Meta tags are lines of HTML code or “tags” that, amongst other things, describe the content of your site for search engines. In simple terms, it is where you enter keywords that will make finding your site easier. Another use for Meta Tags would be to “register” your site, declaring your authority over the source code.
As you are no doubt aware, search engines take into consideration the quality of content in search results. Therefore, just adding Meta Tags in the source code of your page will not improve its position. With Meta Tags it is about the quality not the quantity! Meta Tags have an important role in search engine optimization and if used correctly can have a huge impact on the traffic to your site. In this article I will have a look at Meta tags and their respective functions in order to help you utilise them to their full effect.
How to use Meta tags
Meta tags should be included in the HTML code, inside the <head> tag , as shown on the following example:
Let’s go further into the “less obvious” instructions such as keywords and description.
In this tag you should include a quantity of words that best describe the content of the page but be careful not to go over 150 characters. If you do not want to use the same words, try and use synonyms. Never break a line of keywords, because your code chain will be considered a mistake and will be ignored. Always separate words with commas and declare every single word with non-capital letters as some search engines raise conflicts with capitals and may ignore your website for this
<meta name="keywords" content="html5,css3" />
One or two phrases that the search engine will present as a summary of the content of your website. Try to maintain a limit of approximately 90 characters.
<meta name="description" content="Your description here."/>
Meta Tags by themselves won’t do miracles in promoting your website: Always prioritize the content of the website first. If there was a formula for ensuring a user would return to your website, then it would be FRESH CONTENT and regular updates. Fresh content and good presentation will ensure your audience will return time and time again.
Beware of hyperlinks: Strive to add links to that are only related to your content and do some work on garnering reputable backlinks. The more reputable backlinks you have, the better ranking you will have on search engines.
Meta Tags are an important part of search engine optimization and can be an interesting way to understand your target market. Play around with the meta tags before you commit them to your site, do some research on your competitors sites and see what works best for them.