Meta Tag Keywords
Achieving optimal visibility in search results and attracting the most online traffic requires a solid search engine optimization (SEO) plan and implementation. There are several types of meta tags so understanding their proper and appropriate use is essential in a successful SEO strategy. Search meta keywords help search engines see your website and display a link to your website page on the search engine results page (SERP).
FACT: 43% of people click on a given result, solely based on the meta description.
What are meta tag keywords?
Meta tags are HTML code snippets that describe your website page to search engines so they can crawl your page and index the content appropriately. Meta tags also tell your website visitors more about the page, but the actual code snippets are not visible to website visitors unless they check the source code.
(Image Credit: Reliablesoft)
The following meta tags are essential in any comprehensive SEO strategy. Without the following meta tags, a search engine will likely never see your website and online searches will not render your website among SERPs. It is important to understand what meta tag keywords and how they are used appropriately and correctly for optimal organic search traffic.
To clear things up, title tags are technically not meta tags, but instead, they are part of the page title elements; however, they are so frequently referred to as part of the meta tag elements that most people believe they are meta tags. Title tags are the first HTML code snippet that search engines look for to provide context and information to your potential website visitors. The title tag is displayed in the browser tab so your website visitors will see the information. Title tags are used by all major browsers including Safari, Chrome, Microsoft Explorer, and Firefox and it is imperative to have them for SERP rankings. Title tags are used by not only search engines, but also web browsers and social networks. The image below shows a couple examples of title tags:
(Image Credit: SpyFu)
It is important to understand not only what keywords to include in your title tag, but also how to separate keywords in meta tag titles. Title tags should be formatted in the following manner with search meta keywords:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name or Offer
The pipe sign is a helpful tool in providing visual division in a sentence. Because people often do not read every word and scan text, the pipe sign provides an opportunity to visually separate words and call attention to important information. For example, you may use phrases like “25% off” or “Money-Back Guarantee” in your title tag.
When creating your title tags with meta tags keywords, use contextual keywords and modifiers like “Tips,” “Buy,” and “How to.” If your website page includes a list, include the number in the title tag, such as 9 Tips… You also can use long-tail keywords in the title tags. The search engines will look at your page title to determine if the keywords typed by online searchers are relevant to your website page.
Title tags account for up 15 percent of your website’s overall page score so it is important to not only include them, but also follow the best practices in creating and implementing them and knowing how to separate keywords in meta tag titles
- Because this tag is displaying the title of your website page on the SERP, you need to make sure the meta tag on every page of your website is unique and relevant to the page content.
- Title tags are placed in the heading of the website so make them relevant and enticing for users to want to click on them.
- Keep title tags to 55 to 60 characters (not words) for full visibility in the browser.
- Make sure keywords are not used more than one time in the title tag.
- Include a call to action in the title tag, when appropriate.
- Use a “|” to make text easier to read in sentence format and call attention to information.
The description tag (<meta Name = “Description”) is an important meta tag that tells search engines and internet users what your website and page are about. Users will see your page description on the SERP and decide whether or not to click through to your website. The description text includes html meta keywords google and has a strong impact on your organic search traffic as this is your website’s first impression with online users and serves as somewhat of an ad that you do not have to pay for. In fact, the meta description tag accounts for about 10 percent of your overall page score. Here is an example of a description tag:
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Your html meta keywords google description tag should be placed in the head of your website code. You may be wondering how many meta tag keywords should I use? It is not about how many keywords to use, but about the length of the description tag. For full visibility on the SERP on mobile devices, it should be 130 characters (not words) or less and no more than 160 characters to meet Google’s guidelines. Do not overstuff your description tag with multiple keywords or you will have a negative effect on your SERP ranking. Make sure your meta description is unique for each page or search engines will not list your pages as separate pages and this will negatively affect your search ranking. Follow these best practices to get the most out of your meta description tag:
- Include a call to action or offer in your description by using words and phrases like “Order,” “How to,” “Review,” and “Get more.”
- Use numbers in your description tags when your text includes lists.
- Use targeted meta content keywords that are also on your website page at the beginning of your description tag, but do not keyword stuff your description tag.
- Make sure every page has a unique description tag.
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Social Media Meta tags
Social media meta tags (<meta property = “Og) can help you push your website higher on SERP results. Engagement such as comments, shares, and likes on your social media pages are accounted for in your SERP ranking. For example, if many online users are sharing the content posted on your social channels, there is higher likelihood that other online users will click on these links. Links to your website play a very large role in SERP ranking. Additionally, social channels also serve as search engines as online users often search on these platforms. With meta content keywords, your page will appear more frequently in these search results.
The open graph (og tag) protocol is used by Facebook while Twitter uses Twitter cards. Open graph meta tags should connect the website URLs shared on Facebook with the search engine for easier visibility. Twitter cards are similar to open graph tags; however, they are uniquely relevant to Twitter only. Twitter uses Twitter cards to promote your page when shared on Twitter. While there are many things you can add to these tags, there are four that are required: title, description, image, and URL. The following is a guideline for how Facebook and Twitter requires these tags to be formatted:
og:title Title, name, or headline
og:description A minimum of two and maximum of four sentences that provides additional information and context.
og:image The image should be at least 600×315 pixels and preferably 1200×630 pixels and the URL should be included.
og:url Provide a canonical URL for the page that does not include session variables, counters, or user ID parameters.
Here is an example of how the open graph is used in your code snippet:
<meta property=”og:type” content=”blog” /> <meta property=”og:title” content=”blog title” /> <meta property=”og:description” content=”blog description” /> <meta property=”og:image” content=”link to image” /> <meta property=”og:url” content=”permalink” /> <meta property=”og:site_name” content=”site name” />
Twitter:title Title, name, or headline that is a maximum of 70 characters.
Twitter:description A maximum of 200 characters that describes the tweet. The title should not be reused.
Twitter:image The image should be a unique representation of the content and be at least 280×150 pixels.
Here is an example of a Twitter card and how it should be used in your code snippet:
<meta name=”twitter:title” content=”page or post title”> <meta name=”twitter:description” content=”page content”> <meta name=”twitter:image” content=”image link”> <meta name=”twitter:site” content=”@username”> <meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”@username”>
Alternative Text Alt Tag
Alternative text alt tag (<img alt= “) is also known as alt text and should be used for all images on your website. Search engines are not able to read images so alt text provides a description of your image to search engines and provides relevance for the image to the text on your website page. If the image cannot be loaded for some reason on your website, this alt text will display so users can still understand and use your website. Alt text can also be used as hyperlinks, which allows organic search users to find your website more easily. Alt text usually only appears if the images are having a hard time loading or the images are turned off, for example:
(Image Credit: Nonprofit Marketing Guide)
Another reason why alt text is important is because screen readers used by the visually impaired detect and read alt text descriptions to make these images accessible to these users. Search engines provide a higher rank to websites that adhere to guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Here are some best practices to follow when creating alt text for your website images:
- Add context to your image. For example, if your image is named abc.jpg, do not use this as your alt text. If it is an image of a coffee cup, then say “Coffee, cappuccino, latte.”
- Place images near related text so that search engines see the relevancy in the image.
- How many meta tag keywords should I use? Create short and easy to understand descriptors for your images that are 50 to 55 characters long.
- If your image is of a product on an ecommerce site, include the product name and ID for greater search engine visibility.
- Create an image sitemap to provide to Google for easier visibility.
FACT: About 15% of your website SERP ranking is from the proper use of alt text.
Canonical Meta Tag
The canonical meta tag (<link rel = “canonical” Href = ) is used when you have two pages with the same content and you need to tell the search engine which page to pay attention to and index for search results. For example, if you have a website in multiple languages in the header and footer while the body is the same, Google will recognize these pages as duplicates. You may have a mobile site that is just like your desktop site, and in this case, Google will see these as duplicate pages. It is best to avoid duplicate content on your website, but if it cannot be avoided, canonical tags can preserve your SEO.
Canonical tags should be placed in the head of your website. The canonical tag should be somewhat of a search result with specifics. For example, instead of using https://www.yourwebsite.com/item123, use https://www.yourwebsite.com/redcup.html. If you do not tell Google which page on your website is the original page through the use of the canonical tag, Google will decide on its own and that may not be the decision you wish for. The image below shows another example of a canonical tag:
(Image Credit: Moz)
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Header tags (<H1> tag) account for about five percent of your SERP ranking and provide structure to your website to tell Google what the page content is about. There are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 tags, but H1, H2, and H3 tags are the most-commonly used. Header tags tell Google which content on your website is most important and how the content on the page is related to each other. The H1 header tag should be used only one time on the page and should include the most important keyword. You can think of the H1 tag as the title, H2 tags as the chapters, and H3 tags as the subchapters. H4, H5, and H6 tags would be similar to paragraphs, bullet points, and sub-bullets within those chapters. Header tags should be kept short at 60 characters, not words, or less and include meta tags keywords. The example below shows what a H2 and H3 tag looks like, the H1 tag would be the title of the article:
(Image Credit: HubSpot Blog)
Meta tags for voice search
About 50 percent of all online searches involve voice search through Siri, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa. Content on your website must be recognized by search engines in a manner that users search. People typically use long-tail keywords or ask a question when using voice search. They often are looking for a business location or product so it is important to keep online information updated.
There are some expired meta tags that were once important, but they are now expired. These tags should be removed from your website if they are currently there. These tags do not help you in search SERP rankings and can actually hurt your SEO if there is confusing information being related to Google or other search engines.
- Meta tag Keywords (<meta name = “keywords”): Search engines no longer look at meta tag keywords for SERP rankings; however, some search engines may actually see this as spamming and hurt your ranking. Keywords are still important for SERP ranking, but these keywords should be included in your description tags, title tags, social tags, and alt text, as well as your page content. It should not be included within meta tag keywords.
- Meta Name Revisit After (Meta Name = “Revisit-After”): Meta Name Revisit After meta tags were used by search engines more than a decade ago. Their purpose was to tell search engines that your website was changing and the search engine should return to index the pages again. If you want to tell Google to index new pages now, you should upload a new sitemap to the Google Search Console. This will alert Google to exactly what has changed and tell Google where to look at your website for new content.
- Meta Name Googlebot (<Meta Name = “Googlebot”): Google used the Open Directory Project (ODP) DMOZ until 2017. Your website’s meta description and website link were included in the ODP listings and the Googlebot used this information. With the Meta Name Googlebot meta tag you could tell Google to not duplicate the ODP description by using noarchive, nosnippet, noindex, and nofollow instructions. Today, if you want Google to not spider some pages, use the robots.txt file.
Diib®: Keyword Research for Your Meta Tags and More!
Meta tags are essential in organic search traffic and optimal SEO performance. As with everything involving the internet, technology has evolved over time. With this evolution, some meta tags are no longer used and websites should be cleaned up to remove these old meta tags. SEO is not to complete the work once and forget about it type of work. Ongoing keyword research should be conducted so that page descriptions and titles remain relevant to not only the website content, but also the content that online users are searching.
Diib offers a comprehensive dashboard, complete with a keyword research tool designed to help you choose the ideal keywords for your meta tags, social media meta tags and content, in general. Here are some of the features of our dashboard we’re sure you’ll love:
- Keyword, backlink, and indexing monitoring and tracking tools
- User experience and mobile speed optimization
- Bounce rate monitoring and repair
- Social media integration and performance
- Broken pages where you have backlinks (404 checker)
- Technical meta tag tracking, including keyword ranking
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These are a specific type of meta tag that appear in the HTML code of a webpage. They tell the search engine what the page is about and its structure.
Yes, meta tags still matter, however, not all meta tags can help your seo efforts. If you want to rank high on Google SERPs, you need to focus on high quality content.
If you would like to view the meta tags on a given page, right click anywhere on the desired page and select “view page source”. A new page/tab will open in Chrome. The head of the page is where you’ll see the meta tags.
The best, most efficient way to separate keywords in a meta tag is with a comma. However, a bar can be used to separate main keywords from secondary keywords.
Meta tags go inside theelement. They are used to specify a character set, page description, keywords, author of a document and/or a viewport setting.