SEO Strategy Using Meta Tags
Why You Should Include Meta Tags In Your SEO
What Are Meta Tags?
This is a special HTML tag that is used to store information about a Web page but is not displayed in a Web browser. For example, meta tags provide information such as what program was used to create the page, a description of the page, and keywords that are relevant to the page. Many search engines use the information stored in meta tags when they index Web pages.
The Most Important NON Meta For SEO Is The Title Tag
Although the title tag appears in the head block of the page, it isn’t actually a meta tag. What’s the difference? The title tag is a required page “element” according to the W3C. Meta tags are optional page descriptors.
The Title Tag looks like this <title>Not a Meta Tag, but required anyway </title>
The Description Meta Tag
<meta name=”description” content=”Kool Description Here”>
- The description meta tag informs the search engine about the content of your web page: Write a quality description so the search engines will know exactly what the web page is all about. This is particularly true for Google. When Google’s algorithm cannot decipher or finds a poorly written description meta tag, it will replace the description tag with text content from the web page. Obviously, it is much better to write a very high quality meta description tag that Google understands.
- A good description improves clicks to to your website: Not only does a great description prevent Google from rewriting the content, it also encourages prospective site visitors to click on the link displayed by the search engine result page (SERP). A top quality description meta tag is really a piece of marketing copy and will lead to a click through onto your website. Remember, a description meta tag is actually what shows up on the search engine result page (along with the page title). So, it truly is like a window to the website itself. Statistics show that websites with poor description meta tags do now rank as well in the search engines as sites with good description meta tags.
- Yes, the description meta tag helps with site rankings and SEO: Some years ago Google denied that the description meta tag helped with search engine rankings. In the past few years, research and Google leaks have confirmed that the description meta tag is used in Google rankings. It is not a major factor in rankings, however, it is certainly an element of SEO and rankings that can be controlled and with good SEO strategy, used to elevate a website’s rankings. Not sure how to put together a really good description meta tag for your SEO campaign. This Vancouver WA SEO company has top SEO experts http://vancouverwaseo.org and they can get top Google rankings for you.
Two more key points on the meta description tags:
Empty Descriptions: A description tag can be empty and when it is, Bind and Google will actually fill it in. This can be disastrous, humorous, or occasionally, it works out just fine.
Quotes: Avoid quotation marks, double quotes, (“”) in the description meta tag because this will cut off the description. Single quotes are usable, however.
The Keywords Meta Tag
Several years ago, the “keywords” meta tag was an absolutely crucial factor for every search engine. Now, only one of the major search engines looks at keywords at all. Bing does spider fot the keywords meta tag, however, only as an adjunct to locate spam. Best advice on the keywords meta tag: eliminate it entirely from every web page.
Other Meta Tags
There are many other meta tags, but none are really considered useful nowadays. Many of the tags that we used did things like:
Told the spider when to come back
<meta name=”revisit-after” content=”30 days”>
Told the browser the distribution
< meta name=”distribution” content=”web”>
Told the page to refresh
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”30″>
Told the page to redirect/refresh
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”x_seconds; url=http://www.yourhost.com/pagetosendto.html”>
These are no longer used because there are improvements in how to this can be delivered, such as schema tagging or server side deliver, or because search engines that were using them no longer exist, or because Google search engine has stated that these techniques are inappropriate. Meta tag redirects at page level are considered particularly bad.
NOTE: It is now important to use schema tags and Rich Data Snippets rather than redirects.
The Robots Meta Tag
The robots tag continues to be an important meta tag because it tells search engines what NOT to spider and what NOT to index. This is very important when your site is in the development stages, so you can keep the search engines from spidering your incomplete website. It also keeps the search engine spiders from indexing trivial pages that wouldn’t help your site rankings. However, be careful. Do not use the NOINDEX tag to accidentally deindex your entire site.
The Robots Meta Tag has four very important uses . . .
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
Which means: “Do not Index this page and do not follow the links on the page.” The web page will not be included in the search index or will fall out of the search index and links on the page will not be followed. Also, the links on the page that lead to other pages will be broken. This tag is frequently used during website development. If you use it during initial stages of website development, be sure to remove it when the site goes live.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, NOFOLLOW”>
The meaning of this tage is: “Do Index this page BUT DO NOT follow the links on the page.” Your page WILL be in the index HOWEVER all links from this page to other pages will not be followed, so the spider will leave this page and return to the originating page.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”>
The meaning here is: “Do not Index this page. Do follow the links on the page.” This web page will not be included in the search engine index HOWEVER ALL the links FROM the page will be followed by the spider and the link path will NOT be broken from this page to other pages.
<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, FOLLOW”>
Here, the meaning is: “Do Index this page. Do follow the links on the page.” The page WILL be in the index AND ALL links to other pages will be followed by the search engine spider. The link path from the page will remain intact.
NOTE: Search engines are not bound to follow the Robots Tag. Some unethical search engine spiders DO ignore the Robots Tag.
The Charset Tag
Every website must validate Charset. In the United States, the valid charset now is the UTF-8 tag. Place this on every web page if your site uses HTML delivering English characters.