Meta Tagging Your Website – Why is This Still So Important?

A properly optimized Meta description will enable a search engine user to determine whether your site is worth investigating in their search for the answer to whatever information they seek.  In other words, meta tags become your on SERP (search engine results page) marketing tag line which is your chance to tell potential visitors to come and see your site.  Very important!!

According to Wikipedia, “Meta Elements are tags used in HTML or XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page.  They are part of a web page’s head section.  Multiple Meta elements with different attributes can be used on the same page.  Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.”

Meta tags allow Google to better comprehend the content of a web page.  Google uses this information to provide relevant search results.  If high-quality keywords are included in meta tags, Google can show your site higher in search results, which can help you find new business directly from search.

However, if you have been paying attention, you’ll know that back in 2009 Google confirmed that they were not using meta elements in determining page ranking so why should we care about them today?  Meta tags provide a written summary of what appears on a given web page and at Google’s discretion, this information may appear in results shown on a search engines results page (SERP) along with the link to the specific page.  Ok, so how do we get the most benefit from properly adding meta elements to our web pages? 

First, to be most effective, each meta tag should be unique and not duplicate another meta description on your site.  Thus, the meta tag should be specific about each page content and never generic such that a user would not think the page was right for them to click on.

A meta tag should also not be too long or too short and should range between 50 and 156 characters approximately.  I say approximately because not all letters are the same width, so you need to test your meta tag to make sure what you want people to see fits in the space available on a SERP.

Title elements aka title tags define the title of the page.  The title tag appears in the tab on your browser page as well as on the SERP above the active url part of the search result.  Many believe the title tag contributes more than any other single element to search engine optimization success.

There are many other SEO factors that could affect your traffic and ranking levels.  Page size, loading speed, web page layout and what is written on the page for example.  If you use a plugin like Yoast SEO for WordPress, it is straight forward to add titles to your SEO section to see how your page may look in search results.  While the title is what appears at the top of the search result, the meta description is the section below.

SEO meta tags are written to provide structured metadata about a particular web site or web page.  There are elements that determine which users click on a page, which makes it important to spend some time on optimization.  Knowing the right method of using the meta tag is therefore extremely important for those who want to improve their SEO conversions.

If you optimize the meta tagging, it will be able to synopsize the content of the page for search engines.  This has no effect on SEO because you tell search engines what the website is about, not what they are looking for.

There are a lot of different meta tags, and each has a specific purpose, often in the context of explaining search engines, crawlers, and browsers how to interpret your website.  Whether you are building a new page or optimizing an existing one, understanding how you use the meta tag has an important impact on how the search engine and your website visitors interact with your content.  Search engines use what they have learned about you and the content of your website, as well as how they interact with other content on the website.

Make sure that each page on your site has a unique meta description that describes the content of the page in detail.  Meta descriptions are not a direct ranking signal, but they can encourage users to click on a page and thus indirectly provide SEO help.  

You can choose to structure an SEO campaign on your own, but you can also turn to a professional who will save you a ton of time and utilize their experience to optimize your content and ads for you. If you’d like some assistance in coming up with the best SEO results for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we can set up a Zoom call to see how I can help you!!

Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.