A website has many dimensions. We’re very familiar with the shiny things that are right in front of us, such as the graphics and text and video so many websites now utilize. Creating and sharing this content is crucial to a website’s success, and even the most casual of Internet visitors can differentiate a good website from a bad one.
There are many things those visitors won’t notice simply by looking at a website though, and those are the things that take place under the hood. Good search engine optimization takes a lot of work and expertise, and without it a website can suffer even with the best looking design or highest quality content.
A common SEO element you might have heard of before are meta tags.
What Are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are information inserted in to the header section (in the HTML) of a webpage that communicates the story and purpose of that page to search engines. This information is not seen by a visitor at your web page, but can be just as important as the content that you do show to your traffic.
There are two very common forms of meta tags that are usually referred to when talking about the SEO of a website. Those are the meta description tag and the meta keywords tag.
Meta Description Tag
The meta description tag should tell search users about that particular webpage. When you search, you are delivered a page of links related to your query, and with those links is a description of the page. This information is the ‘meta description tag’. For example, the meta description tag for DigitalSherpa looks like this:
The HTML for this meta description tag would look like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”Welcome to DigitalSherpa, a content and social media marketing solutions provider for small-to-medium sized businesses.” />
Each page should have it’s own meta description tag, but you should keep a theme throughout the descriptions of each page of your website.
Meta Keywords Tag
Meta keywords tags, much like meta description tags, tell search engines about your particular webpage. You’ll want to enter meta keywords tag for each page, and include those set of keywords that best describe the content on that particular page.
To use DigitalSherpa homepage again as an example, the meta keywords tag in this case is:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”content marketing, small business marketing, internet marketing for small businesses, social media marketing, apartment marketing, home design marketing, internet marketing solutions” />
Meta tags, just like any other SEO element, are only a piece of the puzzle. Having the most optimized meta tags on the Web won’t yield Page 1 search results on Google if you aren’t delivering good content or don’t have other websites linking to you. However, creating or optimizing meta tags is a great way to communicate the correct information to search engines and provide a boost to your SEO.