Meta tags and SEO: Your foundation for a successful website

Meta tags and SEO: Your foundation for a successful website

Meta tags and their relation to the search engine optimization process has evolved over the years, but they’re still an important part of any good website design. One reason why meta tags are so essential to marketing your website is that they allow you to display important information about your site, like what it’s about and who it’s for. Making sure that this information is as accurate and keyword-rich as possible will help search engines better categorize your site and rank it higher in search results, which means more traffic from potential customers.

The basics: What are meta tags and how do they help?

So, what are meta tags? Meta tags are snippets of code that you add into the HTML code for your website’s pages. When a page is indexed in a search engine, the meta tags will be read and shown at the top of the search results page. The main function of meta tags is to allow you tell Google or other search engines what your webpages are about by defining keywords, describing important information on the page and even specifying a keyword phrase that can be used in another page on your site.

Types

There are a lot of tags, but today we will discuss those that have a special impact on SEO optimization. This is where website audit begins.

Title Tag

The title tag is the first bit of HTML code that will tell Google and other search engines what your page is all about. Titles should be descriptive, but also catchy and engaging for potential visitors. You can target your content with keywords if you want to position your webiste higher. It is important to remember that the length of the title tag should be between 60 to 70 characters. However, it is more about the width of the letters and how much space they take.

Meta description

You know meta descriptions? They’re those super tiny blurbs you see below the blue underlined links in your search engine results pages. Hint, if you don’t see any, then that probably means you need one. Meta descriptions typically provide a quick and powerful description of a webpage’s content. A lot of people out there seem to think that these are just for search engines – and not for people. Basically, use keywords and add a call to action if needed – don’t go overboard. Remember to keep your descriptions below 170 characters or they’ll get chopped off.

Canonical Tag

In any piece of content that you publish on the web, it is important to provide a canonical URL. This simply means which URL should point back to the original copy of your content so that Google knows where it came from. A canonical tag is also very important because it will help make sure that Google knows what page they are indexing and associating your ranking with.

ALT Tag

This is what an ALT Tag is and why it’s important. It provides information about the image. Typically, you will include the title of the image and a brief description of what the picture depicts. This information helps people find your images when searching for similar subjects. ALT tags also provide useful additional metadata, like keywords and captions, that help search engines catalog your page better.

Robots Meta Tag

There are a number of tags here: the index tag allows you to add the page to your index and it is set as the default one, the noindex tag prevents indexing, the follow tag makes links follow-able, and the nofollow tag in contrast, while the verify tag is a verification tag ownership of a domain.

Open Graph Tags

Open Graph tags are a little different than meta tags because they create a summary of the page. This summary is used by a number of social networks, such as Facebook and Pinterest. When you publish a blog post on your website, it automatically generates an open graph tag with the title and description that you give it in your settings. Make sure that this information matches up with what you want people to see when they share your content on their profiles or boards.

Header Tags

Some common practice for header tags are one that describes the web page and one that describes what section on that page you’ll find the information about. Another tactic is to use keywords in the header tags, but it’s better not to overdo it because it can seem spammy or misleading. You may also want to include an H1 tag if your site has more than a single level of headings.

Responsive Design Meta Tags

If you use Responsive Design Meta Tags, they should be dynamic and fill the screen, regardless of screen size. But most importantly, they must not slow down your website. Meta Tags must be small and clean in order for them to show up properly on Google.

Everytime first step: an audit

The first step in optimizing a blog is a meta tags SEO audit. Meta tags are the code that you see on websites that show what type of website it is and who the site administrator is. They also include keywords and descriptions of what the site’s content is about, which search engines can index and rank for relevant queries. With an audit, you will identify whether your metadata are well-optimized or not, and if they’re not optimized properly, find out how to make them more effective.

Understanding the benefits of auditing

While we spend a lot of time making sure our content has great writing and catchy titles, often forgotten are meta tags. Meta tags can be crucial for bringing visibility to your post and help you rank higher in SERPs. An audit will not solve your problems, but it will tell you what they are and where to look for them. This is especially important in the context of Google ranking factors. With over 200 ranking factors and more being added every day, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. A good place is with your meta tags.

How to conduct meta tags SEO audit?

The first thing you need to do is scan through your website using any number of different applications, like Webmaster Tools or DeepCrawl. This will help you find any glaring issues that may be holding you back from the top rankings. After reviewing the source code and content, it’s time to go into Google Search Console and crawl all pages within your website. Once you’ve reviewed everything, your final step will be submitting a reconsideration request for crawl errors that may have been missed.

What's next?

Improving the SEO of your website can be a daunting task. Start by visiting and performing an audit on the meta tags of your site. This includes adding more keywords, optimizing your title tag and altering how you display links. After all, the success of your content hinges largely on how effectively it’s accessible to people who are looking for it in a Google search. The more you know about meta tags, the more they can do for your website.

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iCEA Group
Category: SEO
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