What are meta tags and why are they important?
Meta tags are essential for ensuring that your content is SEO-friendly. Viva Digital offer expert Digital Marketing services for a wide range of industries.
Consider a meta tag to be a brief summary of your page. It can be used to preview page content by both search engines and users. Essentially, what is the topic of your page? (In this case, a book can be judged by its cover.
Meta is an abbreviation for metadata, which is the type of information provided by these tags–data about the data on your page.
Meta tags do not appear on your website, but they do exist in the page HTML. It is the text that appears as a preview on the search engine result page (SERP).
What is the significance of meta tags in SEO?
On a SERP, meta tags are the first impression someone has of your page. A good meta description will entice users to click and visit your site. They ensure that search engines understand what your content is about, allowing them to display the website in the appropriate results.
Consider this scenario: You’re browsing a store shelf and come across a product with an outdated and unappealing label. It omits crucial information, such as what the product is made of. Then you notice a label on another product that is new and interesting, with a list of visible ingredients. You’ll buy the product with the best label. The same is true for meta tags; if your meta description is poor, no one will click on your content.
Because meta descriptions are frequently the primary piece of information that determines which result users click on, using high-quality meta tags on your web pages is critical.
If you found this article through a search engine, it’s likely you clicked on it because of effective meta tags.
Later on, we’ll go over meta tags in greater detail. But first, let’s go over the fundamentals.
The following are the two most important meta tags:
- Title tags: These are used to specify the title of a webpage. This is the title of the page that Google displays in the search results.
- Meta descriptions: These simply describe the content of your page. It is frequently used by search engines as a snippet in search results.
Both of these are simple to implement and do not necessitate any programming knowledge.
Where can I find title tags?
Now that we’ve established what they are, let’s move on to best practices. Your title tag will be visible in three places:
- Tab in the browser Displays a descriptive title in the browser tab view to remind visitors about the content of your page.
- Pages of search engine results (SERP). Encourage searchers to click on your result by using a title tag of 60 characters or less to avoid being clipped by search engines.
- External websites such as Facebook and Twitter In a concise title that grabs users’ attention, clearly describe the content of the page.
What exactly is a title tag?
Title tags in HTML are coded as follows:
Enter Your Title Here/title>
TIP: If you’re using Chrome, you can view this page’s source code by pressing “Ctrl+U.”
How to Improve Your Title Tags for Better SEO:
- Titles should be between 55 and 60 characters long.
- In titles, use target keywords. (More on this later.)
- Use action words to answer how, why, what, and where questions.
- Create distinct titles to distinguish yourself from similar articles.
- To improve readability and brand recognition, try breaking up your title tag with a colon, question, or bracket and your company name.
Title tag best practices
Don’t go beyond the pixel limit. Google limits the width of title tags to 600 pixels. If you go over that limit, Google will truncate or cut it off. This is referred to as Truncated Title Tags. So, to avoid having your title tag and meta descriptions clipped in search results and costing you clicks, make sure they are both the correct character and pixel length.
Avoid using multiple title tags. This can cause search engines to become confused about which page to rank, resulting in a lower ranking for your page. To avoid this, ensure that your tags are unique to each page and distinguish you from your competitors.
Choose capitalization carefully. Don’t choose which letters to capitalize at random. You want your title to look clean. Consider capitalizing the first letter of the title or capitalizing the first letter of most words by following a basic style guide.
Only use one title> per page. To keep your code valid and earn the value in this HTML element, use only one <title> tag per page. Make sure it’s within the <head> section of the code.
Site branding is done last. Unless your company branding is a more searched-for term than the individual products or services you provide, always place your branding at the end of the title tag text, after a vertical bar (|).
Avoid using “stop” words. “Stop” words are those that have little to no keyword value, such as of, a, and, the, and so on. Instead, try to include your keyword as close to the beginning of your URL as possible to assist Google in recognizing the value of your content for that phrase.
What is the significance of title tags?
- First impressions count. Your title tag may be the first thing a potential visitor will see when performing a search.
- Branding leverage Entice clicks and lead to more traffic.
Google has the ability to rewrite your title tags. Why? There could be a better title tag for what users are looking for. Try the following three strategies to combat title tag rewriting:
- Describe your page’s content precisely.
- Display the qualities that people want to see. Remember, you’re the authority!
- To increase CTR, focus the title on enticing clicks (click-through rate).
The next step is to write a good meta description.
Meta description best practices
Your meta description’s length is determined by the search engine:
- 150-158 (Google)
- Up to 168 for Bing and Yahoo!
- 120 * on mobile devices
TIP: Aim for a length of 120-158 characters.
CTR is used as a ranking factor by search engines such as Google. As a result, the more page visits you have, the higher your page will appear in the SERP, making meta descriptions an important part of your on-page SEO requirements.
What constitutes a good meta description?
Keep in mind that sometimes less is more. A good meta tag will have an excerpt that is concise and to the point, with the most relevant and important information contained within the first 120 characters. This will result in the highest CTR. Consider meta tags to be an extension of your ad text, so make it catchy, inviting, and thoughtful while remaining concise.
In SERPs, meta descriptions appear directly beneath the title of your page.
Meta descriptions in HTML are coded as follows:
META NAME=”DETAILS” CONTENT=”THIS IS YOUR META DESCRIPTION.”>
TIP: You can find the meta description for this page by pressing Ctrl + U to open the HTML source code.
Here are a few more best practices for meta descriptions.
- Be succinct but descriptive.
- Avoid using generic titles, which can lead to lower click-through rates.
- Include your target keyword wherever possible.
TIP: The best keyword is a word or phrase that is frequently searched by your target audience, is relevant to the topic of your content, and is already within the ranking power of your site.
- You can make your main keywords bold to make them stand out and attract viewers’ attention, which can also help Google identify the phrases you’re targeting.
- Each page on your site should have its own meta description. Having unique copy on every page is more than just about having original content and ideas; it’s also an SEO tool. Having distinct descriptions allows your page to reach a broader audience and incorporate a variety of targeted keywords to drive clicks.
- The CTA in your meta description is critical. You want to make the action you want the user to take—clicking on your page—clear by stating the benefits of doing so. Avoid sounding like a salesperson. This will not only cause distrust in your online presence and increase your bounce rate, but it may also result in a penalty from the search engine itself.
Let’s review meta tag best practices now that we’ve covered title tags and meta descriptions.
What is a meta tag?
When adding meta tags to your HTML, make sure to include the following three elements:
- Targeted Keywords: Including frequently searched keywords in your meta tags is more likely to increase both your visibility and organic traffic. Google will even highlight matched keywords in search results to demonstrate their relevance, lending credibility to your page.
- A Strong CTA: Create a sense of urgency when providing a CTA because the end goal is to get page clicks. Make sure it’s relevant to your page and doesn’t appear to be false advertising.
- One-of-a-kind Voice: Using targeted keywords and having unique descriptions on each page allows you to reach more people. Don’t use the same meta description twice. Having unique descriptions on each page, on the other hand, allows you to reach more people and use different keywords.
Meta tags and meta descriptions are critical for increasing engagement and driving users to your website. Missing meta tags, title tags, or meta descriptions could be the only thing separating your search result from a new website visitor!