Those are meta tags. The meta tags only appear in the web page’s source code, not the page itself. Meta tags make it easier for search engines to identify what type of content is on the web page, thus improving SEO.
What are Meta Keywords?
Part of meta tags are meta keywords, which are a kind of meta tag. Because they only exist in HTML, they are invisible to the viewer of your website. When it comes to using meta keywords, you need to ensure that you are using meta keywords correctly. The meta keywords can impact the number of visitors you have on your website. When determining which meta keywords to use for your web page, you need to keep in mind that the keywords need to accurately represent your website’s content. Even though it would be nice to use keywords that could potentially increase website traffic, using incorrect keywords can hurt your website in the long run. Also make sure that you don’t use more than ten meta keywords to any given web page. Only use meta keywords that are descriptive and have an accurate portrayal of your website’s content.
Why Do Meta Tags Matter?
You might still be wondering why meta tags matter. As mentioned earlier, meta tags give search engines more details about your website. They have the ability to highlight the most important topics of your content, making your website stand out from the others in the search engine.
Meta tags can also display important information about your website to your audience upfront. You can use meta tags as a way to relate to page structure to make it easier for your users to navigate your site. You can also use them to fulfill other roles, that can be relevant or irrelevant to SEO.
Types of Meta Tags for SEO
A meta title is the page title that Google and other search engines show in the search results (in big bold letters.) Meta titles are important in SEO because they help give a quick insight into what the site is all about. When writing a meta title, it’s important to use a unique title tag for each page, be brief and descriptive, include your target meta keyword (ensuring it still makes sense), and keep your meta title under 60 characters.
The meta description is the summary of the page’s content. As mentioned previously, this is the snippet used in the search results from the search engine. Meta descriptions are similar to pitches, as it convinces the user what your page is exactly what they were searching for. Even though meta descriptions can be helpful for the user, according to Google, they aren’t a direct ranking factor. In order to write a great meta description, be sure to be unique, be accurate, and keep your meta description under 160 characters.
Meta robots tag tells the search engines how they need to view your web pages. This is an important concept to grasp for successful SEO efforts. Using the meta robots tag wrong can have a huge negative impact on your website’s presence in the search results. There are several values you can use in the meta robots tag: index (tells bots to index the page), noindex (tells them not to index the page), follow (tells bots to crawl links on the page), and nofollow (tells them not to crawl links.)
Meta Refresh Redirect
A meta refresh redirect tag lets the web browser know to redirect the user to a different URL after a given time. The meta refresh redirect tag is important in SEO because you shouldn’t use them, even though many search engines, such as Google, understand them. However, SEO problems with meta refresh redirect tags are not all browsers support them, and they can be confusing and concerning to the user. It is best to avoid using the meta refresh redirect tag unless it’s necessary. Instead of using meta refresh redirect tags, you can use of 301 redirect.
The meta charset tag is responsible for the character encoding for the page, or it indicates to the web browser how your web page’s text should be displayed. There is an array of options for character sets. Two of the most common include UTF-8 (character encoding for unicode) and ISO-8859-1 (Latin alphabet character encoding). The meta charset tag is important for SEO, as using the wrong character encoding can lead to characters being displayed incorrectly in the web browser. If you have character formatting issues on your page, it can lead to users having a bad experience.
As a result, users won’t want to link to your page, users will leave your page too soon, or a search engine might not understand your page’s content. A few ways to overcome these SEO issues are to use the meta charset tag on all your web pages, use UTF-8, and use the correct HTML syntax.
A meta viewport tag is responsible for setting the visible area of the web page. It instructs the web browser on how to display the page on different screen sizes (for example, the screen size on a desktop is significantly larger than a mobile phone). When a meta viewpoint tag is present, it indicates to the search engine that the page is mobile-friendly. Having a page be mobile-friendly is critical to SEO. Some search engines, like Google, ranks those pages higher in a mobile search. This is also useful to both the page’s owner and user, as users can get frustrated with a page that loads the desktop version on their small mobile screen. They’ll most likely hit the back button, signaling to the search engine that they had a negative experience with the page.
How to Create Meta Tags
Now that you know more about what meta tags are, you can start creating your own meta tags. There are several simple steps to follow before you have a fully-functioning meta tag.
- Adjust the title in the source (HTML title tag): As you get started, you will see and click on the title. You’ll want to make sure your title attracts your targeted audience.
- Add a relevant description (Meta description tag): The meta description tag is what you see under the search engine (for example, Google or Bing) titles. You’ll want to make your meta description tag as relevant as possible. Relevant meta description tags help the search engine portray an accurate description of your website.
- Check your page on other devices: You’ll want to make sure that your page works on more than a desktop, but also on other devices, such as mobile phones. Your page might seem great on a desktop, but it might look very different on a mobile device.
- Reach out to others for help, if needed: Because good and accurate content is important for your meta tags, you might need to hire a SEO writer if writing isn’t your thing. This can help make your tag relevant and easy to read.
After following these steps, if you’re still unsure, you can look into meta tag generators. A meta tag generator can help do the work for you.
Meta Tags Generator
There are many meta tags generators out there, some of which are free, that you can use. These meta tags generators make it easy for you to create your website without having to be an expert in meta tags. For example, SEOptimer provides a free meta tag generator that you can use for your web pages.
Ready to Create Your Own Meta Tags?
Now that you know some of the basics of meta tags in SEO, you are ready to get started with creating your own web pages’ meta tags. If you are still unsure of how to use meta tags correctly, and which meta tags to use, you can start by hiring a digital marketing agency, like SEO Design Chicago, to help you with your optimization and meta tags questions. We have teams of trained professionals who can answer any questions or give you further information on meta tags.