If you are not using meta tags properly in your content and your website then for sure you are lacking some key points to rank better in search engines. You should add all the most important tags that will help you in ranking better in SERP.
What Are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are HTML tags that describe your website and web content to the search engines. You can not see the meta tags from the front end of the website, but by going to the source code you can check all the meta tags used on the website, but all the search engine crawlers can read all the meta tags.
All the meta tags are used in the <head> section of the HTML file of the website. To check the meta tags you can right-click on any webpage and click the “View Page Source” and you can see the source code and there you can find all the meta tags or else you can enter “Ctrl + u”.
Meta tags tell search engines about the website and website content.
All the data we provide in meta tags are called metadata like title and description. Search engines use your metadata to rank better in SERP. Metadata are the data that you can see on the search result page.
Meta tags play a vital role in improving your CTR. If you use all your meta tags properly like <title> and <description>.
Do Meta Tags Really Help In SEO?
The short answer is “Yes”. Meta tags really help in SEO. But not all the meta tags are equally effective when it comes to SEO. Meta tags like SEO titles and descriptions play a big role in SEO and improving the CTR also. But tags like “Keywords” do not have that much of an effect on SEO.
Some Of The Most Important Meta Tags And Their Uses
Meta Tags are the first thing you should work on while doing SEO. While doing technical SEO of your website you should add all the meta tags that are important for SEO and for ranking better in SERP.
There are so many meta tags apart from just title tag and description tag. I will explain the most important tags and their uses here, keep reading. There are a lot more meta tags than we can discuss here, if you want to check out the full list of meta tags then you should definitely check.
There are many meta tags which are not that helpful when it comes to SEO like the keywords meta tag. But keep in mind you should only use those meta tags that will help you in your SEO work.
Those meta tags which are considered as bad meta tags may not do any harm to your website but definitely, they will not do any good to your website.
Then you may think, what is the problem in adding those bad meta tags to your website?
The answer is very clear when you add more and more meta tags it will increase your website coding, and it will take longer for the browser to run the codes. So to stop any unnecessary work for your browser you should use as few meta tags as possible on your website.
Let’s discuss some of the must-have meta tags,
This meta tag is used to declare the character set for the web page. This tag has to be there for each and every page on your website. It helps browsers to render your webpages.
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ />
The title tag is one of the most important meta tags for SEO. It describes the page content. This is the first HTML element that specifies what your web page is all about.
It is very important for SEO and your website visitors as it appears on the search engine result page(SERP) and in the browser tab. This title meta tag supports all browsers.
<title>Title goes here</title>
It’s better if the title length will be under 60 characters. The length is not specified by any search engine but on the SERP page, it is possible to show only 60 characters. That’s why it’s better if you write your title between the limits.
You can use your main targeted keyword or long-tail keyword in the title to describe your page content. Adding numbers in the title tag will give you better results.
You have to use a unique title for all your webpages. If you use the same title in multiple pages then that will be treated as an error by SEO tools.
In the meta description tag, you can describe the webpage to the search engine as well as to the users, who can see it on the SERP. A meta description is a brief description of your page. The meta description appears below the title of the web page in SERP. People say that it does not influence ranking but it plays a big role for your CTR for sure.
This is the place and the text that will determine if the users will come to your website from the SERP or not. You should write a meta description within 160 characters but use attention-grabbing text that will force the user to click your website link.
<meta name=”description” content=”Write your meta description here withen 160 characters.”>
Viewport meta tag helps improve the mobile user experience. Nowadays most of the searches are happening from mobile devices, so your mobile user experience has to be there on the top.
<meta name=viewport content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>
Meta Robots Tag
In meta robots tag you can use like index/noindex, follow/nofollow. In this tag, you can tell search engines what to do with your website or web pages.
Using the index/noindex tag you can tell search engines whether to index your website or not index. In other words, your website will appear on the search result page or not.
Follow/nofollow meta tag you can use in your page to tell search engines that all the links on the page are followed, search engines crawl the linked page or not.
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>
This tag tells search engines not to index this page and also not to follow.
<meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow”>
This tag tells search engines to index and follows the web page.
In the keyword tag, you can specify all your targeted keywords for the page. Most of the SEOs don’t use this tag nowadays as it affects SEO anymore. But some of the big websites you can check and they are still using keyword tags on their pages.
The canonical tag is one of the most important tags to protect your content. You can use a canonical tag to tell the search engine which is the original page and which one should search engines index.
For example, if you have copied content from page A to page B, then on page B you should use the canonical tag with page A URL.
<link rel=”canonical” href=”a.html” />
By using a canonical tag you can tell the search engine which page to index and which one not to index.
Using self-canonical in each and every page is a good practice to protect your content. When you use self-canonical on a page search engines will know this content will belong to the specified page.
Open Graph Meta Tag And Twitter Cards
Open Graph tags are used to help in a social share. If you don’t use the OG tag then when you share your website or website content by default it will show the title and description on the website.
But most of the time we can not use the same title and description for both Google and all the social media shares. So, it’s better to use OG tags, the title and description you will use in OG tag those will be shown when we share our website on social media.
Open Graph we use for social media like Facebook, LinkedIn.
Here are the examples of OG tags,
<meta property=”og:type” content=”article” />
<meta property=”og:title” content=”The Title For Social Media Goes Here” />
<meta property=”og:description” content=”Here You SHould Write Your Social Media Description” />
<meta property=”og:image” content=”Link Of The Image” />
<meta property=”og:url” content=”Link” />
<meta property=”og:site_name” content=”Website Name” />
Twitter Card is same as OG tags but it is for Twitter. Using Twitter Cards we can specify title, description and image for Twitter.
Here are the tags for Twitter Tag,
<meta name=”twitter:title” content=”Title of the post goes here”>
<meta name=”twitter:description” content=”Description of the post for twitter”>
<meta name=”twitter:image” content=”Link of the image for twitter sharing”>
<meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@username of the website page”>
<meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”@username of the content creator”>
Specific Bots Tags
There are some specific tags like noodp, which you can use when you want to index your website title and description that are currently on your website.
Sometimes Google will show the old title and description after updating the title and description. That time you need this tag to save the new title and description and show them on SERP.
For Yahoo, you can use noydir, which will play the same role as noodp but it is for Yahoo.
In the language tag, you can specify the main language on the page. When you work internationally its better to use the language tag and specify the language.
Geo Meta Tag
By using Geo tag you can target a perticular country or region. There are different types of Geo trgeting tags which are,
<META NAME=”geo.position” CONTENT=”latitude; longitude”>
<META NAME=”geo.placename” CONTENT=”Place Name”>
<META NAME=”geo.region” CONTENT=”Country Subdivision Code”>
Site Verification Tag
Site verification codes are very important for all of the websites. You have to add verification code for different sites like Google, Bing and many more platform.
You must have use verification code for different sites like Pinterest. Verification tags are very important to verify your website.
Apart from all the above meta tags there are so many meta tags which no one uses nowadays. It is not like that these tags will harm your website but these will not do benifit to your website. So, its better not to use those meta tags like author/web author, rating, copyright, distribution and msny more.
For better on-page SEO you should use all the meta tags you need for your website. Here I have discussed some of the most important meta tags for your website which you should try for your website.
As we use meta tags to let know about our website, it is better to use as many as meta tags possible and specify everything about your website so that it will easy for Google rank your website.
Let me know if you are using any other meta tags or if you want to remove any from my list.