Meta tags are text within the code of a webpage that help to explain the contents of the page to search engines like Google, but they don’t appear as visible text on the page.
Here are some examples of meta tags used for search engine optimization:
- Title Tag: The title tag is arguably the single most important SEO element on a webpage. The title is what Google will pay the most attention to when determine what your page is about. Also, your page’s title tag is what’ll show up in Google as blue underlined text. So a well written title tag can help generate more clicks from the search engine results pages. You should think of a webpage title as like the chapter in a book. It’s important to make sure each page’s title is unique and descriptive. Incorporate the keyword early into the title, don’t stuff keywords, and aim for 30 to 65 characters in length.
- Meta Description: The meta description is the second most important meta tag. Although the meta description doesn’t directly impact your search engine rankings, it can help improve your click-through rates fro the search engine results pages. That’s because the meta description is typically what shows up below the title tag as the snippet of preview text in the search results. Your pages’ meta descriptions should be unique and descriptive, and briefly describe the contents of the page. Aim for 70 to 154 characters.
- Meta Keywords: Meta keywords are an old-school form of meta tag that aren’t a factor in Google’s search engine algorithm anymore. You can safely ignore these at this point.
- Meta Robots: The Meta Robots tag gives instructions to search engine spiders, including Google. The main thing to watch out for with the Meta Robots tag is to make sure that you’re not preventing any pages from getting indexed. Watch out for any pages that have a “noindex” tag that you actually do want to get indexed. You can scan your website for improper noindex tags using a tool such as Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
- Schema: Schema mark-up is a more recent type of meta tag. There are many different types of schema that you can add to your website in order to help Google categorize your type of business, your products, and other information. For most small businesses, the most important type of schema for Local SEO is Organization schema where you list your business Name, Address, and Phone number.
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