Meta tags, also known as metadata or meta elements, are descriptions of your website that are rarely seen by viewers on your website, but are consistently read in the backend of your website. Why is this important? In short, meta tags play a key role in SEO, dictating your website’s ranking on Google’s search pages. Meta tags can be the difference between page one and page two of a results page, making them an important element of SEO strategy.
Meta Tag Development
If you can’t do coding yourself, hire a web designer for this part and follow up to make sure they’re properly doing the meta tags justice.
Here are a few meta tags to use for SEO:
Title Meta Tag
This should differ across the various pages of your website. Keeping each title for each page of your website is important to keeping the site unique and explanatory for each page. This encompasses what every page is about. You can normally see a page’s title meta tag when looking at the different tabs open in your browser. Most of the time, the words you see there are the same as that page’s title meta tag.
These don’t actually affect your ranking in Google, but instead is the short description viewers will read before clicking on your website. Keep it interesting and accurate to what your site is about. Also, keep it under 160 characters so that the entire text excerpt appears on results pages.
Viewport Meta Tag
This tag is specifically important for website usability on mobile devices. In short, viewport meta tags give browsers instructions on how to scale a web page when at different resolutions (most commonly phones and tablets.) This tag should always be implemented when designing a responsive website, but is also important for search ranking as recommended by Google’s responsive web design best practices.
Additional Tags and Best Practices
Although not specifically meta tags, the following tips are great additions to your SEO campaign and digital marketing strategy.
Image Alt Tags
Alt tags are image attributes in HTML that tell screen readers what an image looks like using words. For individuals who may be impaired from reading websites, alt tags are a necessity in order to ensure site usability for all users. In regard to SEO, Google will read image alt tags in addition to text content in order to learn what a page is about. Having alt tag text (alt text) optimized for a particular keyword and it’s synonyms tends to work wonders in ranking pages highly for individual keywords.
Yoast SEO (for WordPress and Shopify sites)
There is quite a bit to know when it comes to optimizing your website for search engines. Plugins like Yoast make the whole process much easier, and will actively keep you informed with best practices and suggestions along the way to best optimize your web page. Yoast works extremely well for on-page SEO and is used by many industry professionals for such work.
Interested in learning more about meta tags and other SEO best practices? Feel free to reach out to an account executive to find the right SEO solutions in Raleigh for your business.