Learn about the Fundamentals of SEO Meta Tags

SEO Meta tags help search engines to understand the nature of the content posted in web pages by giving additional details. Meta tags also assist search engines. It is to correctly identify the web pages and classify them thus ensuring better online visibility and boost in the search rankings. According to https://www.wordstream.com, Meta tags are content descriptors that tell search engines the purpose and intent of a particular webpage.

Unfortunately, Meta tags have earned a bad name due to their rampant misuse and consequently misunderstood too Marcus Debaise.
Earlier webmasters and SEO practitioners tried to manipulate the algorithms of the search engines. It is by stuffing keywords in the Metadataforced Google to change how they treated and valued Meta tags. What is SEO? and a brief overview of Meta tags and their different types:

Tags Defined 

Meta tags are nothing but short descriptions of web pages. Tiny bits of HTML code represents them. Google and other search engines understand it. Meta, which is short for metadata, is supplemental information about a webpage like a page title, page description, and type of content. The data contained in the Meta tags help the search engine to rank the webpage for display in the SERPs. Despite the evolution of search algorithms, Meta tags are still considered very important to the search process.

Though their usage and value have changed over the years, they remain very important and constitute the building blocks of an effective SEO strategy. Metadata that is found in the header tags on all web pages. can be very easily added in HTML using a CMS page editor or a WordPress plug-in, depending on your website platform. Once the HTML Meta tags are inserted into the headers, they automatically become visible to the bots of the search engine crawlers that index and classify the pages.

Important Meta Tags

Good SERP rankings can only be achieved when the right Meta tag is used for the right purpose. When used correctly, Meta tags can have a very powerful impact on the page rankings given by search engines. The online visibility of the page will get a big boost and there will be an improvement in the user experience of the searcher. According to experts, the two most important Meta tags are the Title Tag and the Meta Description, however, the value of each tag is different depending on the search engine and needs to be adapted to the specific optimization needs of the website. It is important to keep in mind that Meta tags perform the vital task of informing Google of your identity and what the content purpose is. Since search engines value content that is useful, relevant, and informative and answers the search query most accurately, by optimizing your Meta tags, it is possible to highlight the best elements of the website content to enable the website to achieve the best possible visibility in the search results.

Title tag:

Even though technically speaking title tags are no Meta tags, they are usually included when web pages are tagged. Title tags are essentially HTML tags that provide a short description of the webpage. The search engine uses the tag and displays it on the results page as a clickable link. Title tags should ideally be unique, included in all web pages, and restricted to 50-60 characters.

Meta description tag:

Once a very popular device for SEO marketers for boosting rankings, the Meta description tag is no longer considered by Google to have any bearing on SERP rankings due to the change in its purpose. Now, improving the CTR remains its chief function, serving as ad copy as searchers scroll through the results displayed on the SERPs. A better-written Meta description tag serves to attract the attention of searchers and generates more clicks. However, the description has to be restricted to just 160 characters else, it will be truncated.

Viewport tag:

With more than half of the global Internet traffic being accounted for by mobile phones, all websites must be optimized for mobiles. In this context, it becomes important to specify a viewport tag that will promote mobile-friendly user experience. Without a viewport tag, the web pages will not display properly for both desktops and mobile phones and the user will be forced to pinch and zoom to view the content properly.

Social Meta tags:

Adding social Meta tags can optimize your content for sharing on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. These tags permit you to determine how your social media content will show titles, descriptions, and images. When your social media is optimized, it facilitates easy sharing and mentions as well as attracts new inbound links that boost SEO.

Meta content type tag:

The presence of this tag is mandatory on every webpage, as, without it, the page may not render, as it should in the web browser.

Canonical tag:

Despite not being a Meta tag in the truest sense, these tags are usually included in web pages with the specific purpose of informing search engines, which specific URL is the webpage’s preferred version when there are several URLs with the same content. Regarded as a very important development in the field of SEO, digital marketers also refer to it as a canonical URL. Using this tag can help content marketers to avoid being penalized for duplicate content across multiple URLs of their website.

Specific Use of Meta Tags

These kinds of Meta tags are very useful under specific circumstances; however, from the point of SEO, they are not essential. They include bot tags where search engine bots need to be given special instructions and geotags that capture the geographical location of a place. You may also need one to specify the official language of a webpage when your website has an international audience. The robots Meta tag, however, is required only to change indexing instructions of link instructions to follow; in its absence, Google uses the default indexing values.

Conclusion 

There are far too many variables that affect the SEO performance of a website for SEO managers to monitor and take effective action. However, by prioritizing your requirements, you can usually focus on the ones that will deliver the maximum punch and you can focus on using them effectively in all your campaigns. Using Meta tags competently helps both search engines and users discover the content over which you have laboured so that you achieve a superior click-through-rate.