Most of the time when most people hear Meta tags, the first image that comes to mind is of a super secret code that only CMS engineers know how to use. However, meta tags are very basic html tags seen as the title tags, the description tags and the keyword tag. The meta tag describes your page on the SERPs and utilizing the advantage it provides is sure to increase the traffic to your page or website from search engines such as Google and Bing.
The Pieces Of The Meta Tag
The meta tag is made up of three basic pieces:
• The title tag
• The description tag
• The keyword tag
The title tag is the tag line which is seen at the very top of the page on your browser and this is one of the first thing the user sees as soon as they open up your website. However, that is not all, it is also the first tag which is recognized by the search engine algorithms when indexing your site and thus can serve as the first description of your site, sort of like a surname of sorts. This title tag, which is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium to be 60 characters or less – not only because most users would spazz out after any thing more, but also because most search engines (such as Google or Bing) would cut out the rest of your title tag after 60 characters, should be catchy and attractive and descriptive. Your title tag determines where your page would end up on the SERPs basically.
That little paragraph of maybe one or two sentences (recommended to be 160 characters or less) which appears right below your title tag on the SERPs is your description tag. This tag shows users what your site is all about. A a glance, the user can see a bit of what that particular page on your site talks about and can quickly decide on if they want to click through or not. Better still, it also enables the search engine to determine exactly where and how to index your site and most importantly what position to fix it on, mostly based on the originality of your description. Failing to include a description tag on your site means the search engine would just randomly select a portion of your page and use as a description tag, and whateversnippet is used may not give you the desired effect.
In SEO writing, you should take care to observe the importance of keywords. Keywords used in meta tags should be simple, catchy and original. They should also be unique and target a specific audience. Using a keyword such as ‘black men hairstyle’ is more effective than a broad one such as ‘hairstyle’. Though the latter is shorter than the former, but it is broader and does not ensure that whatever user follows through would make a conversion. When writing keywords for your mea tags, you should think like a user. Good keywords are phrases and words the user is most likely to search for. It should also relate to your page content and the target audience you are trying to attract. Your keyword should always appear in your description tag and at least a portion of your keyword must appear in your title tag also.
Advantages Of Meta Tags
The most important advantage of meta tags relies on the fact that meta tags are most usually recognized by search engines as they serve as the description of your web site and as such, proper usage is an SEO tool which is sure to increase your page ranking on the SERPs and consequently the traffic that comes to your site. It is common knowledge that the higher your page ranks on the search engine results the more likely you are to get visitors to that same site or page. These meta tags define to the search engine what exactly your page is about and this helps you to get the exact audience you are after. A search engine such as Google or Bing would find it easier to index your page when you use proper meta tags.
Meta tags provide a necessary advantage especially in this time when there is very serious competition to be at the top of the results page in any search. With the new Google algorithm, marketers and CMS developers are looking for the next edge to supersede competition and garner as many clients and customers as possible. Using a meta tag provides you with that extra edge that is so necessary now.
An advantage of meta tags which is often overlooked is the description that comes with it which increases the chances of search engine users clicking through on pages that you publish on the internet. The description tag on your meta tags can be viewed by users, alongside your title tags. The availability of these tags allows you to impress the user as soon as they see your link to follow through, especially if they are attractive.
Things To Note
• You should know that your title tag is not the same as your page heading. The title tag appears in the SERPs and it is the description that appears at the very top of your browser window. It is also a very limited space, and whatever goes in it should be attractive and interesting so the user wants to follow through.
• Once you have used a title tag for a particular page, ensure that it remains unique. It must never be used for another page or anywhere else on you site.
• While it might not always be feasible, it is best to include the keyword in your title, preferably at the beginning of your title tag. This reinforces the notion on the user that you know what you ae talking about and this promotes conversion rates.
• Don’t stuff your keywords in your description meta tags. Try and keep it unique so that it differs from that of other pages. A description with a call to action is a god way to include your click through rate. A good call to action phrase is ‘Read more’ or ‘Find out about’ etc.
Using meta tags is an easy way to increase your CTR or click-through rate. Start using them on your site today to drive more traffic from search engines like Google and Bing.