Meta Tags for search engine optimization: Definition, Examples, & Greatest Practices

Let’s discuss meta tags: what they’re, why they matter, and methods to do them higher.

When you discovered this text by way of a search engine, there’s a superb probability you discovered and clicked this text due to meta tags.

Meta tags are the basis of search engine optimization, and they’re the very first thing you’ll end up establishing when constructing an online web page.

What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are a kind of HTML tag that gives serps with details about an internet site web page.

Let’s check out the fundamental components.

The title and outline tags make up nearly your entire entry.

If not for these meta tags, all you’d see in Google SERPs could be my URL.

Title and outline tags are the 2 most-used tags for search engine optimization functions, however search engine optimization isn’t the one a part of digital advertising.

Superior digital advertising requires the usage of much more tags that enhance web page rank and total consumer expertise.

Similar to this search end result, you’ll quickly discover out that these tags management how your complete digital presence is considered and navigated.

Machines can learn URLs simply tremendous. If I wrote for machines, my web site would appear to be this:

Google prioritizes sure tags as a result of they supply context for individuals.

I constructed my web site for individuals as nicely, so it appears like this:

This polish is what advertising is all about.

On this weblog put up, we are going to discover meta tags and see how they have an effect on your total digital advertising efforts.

Whereas easy, the satan is within the particulars, and each element counts.

How Meta Tags Have an effect on Model Picture and Click on-through Charges

You completely can decide a guide by its cowl. It’s what covers are designed for.

Your title and meta description tag create the quilt in your internet web page. They’re your first impression on most guests.

It’s not nearly serps, however how we view the Web.

Reddit is a fundamental link-aggregation website that takes away all of the bells and whistles.

Reddit will depend on the title and picture to entice conversations and clicks.

Utilizing meta tags appropriately is like utilizing the right format for a enterprise e-mail.

Positive, you possibly can put no matter you want on the market, however there’s a stage of professionalism that’s anticipated in some unspecified time in the future.

Even Amazon will solely provide you with an image, title, and quick description to make your level.

Consider these tags as your elevator pitch.

You’re given about as a lot house as a Tweet to promote your complete model and product.

This implies you’ll want to nail it.

You’ll be able to’t simply name on this element and polish every part else. When you do, no one will ever see the remainder of what you polished.

We already understand how meta tags have an effect on search engine optimization, however that’s not the one factor.

Meta tags will make your e-mail advertising and advertising automation efforts simpler by offering info for emailed hyperlinks.

Tags are a vital factor that determines what my automated social media posts appear to be.

When different bloggers, YouTubers, and social media influencers (and micro-influencers) share your content material, tags make it simpler.

Consider meta tags because the packaging in your product.

In case your packaging isn’t spot-on, no one will ever purchase your product, irrespective of how nice it’s!

What are some greatest practices to implement for tags?

Meta Tag Greatest Practices

There are a TON of various HTML tags that can be utilized on an online web page. We’re solely going to concentrate on a handful of serious tags.

We’ll begin with the one which may have introduced you right here in the present day.

1. Title Tags

It’s not technically a meta tag, however it exhibits up within the header and is used as one.

As of July 2017, the character limits for title tags in Google search outcomes are 78 on cell units and 70 on a desktop.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t essentially imply it’s best to use all these characters, and 60 is the commonly really useful restrict.

Lengthy-tail key phrases make a distinction.

Listed here are the prime meta titles within the SERPs for “Easy methods to make content material advertising efficient.”

By including the 12 months, we get a completely new set of outcomes for “methods to make content material advertising efficient 2021.”

Some customers will need fundamental info, whereas others will need essentially the most present.

By adjusting our title tag, we will have an effect on which of those searches we rank for.

Finally, the objective is to hit each, however that’s not at all times possible.

Ensure that your key phrase is in your title, otherwise you’ll discover your articles buried in search outcomes.

For instance, once I seek for the “greatest tacos in Tucson,” some eating places are on web page 9below, even Del Taco.

That’s a wasted alternative for that taco capital of the nation!

These small companies might vastly enhance their search outcomes, gross sales, and ROI by merely including “greatest tacos in Tucson” to their title tags.

Right here’s a pattern of the HTML required for a title tag positioned in your header.


<title>The Greatest Title Instance I Might Come Up With</title>


In WordPress, it’s as straightforward as giving your web page a title.

You actually can’t miss it.

That’s all there may be to it!

2. Picture Tags

Like title tags, Picture tags aren’t labeled “meta.”

They’re clearly utilized by serps, hyperlink aggregators, and different websites to establish your website.

There are two picture descriptions truly crammed into one tag.

Right here’s what the HTML code appears like.

<img src=“picture.jpg” alt=“picture description” title=“picture tooltip”>

Each the alt and title tags needs to be outlined for the most effective expertise.

The title shows in your display once you hover your cursor over it.

The alt textual content shows when the picture can’t be rendered (or is spoken to the blind and visually impaired).

When importing a picture to WordPress, you’ll be prompted to enter the title, caption, alt textual content, and outline.

The extra fields you fill out (even for those who use the identical info), the extra searchable your photos grow to be.

It’s additionally a matter of ADA web site compliance.

There are roughly 7.5 million individuals with some stage of visible impairment within the U.S. alone.

That’s an enormous section of the inhabitants that wouldn’t have a fantastic consumer expertise with out alt picture tags.

Optimize your photos for serps and customers.

3. Description Meta Tags

A meta description tag provides you an opportunity to supply an summary of the web page’s content material.

They’re restricted to round 160 characters and aren’t immediately tied to Google’s search algorithms in any respect.

As soon as once more, the explanation you want description tags is to enhance the consumer expertise.

Description tags encourage click-throughs.

Right here’s what the HTML appears like:


<meta title= ”description” content material=”That is an instance of the textual content that may present up in search outcomes. Learn on to study extra about description tags.”>


With out a meta description, Google will default to no matter preview sentence it feels greatest encompasses the content material.

This isn’t essentially a foul factor.

This put up doesn’t have a meta description (I hardly ever use them), and it ranks nicely.

After all, my blogs are crammed with related content material in brief, candy sentences. Most of them would work as descriptions on their very own.

Nonetheless, there’s no hurt in including further info to make your content material extra searchable.

4. Robots Noindex and Nofollow Meta Tags

Robotic meta tags aren’t at all times needed.

By default, the entire pages and hyperlinks you create in your web site are listed as ‘observe’ by search bots and internet crawlers.

Everytime you wish to redirect them, you’ll want a robotic meta tag.

Right here’s the noindex HTML code:


<meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex” />



This may be throughout the header and point out this web page doesn’t should be listed.

It’s helpful for syndicated and duplicate content material that your prospects/readers might use, however you don’t need credit score in search indexes.

Right here’s the HTML for a robotic nofollow.

<meta title=”robots” content material=”nofollow”>

That is used for hyperlinks you don’t essentially wish to endorse.

For instance, readers leaving hyperlinks in my feedback aren’t precisely endorsed by me, so a nofollow tag above the feedback part retains my website clear for bots.

Right here’s a fantastic infographic on when and methods to use nofollow tags.

Now we get to probably the most controversial meta tags.

5. Key phrase Meta Tags

Key phrase tags aren’t utilized by search algorithms to find out search rating.

Right here’s what the HTML appears like:

<meta title=”key phrases” content material=”HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript”>

I coach my search engine optimization purchasers to disregard key phrase tags as a result of they don’t have an effect on search engine optimization.

That doesn’t essentially make them ineffective, nevertheless. They’re particularly helpful in WordPress.

Key phrase tags and classes may also help Google decide which web page in your website ought to rank for a search.

In addition they create a web page in WordPress that gives yet one more listed web page.

Which means that, whereas your weblog posts are targeted on long-tail key phrases, your tag and class pages have feeds overlaying the shorter key phrases.

Classes can be utilized for the URL format, offering yet one more key phrase to the web page tackle.

That is completed below Settings > Permalinks in WordPress.

Including this format supplies context to your content material.

Google loves context for search outcomes!

Key phrases additionally present a big-picture overview of what number of pages you have got for every key phrase.

You should utilize them to assist plan your editorial calendar.

6. Viewport Tags

You don’t spend a lot time fascinated by viewports, however they’re particularly essential in in the present day’s mobile-first world of search.

On cell units, pages are proven in a popup window referred to as a viewport that extends previous the gadget’s border.

Right here’s an illustration of what I’m speaking about.

Builders can set the viewport dimension to extend cell usability.

WordPress customers can examine this tag to study this info for his or her templates.

You most likely didn’t know that until you’re already an online developer.

Since Google more and more focuses on mobile-friendly web sites, this meta tag might imply the distinction between success and cell failure.

Now that you’ve got a fundamental understanding of meta tags and why they’re essential, I’ll present you a few of my favourite instruments for manipulating them.

Free Instruments to Add and Examine Your Meta Tags

Don’t fear if this all sounds overwhelming—there are tons of instruments to make it straightforward to get meta tags proper. Listed here are two of my favorites.

Yoast search engine optimization Plugin for WordPress

Yoast is a strong search engine optimization plugin for WordPress and one of many most-downloaded search engine optimization and meta tags instruments.

With Yoast, the entire pages and posts you publish have back-end choices to extend social sharing, optimize search engine optimization, replace tags, and different metadata.

With Yoast put in in your WordPress website, a couple of clicks and some seconds of your time are all it takes so as to add meta-tagging to your course of.

Yoast additionally means that you can enter a spotlight key phrase that doesn’t get added to the meta tags, permitting the back-end program to investigate your put up.

BuzzStream Meta Tag Extractor

When you want a fast chart of the metadata that’s being utilized by your competitors, BuzzStream’s Meta Tag Extractor is a glossy and easy answer.

Copy and paste an inventory of URLs, and also you’ll be introduced with the meta tag info.

There’s even an choice to obtain as a CSV file as a way to scrape massive lists shortly.

It’s a fast and straightforward strategy to manage this information once you want it.

This free on-line device does its job with out all of the bells and whistles.

Much less In style (however Nonetheless Helpful!) Meta Tags

To be totally clear, right here’s a chart of HTML meta tags.

An writer meta tag can be utilized to inform serps who wrote a bit of content material.

Authors have been used prior to now for search outcomes, however it’s not an element anymore. Nevertheless, you may use writer tags for those who run a multi-author weblog.

WordPress does add this info to blogs when a number of customers are contributing content material.

It’s extra a badge of honor for bloggers than the rest.

A lot of the relaxation outline parameters that ought to already be managed on a server stage.

Whereas I ignored these meta tags, it doesn’t imply you must. Be at liberty so as to add no matter info you’d like.

It doesn’t assist search rankings, however it doesn’t damage them, both.

Meta Tags FAQs

What are meta tags?

Meta tags are a kind of HTML tag with info to share about your web page. This helps serps perceive what it’s about so you possibly can present up within the related search outcomes.

Why are meta tags essential?

Meta tags are essential for search engine optimization as a result of they be certain that serps know what your content material is about. Primarily based on these tags, serps will be capable of present the web site within the applicable outcomes. This fashion, individuals can discover you simply.

How do meta tags enhance web site accessibility?

Meta tags can present hidden info that may be learn by assistive expertise. For individuals who with visible impairment, the picture alt textual content can present picture descriptions for them. 

How do I add meta tags to my web site?

Meta tags may be added immediately into the HTML. You can even add them in instruments like WordPress. There, you possibly can add picture alt tags, title tags and meta descriptions.

Meta Tags Conclusion

Meta tags are a fundamental a part of HTML—they usually can affect search engine optimization.

Again within the early days of the web, they had been a signaling issue for serps to know what content material is on a web page.

The web (and our relationship with it) has developed exponentially since then.

Contextual search, AI digital assistants, and cell units are altering the way in which we view content material.

Search engines like google and yahoo are incentivized to supply the most effective search outcomes attainable, so meta tags are much less essential.

Nevertheless, some, such because the titles and meta descriptions, are extra essential than ever earlier than.

Whereas much less metadata is used, it’s nonetheless the primary impression you’ll make on each robots and folks.

What do your web site’s meta tags say about you?

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