Best Practices for Writing Meta Tags for SEO
Meta tags are important for SEO, but website owners often overlook them.
In this post, we’ll go through the best practices for writing effective meta tags. We’ll also provide a few tips on optimising them for better search engine visibility.
If you want to boost your website’s SEO, keep reading!
What Are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are special code that you can insert into your website’s HTML code to help improve your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO). They take the form of short phrases that describe the content of a page.
Meta tags provide information about your site to search engines, which helps them determine how to rank your site in search results.
Benefits of Using Meta Tags
Writing good meta tags has several advantages:
- Meta tags provide a way to describe your website to search engines. This can help you ensure that your site appears in relevant search results.
- They can help improve your click-through rate from search results pages, translating into more traffic for your website.
- Meta tags can help you track your website’s performance over time. This may help you figure out what you need to improve.
- Meta tags give you the opportunity to show relevance for certain keywords. This improves your website’s visibility on search engine results pages.
- Meta tags can be used to give your website structure. This is beneficial for both users and search engines.
- Meta tags provide social media platforms with information about your website. This allows your site to be seen by more people on social media.
- Meta tags provide visitors with a sense of what your website is about before they go there. This can help attract more qualified visitors to your site.
Different Types of Meta Tags
There are several distinct types of meta tags. Each one serves a specific purpose. Here are four of the most common types:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Meta keywords
- Robots tags
Let’s discuss each one in more detail.
The title tag is an HTML element that describes a web page’s title. It gives visitors an overview of what your website or blog is all about.
On search engine results pages (SERPs), your title tag is the clickable headline for a given result.
The ideal title tag length is 50 to 60 characters. Keeping your title tag to this length improves click-through rate (CTR).
A meta description is a short description of a page’s content. It provides a more detailed description than a title tag to help visitors decide if a site is relevant to their search.
Meta descriptions are displayed on SERPs as the text below the title tag.
A good meta description should be between 150 and 160 characters in length.
Meta keywords are a type of HTML element that helps search engines decide which results are most relevant to a particular search query.
Meta keywords do not appear on SERPs, but you can add these “hidden” keywords to your website’s code to improve your site’s ranking in search engines.
If you do use meta keywords, be sure to include only relevant and high-quality keywords.
Google limits meta keywords to 255 characters, while Bing allows 500 characters.
Robots tags are a type of HTML element that allows you to specify whether or not search engines should index a page.
The “index” robots tag tells the search engine to index your webpage so it can be found in search results.
The “noindex” robots tag can be used to prevent a page from being indexed.
It should be noted that employing the “noindex” tag might prevent your site from appearing in search results. You should only use this tag if you are sure you do not want a page to be indexed.
How to Write Effective Meta Tags for Your Website
Now that you know the different types of meta tags, let’s discuss how to write effective ones for your website.
Here are some tips:
- Keep them short and sweet: Meta tags should be short and to the point. Longer tags may be truncated in search results pages.
- Use keywords wisely: Choose your keywords with care and only use them when necessary. Excessive keywords might harm your website’s SEO.
- Be relevant: Make sure your meta tags are relevant to the content on your page. Irrelevant tags can confuse visitors and hurt your click-through rate.
- Keep them updated: Meta tags should be updated regularly to ensure they are accurate and relevant.
Examples of Good and Bad Meta Tags
- Title tag: “Best Practices for Writing Meta Tags for SEO”
- Meta description: “This article discusses the best practices for writing meta tags for SEO. Learn how to choose the right keywords and improve your website’s visibility.”
- Meta keywords: “meta tags, SEO, website optimisation”
- Robots tag: “index”
- Title tag: “How to Write Meta Tags”
- Meta description: “This article discusses how to write meta tags. Learn how to choose the right keywords and improve your website’s visibility.”
- Meta keywords: “meta tags, SEO”
- Robots tag: “noindex”
As you can see, the good examples are more descriptive and relevant. They also use keywords wisely.
The bad examples are shorter and less relevant. They also stuff keywords in an attempt to improve SEO, which can actually hurt their ranking.
How to Track the Results of Your Meta Tag Optimization Efforts
Once you have implemented your meta tag optimisation efforts, you’ll want to track the results by checking the following:
- Website traffic: Look at your website’s overall traffic and see if there has been an increase since you implemented your changes.
- Rankings in search engines: Use a tool like Google Analytics to track your website’s ranking in search engines.
- Click-through rate: Look for an improvement in your website’s click-through rate.
By tracking the results of your meta tag optimisation efforts, you can determine whether or not they are effective.
If you see an increase in traffic, rankings, or click-through rate, then your efforts are likely paying off. If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to make adjustments to your strategy.
So What’s Next?
Meta tags are an essential component of SEO. They help search engines understand your website and determine whether it is relevant to a user’s search.
When writing meta tags, be sure to keep them short, relevant, and keyword-rich. You should also update them regularly to ensure they are accurate and reflect the current content on your website.
Do you have any questions about meta tags or SEO? Please contact us at First Page Digital to let us know! We would be happy to answer any of your questions.