A Quick Guide to Meta Tags SEO

Meta tag SEO is the process of adding hidden information – or meta tags – to the code of a webpage to help search engines better recognize what the page is about.

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s source code. Meta tags are essentially little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about. Optimize Your meta tags!

There is no official limit on the number of meta keywords you can have. It should contain your primary keyword and its common misspellings and synonyms for spiders/web crawlers to pick up. it is a good practice to have less than 10% of the total words of a page. If for example your page has 400 words it is better to have maximum 40 words in your meta keyword tag. Otherwise could be considered stuffing.

If a term is competitive, it’s going to need to occur in your page copy and/or inbound link text for you to rank your page well. An example of a competitive term is “shopping”. The meta keywords tag is typically used to highlight a couple of the main keyword phrases on which the page is focused. The meta description tag should be a few sentences of text that uses various versions of your keywords and describes the purpose of the given page. NEVER get too spammy with your meta tags/keywords. Google and the rest of the search engines will penalize you and consider your site spam.

There are six major types of Meta Tags. Meta Keywords Attribute, Title Tag, Meta Description Tags, Meta Robots Attribute, rel=”canonical” Link Tag, Viewport Meta Tag.

    • Meta Keywords Attribute. Don’t put emphasis on the number of characters, as Google might pull Meta description text from your content based on a user’s query.
    • Title Tag. The page’s title still is the first thing for a searcher to see in SERPs and decide if the page is likely to answer the search intent.
    • Meta Description Tags. Make the description must be as realistic as it is inviting and distinctly reflect the content. If your description contains the keywords a searcher used in their search query, they will appear on the SERP in bold.
    • Meta Robots Attribute. Close unnecessary/unfinished pages with thin content that have little value and no intent to appear in the SERPs via a nofollow attribute.
    • rel=”canonical” Link Tag. This tag is used in cases when the same page is available under multiple different URLs, or multiple different pages have very similar content covering the same subject. Using a rel=canonical for duplicate content helps Google consolidate all your efforts and pass the link signals from all the page’s versions to the preferred one.
    • Viewport Meta Tag. The viewport meta tag to control layout on mobile browsers and how a page would be scaled and displayed on any device. You should include the following <meta> element in all your web pages: <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>. The width=device-width part sets the width of the page to follow the screen-width of the device (which will vary depending on the device). The initial-scale=1.0 part sets the initial zoom level when the page is first loaded by the browser.

Meta tags are a very small part of the overall website optimization strategy to bring in traffic. What’s important here is that creating meta tags is easy and FAST. Just one piece of the overall puzzle. In the end, write your content for human consumption. If you write exclusively for search engines, the pages will read poorly and nobody will want to look at them.

If your into “link building” as a SEO optimization technique…..you might want to think twice about getting “low quality” links or even buying backlinks. Google penalizes anything it perceives as a “low quality” spammy link. What’s a low quality link? Stay away from sites that have tons of ads, crappy low quality content, and low traffic (zombie sites).

Author: Online Marketing Juice

Digital + Social Media Marketing. I hold a B.A. in Economics & Marketing from the University of California. SEC and FINRA Social Media compliance best practices: HubSpot Academy Social Media Certified. "Open to new clients" Disclaimer: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

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