How Do Meta Tags Help in SEO?

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How Do Meta Tags Help in SEO?

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How Do Meta Tags Help in SEO?

To help you understand the importance of meta tags in SEO and how to optimize them, we’ve gathered insights from nine industry experts, including CEOs, founders, and digital marketing managers. From providing search engines with additional info to keeping records of your tags, these professionals share their valuable knowledge on which meta tags to focus on and how to make the most of them.

  • Give Search Engines Additional Info
  • Focus On Title, Description, Canonical URL
  • Assist in Indexing, Ranking, Traffic, and Conversions
  • Encourage Click Through Rate and Drive Site Traffic
  • Affect Website Optimization and Keyword Ranking
  • Allow Search Engines to Understand Page Relevance
  • Header Tags Organize Content Effectively
  • Provide Context and Ease Click Anxiety
  • Keep Records of Your Tags for Success

Give Search Engines Additional Info

Meta tags are special HTML elements used to give search engines additional information about the content of a webpage. They are crucial to SEO since they help webmasters ensure their pages will be indexed and ranked properly according to their topic.

I focus primarily on meta titles, descriptions, and keyword tags. To optimize these, I make sure my titles contain relevant keywords at the start and that my descriptions provide an accurate summary of what is on the page, rather than just using a product slogan as an example.

For instance, if I own a bakery website, instead of simply labeling each product page “our delicious cake” in the meta description tag, I would add details such as what flavors it comes in or what toppings it has. This will set my page apart from the competition and make it more visible to potential customers.

Kate DuskeKate Duske
Editor-in-Chief, Escape Room Data


Focus On Title, Description, Canonical URL

In SEO, certain factors carry more weight than others, making it essential to optimize elements that have more significance and power to improve your page’s ranking. The meta tags we primarily focus on are the Title, Description, and Canonical URL.

Optimizing the title is crucial, as it is one of the top-ranking factors. Google rewrites over 61% of titles. To avoid that, we keep our titles within the range of 50 to 55 characters and ensure they resonate with the query and search intent.

We include a few elements, such as long-tail keywords, the current year (2023), secondary keywords, and, if applicable, words like “best” or “free” for listicle articles. These additions can help increase rank and click-through rates (CTR).

Aquibur RahmanAquibur Rahman
CEO, Mailmodo


Assist in Indexing, Ranking, Traffic, and Conversions

The right meta tags help with indexing, ranking, traffic, and conversions. I believe these three tags to be essential for SEO: meta title, meta description, and meta robots. They are all written individually on each page.

The Meta title tag is a ranking factor and helps the search algorithm determine for which keyword to rank this page. The best practice is to include your target keyword in the meta title.

The Meta description tag is not a Google ranking factor, but it plays a huge role in getting clicks and traffic to your website from searchers. Enticing descriptions draw more users to a web page, so be original.

The Meta robots tag instructs bots if and how they should crawl and index a page. It’s important for SEO because it clarifies to crawlers what they’re allowed to do with a certain webpage. The commands you can give them in meta robots are: index, noindex, follow, and nofollow.

Nicholas AltimoreNicholas Altimore
CEO and Co-founder, SirLinksalot


Encourage Click Through Rate and Drive Site Traffic

Meta tags, such as the title tag and meta description, play a vital role in SEO. The title tag, appearing as the clickable headline in search results, should be concise, descriptive, and include relevant keywords. Placing important keywords at the beginning and keeping the title within the recommended length of 50-60 characters is crucial.

The meta description provides a summary below the title and should be engaging, and encourage users to click through. Incorporating relevant keywords naturally and keeping the description within the recommended length of 150-160 characters is important.

While other meta tags like meta keywords have lost significance, focusing on optimizing the title tag and meta description can affect SEO. By crafting descriptive titles and interesting descriptions, you can improve the visibility of your web pages, attract more clicks, and drive organic traffic to your site.

Ben LauBen Lau
Founder, Featured SEO Company


Affect Website Optimization and Keyword Ranking

Meta tags are crucial for SEO, affecting website optimization and keyword ranking. While their direct influence on rankings has decreased, meta tags still contribute to overall SEO strategy, affecting search engine interpretation and display of web pages. Therefore, I prioritize meta titles, descriptions, and robot tags.

 

To optimize them, I conduct keyword research and map them to pages. Then, I naturally incorporate targeted keywords into meta titles and descriptions, ensuring uniqueness across pages.

I prefer flexible lengths for smartphone search optimization, with meta titles around 55-65 characters and descriptions ranging from 150 to 170 characters. Meta robot tags are vital as they guide search engine crawlers on page handling instructions such as index, noindex, follow, and nofollow.

Amit RanjanAmit Ranjan
Digital Marketing Manager, Stratosphere


Allow Search Engines to Understand Page Relevance

Meta title tags are critical as they’re the first impression search engines and users get of your web page. They succinctly describe the page content and are displayed on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), significantly influencing click-through rates.

Search engines use them as a primary factor to understand page relevance, affecting rankings. Therefore, a well-crafted, keyword-optimized title tag can enhance SEO performance, driving traffic and improving user engagement.

Other meta tags, such as meta description and meta keyword, are not factored into Google’s ranking algorithms—and the former is mostly overwritten by Google.

Dan TaylorDan Taylor
Consultant, Leading SEO Consultant


Header Tags Organize Content Effectively

Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) help structure your content, making it easier for users to read and for search engines to understand. The H1 tag, which is typically the title of your page, should include your main target keyword.

Subsequent headers (H2, H3, etc.) can include secondary keywords and should structure content logically. For example, an H2 might be “Benefits of Gluten-Free Bakery” with H3s as “Better Digestive Health” and “Reduced Allergy Risk.” This use of header tags makes content easier to scan for both users and search engines, enhancing SEO.

Aysu ErkanAysu Erkan
Social Media Manager, Character Calculator


Provide Context and Ease Click Anxiety

Meta tags provide context for what users can expect to see when they click the link while reducing click anxiety. Click anxiety is the tendency to hesitate before clicking a link. Every click is a dive into the unknown. To ease the transition from search engines to your site, you need meta tags that are clear, informative, and inspire action.

Typically, the SEO title tag is the most important tag. It should contain the keyword while inspiring curiosity. Users should feel like they’re missing something if they don’t click. Meta descriptions are also important for elaborating on content. While Google will rewrite a lot of these, you still want to write them to provide context whenever Google doesn’t.

James De RocheJames De Roche
Managing Partner, Lead Comet


Keep Records of Your Tags for Success

Meta tags are one of the first things I optimize for pages that are ranking. For new pages, I don’t really prioritize them, but once a page gains visibility in the top 100 pages in Google, it’s good practice to write your meta title and description and include your main keyword.

I like to keep track of all changes I make, so I keep a record of my titles and their CTR. When you get to page one, they become a very important factor in getting visitors to click on your website instead of your competitors, so you need to keep testing different angles and keep track of each set, CTR, and the date you changed them. Note: Google does not like it if your title and meta title differ too much and can take your meta title and write one for you, which is not something you want.

Tryggvi SigurbjarnarsonTryggvi Sigurbjarnarson
SEO Expert, Clickflow SEO


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