We’ve been focused on SEO and several of the factors that can impact your SEO for better and for worse. Because of this, we have received a few questions from our followers asking what are meta tags and how do I use them?
The long and the short of it is that meta tags are small segments of code (done in HTML) that describe certain aspects of a website. Think of them as tiny summaries of what you are looking at. These tags help the search engine algorithms determine what each page is about.
Meta tags should not be confused with title tags. Title tags are required elements while meta tags are optional page descriptors.
Description Meta Tags Help Your Site in 3 Ways:
Search Engines Know Your Page Content.
Your description needs to be on point. If the search engine decides your description is poorly written or inaccurate, it will replace your description with its own version of what your site is about. Let us remind you, this isn’t a person looking at your page and rewriting a description. This is a computer that is only as smart as the code around it. That code doesn’t come with logic, so you are trusting a computer to speak for your brand. Tech is great, but there are limits guys. If your site is difficult for a search engine to process you may very likely come out with a numeric description and a few keywords that doesn’t make sense when put together.
Site Click Through Rates.
A good description not only prevents search engines from rewriting it, but it entices the “right” people to click your site. Let’s put it this way: a good description is an appealing window display for your shop. A great window display is what pulls the window shoppers in and loosens their grip on their wallets just enough.
It isn’t weighted heavily, but it is a great place to use those secondary key words. For example: if your primary keyword is graphic design, you might use graphic designer or custom graphic design in your meta tag description.
There are plenty of other types of meta tags out there but a lot of them have become antiquated and virtually useless. The one to really focus on is the description meta tag, which we discussed in the SEO Webinar this past week.