Although search engine optimization has grown more complicated, meta tagging is one element of SEO best practices that hasn’t altered much over time. Correct meta tags can still have a big impact on how well a website performs and directly influence rankings, traffic, and revenues. We’ll go through the most crucial meta tags in this article, along with how to rank them for the best SEO results.
What is meta tagging?
The process of adding metadata to a web page in order to give information about the page’s contents is known as meta tagging. HTML snippets known as meta tags give details about the page in its entirety and its relationships with other documents. You may quickly modify the meta tags for each page of your website using the capability of your content platform.
How does meta tagging work?
When you add a meta tag to a web page, you always do so between the opening and closing head tags in the header part of the HTML code. Search engines utilize these HTML tags to index and comprehend the content of the page. They must always be used, even if you employ alternative markup languages like schema.
From the search engine’s perspective
Spiders are tools used by search engines to index web pages. Bots read the meta descriptions when they crawl a page to determine the topic of the page. They then index the data contained in those meta tags and make use of it to provide users with pertinent search results.
You may immediately enhance search ranks and have an impact on click-through rate (CTR) by utilizing and enhancing particular meta tags. When a website targets an international audience with country or language-specific pages, you may also instruct search engines which version of a page to index, to delete pages from the index, as well as to ensure that the right page appears in the search results.
Types of meta tags
Let’s dive deeper into the most common types of meta tags and how they affect page SEO.
1. Title tag
The page title tag is a meta tag that displays as the title of a listing in the browser tab and on search engine results pages (SERP). Although the on-page headline (or H1) and the title tag can both be optimized for SEO, ideally they should be extremely close or identical.
The main keyword or keyword phrase for the page should be included in the meta title tag, which should be roughly 55 characters long, including spaces. The keyword will have greater weight if it appears at the start of your title tag.
Title tag optimization can significantly improve your SEO results. The content of the title tags is still one of the most crucial ranking factors in the Google algorithm, so changing them will give you the fastest ranking improvements once you’ve put your site on a strong technical foundation, especially when it comes to Core Web Vitals, and identified the primary keyword phrase of each of your core pages.
2. Meta description tag
In the search engine results, the meta description is a meta tag that offers a succinct overview of the page’s content. For Google Search, the meta description should have a character count of between 155 and 160, including spaces.
The meta description tag can help you increase your click-through rate (CTR), which will naturally increase site traffic and perhaps even sales. Although Google disputes this, many SEO experts think that raising CTR will eventually aid in bettering rankings. Don’t disregard your meta descriptions and consider them as ad space as a result. Tell visitors why they will benefit from viewing your page. Always keep in mind that individuals use search engines to discover solutions to problems or answers to questions.
3. Robots meta tag
Search engine crawlers can be instructed whether or not to index your website and its content using the meta robot property, which is a meta tag. Although other combinations, such as “noindex, follow,” can potentially make sense in some situations, the meta robot tag is typically set to “index, follow” or “noindex, nofollow.”
The robots meta tag should be checked first if Google has not indexed your website. A common issue is an improper robots meta tag setting, especially after site migrations. Additionally, the robots.txt file is not nearly as successful as the meta robots tag, particularly if you wish to remove pages from Google’s index.
4. Canonical tag
When there are extremely similar pages on a website, such as when an e-commerce site uses pagination, product filters, and sort orders on category pages, the canonical tag is a meta tag that instructs search engines which version of the page to index. Any concerns with duplicating content can be avoided by using this tag.
The URL of the web page you want to be indexed should be entered in the canonical tag. Even if a page contains the URL of the page it is on, which is actually the majority of the time, it should still have a canonical tag. As well as helping Google and other search engines understand whether you prefer your website with or without the www, this will assist in canonicalizing URLs that have additional parameters, such as those added for ad tracking purposes.
Please make sure that only canonical URLs are included in your XML sitemaps. Google might completely ignore them if they don’t if they don’t.
5. Hreflang tag
The hreflang tag is your most useful tool if you want to present several versions of a page to the right audience and you are targeting a global or multilingual audience. You can choose a language or a language and country combination. This will stop a page from appearing in the wrong nation and so greatly enhance user experience.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Do you want to find out more about meta tags? Here are some suggestions to get you going in the right direction.
What are types of meta tags?
The title tag, meta description tag, robots meta tag, canonical tag, and hreflang tag are the most used forms of meta tags.
Why are meta tags important?
Meta tags are significant since they give search engine crawlers information and are helpful for SEO.
Which meta tag is most important for SEO?
One of the most crucial ranking variables is the title tag’s content. It can greatly increase rankings for a given keyword if it complements the content of the page in targeting that term.