Your SEO Company Guide To Meta Tags
SEO Company Guide To Meta Tags: There are many elements to a website that are intended to improve the way search engines understand your content, and some of the most abused of those elements are the meta tags that you add into your HTML code. Use this guide to navigate meta tag use or alternatively, use our SEO services.
These aren’t visible to users on your website, and yet they’re one of the most important elements you could add to your website. It’s not always easy to get SEO in a winning format, but meta tags are there to ensure search engines understand your content at a base level, the main keyword phrases the content is about, and the description you wish to be displayed in the search results.
In this SEO Company Guide to Meta Tags, we’re going to take you through the most important meta tags that you’ll use in your SEO strategy. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategies are constantly evolving, but meta tags will always be applicable such as good practices. Meta tags are not going to change the game for your rankings but will accentuate them. Understanding and applying meta tag optimisation is important like exercising regularly, you need to do it as basic best practice.
What Are HTML Meta Tags?
Meta tags essentially tell search engines what the content is about and also tell browsers how content should be displayed. Meta tags are included HTML code does make use of the <meta> tag but also does not, such as the title tags <title> and these are added to document to give the search engine and browser data about data and are placed <head> section of your webpage. Examples of data contained in meta tags are: specify a character set, page description, keywords, author of the document, and viewport settings.
Meta tags are only included in the page source and while they seem like a small detail, and they have been historically abused by SEOs and thus Google counts some them less as ranking signals these days, such as the meta description, but certain meta tags are really important such as page title for instance.
Let’s look at other important meta tags in this SEO Company Guide to Meta Tags:
Title Tag importance according to an SEO company:
Think of reading a book, the first thing you do when you pick up a book is read the title. It is also the first optimisation of a page, including your keyword phrase in the title of a page or post is crucial. Google will mostly display your title in the search results as the title above the URL. We say most, as Google recently was testing a new update that looked at rewriting titles, especially over optimised versions. That said, you should always optimise your title and remember that it acts as clickbait in the search results and clicks are human engagement signals that affect ranking over time.
How an SEO Company Views The Meta Description
Google has stated that it does not use the meta description for ranking purposes, but according to testing we believe it is still a faint signal. More than that, however, when running ads with the exact match keyword phrase we see an increased clickthrough rate which suggest that it benefits to include the keyword phrase in the ad and thus would benefit from including it in the meta description, as we see this below the page tile and URL in the search results.
When pages are too similar or vary with just a word or two, you need to tell Google which page should be counted as the official page, to ensure your site doesn’t come across as spammy due to duplication of content. The canonical tag does just this, it tells the search engine which is the most important page, and also it directs PageRank to the important page like an internal link.
For an SEO company, canonical tags are really important for e-commerce sites, as often they will have several variations of products that are essentially the same but for a colour or other attribute.
When you have too much similar content on large e-commerce sites it can steal crawl budget away from important pages. It is important to keep duplicate content to a minimum or canonicalise it in order to ensure unique content does indeed get crawled and indexed.
Canonical tags are also important when parameters are added to URLs, that the. create a set of these URLs that are identical pages but come across to the search engines as different pages with identical content, which is duplicate content.
This tag is really important for the second largest search engine in the world, Google Image Search. Google can’t “see” images yet, it uses the alt text tag to know what the image is about. It also allows you to add more keywords to the page without being over-spammy. Google definitely looks at the alt text-tag, so use it for both Google Search and Google Image Search! An SEO company would never leave an alt text tag unoptimised.
How An SEO company uses Header tags
These are the h1 to h 6 tags or different sized headings with descending importance used to arrange your content in a hierarchy. You should see this as the heading outline of a report or university thesis, h1 is the main heading then main subsections are h2, and then within those subsections, sub-headings are h3. WordPress basically powers half of the internet and it basically creates the h1 identically to the page title discussed above.
An SEO company will use header tags to give your content structure and ease of use when a user is looking for specific content within a longer article. Search engines use header tags to understand information architecture and also look to these headings for important SEO signals.
It is important to include your main keyword phrase here as it would make sense for it to be here if an article was about a certain topic or keyword phrase, trust an SEO company.
Never use more than one h1, however, as Google will see this as a negative signal. You may use h2 – h6 as much as you like. Refrain from going overboard with stuffing keyword phrases in all the header tags.
Google also tends to use these header tags for answers for its “people also ask” squares that come up within the search results
Meta Robots Tag
Meta Robots tags or directives are seen as stricter instructions for crawlers on how to crawl and index content. It is another method as opposed to including the instructions in the robots.txt. As a best practice it is better to use a meta robots tag on the page you do not want to be indexed or crawled as an example.
If a directive is put on the robots.txt for a page not to be called then any meta robots tags on that page are rendered redundant. You should have an SEO company decide if tags such as noindex should be used.
If a meta robots tag is used to communicate that a search engine shouldn’t index the page but it should follow the links, it should look something like this:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,follow” />
These directives can vary to include the list below, but they are there to tell search engines the right signals for the page and its behavior. Some of the directives include:
Index. This tells the robots to index the page for you
NoIndex. this tells the robots not to index the page
Follow. This tells the bots to crawl for the links on the page and vouch for them at the same time.
NoFollow. This tells the bots not to crawl those links or vouch for them. Google has admitted that they do use nofollow as hints.
Meta robot tags should be set up correctly so that they don’t block the crawlers from your website.
Why it’s Important for SEO
In most cases, using a meta robots tag with parameters “noindex, follow” should be introduced as a way to restrict crawling or indexation instead of using robots.txt file disallows on certain pages. These should be used with caution, however, as we have seen disastrous outcomes when used incorrectly, best to ask an SEO company to be sure.
Meta Refresh Tag
If you want to instruct a browser to refresh a page after a given length of time, you’ll use a meta refresh tag for the job. Let’s say that you wanted to tell a page that you want a page on your website to refresh after 10 minutes, it would look like this:
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10″>
The meta refresh tag can also double up as a way to redirect the page, telling the browser to move the reader to another URL in a specific time period. So, if you want to refresh the page or you want another page to open for the reader, you’d use this:
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”10;url=https://www.example.com”>
You can trust your SEO company to tell you why the refresh tag is so important. From their perspective, it’s always recommended to use a redirect because these can be processed faster. This leads to a much better experience for the reader, and that’s the goal!
Why it’s Important for SEO
These are important from an SEO perspective because you shouldn’t use them – redirects should be used instead! They’re not supported by all browsers out there and they can raise security concerns.
Ask any SEO company, Meta keywords used to play a crucial role for a search engine for webmasters in the 1990s-2000s, but the times have changed. While some articles recommend filling in the meta keywords tag with target keywords, it’s not great advice. Google hasn’t actually used meta keywords as a way to rank since 2009. Why?
This was notoriously a way for SEO companies to overstuff with irrelevant keywords.
Search engines like Google disregarded the keywords meta tag due to the abuse of it
Other search engines started flagging keyword tags as spam!
The best thing that you can do from an SEO company perspective is to remove meta keyword tags if your website has them. This is the abandoned meta tag and you want to avoid them if possible. Blame the companies a decade ago for exploiting the keyword tag so much that it’s now spam. Yes, they can power your internal website search, but from a search engine results page perspective, there’s just no need!
Other Meta Tags To Consider, according to An SEO company
There are the major meta tags that we’ve covered, but there are also other options out there to consider adding to your HTML code. These can also help you signal to the bigger search engines and browsers the behavior you want on your site. These include:
Viewport Meta Tag
Companies are now making more of an effort to appeal to mobile users, and webmasters have to ensure that all company websites and pages are set up for different devices. The viewport meta tag will help you to control the website’s device responsiveness. The browser can define the visible user area here, and this varies depending on the device used.
Why it’s Important for SEO
The viewport meta tag is important for SEO as the presence of this tag tells a search engine that your site is device-friendly. Mobile sites rank higher than regular desktop sites. If there is a desktop page loading on a mobile, most people will hit the back button! To best use the viewport meta tag, you need to:
Use it on all of your website pages.
Don’t forget responsive design is a necessity in the age of mobile.
This SEO Company Guide to Meta Tags should have given you a thorough understanding of the elements needed to improve your success in search engine optimization. There are some tags that can help you to set up how your content looks in the results pages or on social media. There are other tags that allow you to control the behavior of a search engine on your website.
Setting these meta tags up properly will help you to better increase your rankings and website click-through rates, which is vital if you want your website to be popular! Now you know which tags to use, you can ensure that your website is one that stands out properly.