Whether you’re a digital marketer, a blogger, an entrepreneur with your own website, or anything in between, we’re sure you’ve come across the terms “meta tags” and “SEO optimization” used closely together. You may have even figured out that they’re imperative to your website’s success.
So what is meta tag optimization in SEO and why are they so important for your website? In this article, we explain why it’s crucial to use meta tags in your web copy, and how to make sure you’re using them correctly.
Meta tags explained
So what exactly are meta tags? In layman’s terms, meta tags are key “hidden codes” at the back of your website, which while not appearing on your page itself, are critical for increasing your website visibility and click through rates.
In short, they help search engines determine what your site is about and gain a quick understanding of your content. They are the first point of contact between your website and search engines. The result of good meta tag usage? Increased search engine optimization (SEO)!
How and why to use meta tags
Meta tags can be hugely beneficial to increasing your SEO and helping search engines index your pages, but you must know how to use them and optimize them properly to do so. It also helps to understand why meta tags are important for optimization in SEO, so you can fully grasp the reason you’re spending time and effort on them.
As we mentioned, meta tags are imperative to helping search engines index your site, for your website to appear in relevant search results. Google uses “crawlers” to gauge a better insight into your site’s content and context. The better your meta tag use, the better chance you have of your website appearing in relevant searches.
You don’t need to be a professional coder to understand and implement meta tag optimization in SEO, and many websites nowadays are very helpful at walking you through this. WordPress, for example, has many plugins available to help you enhance your SEO and meta descriptions, such as Yoast. Websites such as Wix have these functions already built in.
INSIDER TIP: If you want to know whether a page you’re on is using meta tags, right click anywhere on the page and select “view page source”.
Important meta tags to include
There are endless alternatives for meta tag optimization in SEO, but we’ve picked out our top two which are key to ensuring you get the SEO results you want. If you focus on nailing these two tags, then you’ll be on the right track to optimizing your page’s traffic.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Your title tag is the first thing that will be seen when searching in Google, Bing, or any other search engine. While a great title tag won’t magically get you to the top of search engine results, it’s a great opportunity to appeal to your target audience and enhance your click through rate.
Using your keywords and phrases, your title should summarize what can be found on the page it leads to. Readers will use this title to decide if it’s relevant to their search, and ultimately if they want to read it. So using a creative, clear, and relevant title is key!
Next up we have the meta description. The meta description is a snippet of text below your title tag when displayed in search results. It’s an extremely useful meta tag for optimizing your SEO because it tells search engines exactly what your page is about in even more detail than the title.
Unlike the title meta tag, your meta description often helps search engines suitably rank you in relevant search results. It’s an opportunity to convince your reader that your page holds the exact content that they are looking for, so we recommend being as clear and concise as possible when writing your meta description and ensuring that you use your keywords and phrases wherever possible.
If you want to optimize your SEO campaign (and why wouldn’t you?!) then using meta tags effectively is crucial. You’ll rank higher in search engine results, you’ll increase your click through rates and ultimately you will drive valuable SEO traffic for your page.
Meta tags are important, but so too is epic content. Once you’ve got readers to your website through your successful meta tag optimization, you want to keep them there with readable content. With a combination of both, your SEO optimization will be on the right path to success!