The Importance of Meta Data
Meta tags have become an undervalued component of search marketing success. What exactly are meta tags? For starters, a “meta tag” is an HTML tag which is located in the “head” of your web pages. While nearly invisible to users, these HTML tags give search engines (think Google, Yahoo & Bing) meta data to help provide the best search experience for the search engine users. Because of this, meta tags are important for search engine optimization.
Generally there are three meta tags you want to fill in for your web pages: meta title tag, meta description, and meta keywords. Here’s a break down of what these terms mean.
- Meta Title Tag – The small text that appears at the top of your browser bar. Search engines view this text as the “title” of your page.
- Meta Keywords – This is a series of keywords you deem relevant to the page and can be one word or sets of words together, all separated by commas.
- Meta Description – This is a brief description of the page which often acts as a snippet that advertises the content or theme of the page to searchers.
Tags Still Go A Long Way
This graphic illustrates where the Meta Tags appear in the Google search results and where they are in the code of your site. Editing these to work towards better rankings is one of the most important things you can do. When we look at many poorly organized sites they are using the same exact metas for every page – and usually it is only the name of the company. That works well if the only visits that they want are those searching the name of their company! Most businesses want to rank well for their targeted keywords though. That is what needs to be in the meta tags. Remember to keep the Title Meta Tag under 70 characters and the Description Meta Tag under 160 characters. The Meta’s need to relate to the page they are on and be different from all other pages on the site.
This is the Source Code for the page referenced above.