Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted to the header of the web page. Meta tags are not visible to users, but instead used for providing information about your web page to the Search Engine spiders when they crawl your pages.
When people refer to Meta tags, they are usually referring to Meta descriptions and Meta keywords. Google announced in 2009 that Meta tags are no longer a factor that Google will use to rank web pages. Although Meta keywords and Meta descriptions may no longer be a factor to Google but it still plays a role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here are 5 rules to Meta tags that you should follow.
What is Meta Descriptions
Meta description is the short blurb that shows up under the blue hyperlinked title in the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). The Meta description is used in two ways. One, it is used as snippets to tell the searchers what a particular website, page or section is about. It is usually used as ad copies to attract people to click on the link. Two, it is used for Search Engine spiders; it tells the spider what the page is about. Meta descriptions are no longer a factor in SEO.
5 Meta description rules that you must follow :
- Meta description should be around 25 words or 150 characters. Google will only display roughly around 150 characters in the SERP. I would keep it under 150 to be on the safe side.
- Write description in complete sentences. Capitalize first letter of each sentence with proper grammar.
- Write an attractive description about website or page with “Call to Action” in the description. Call to Actions gives the user a reason to click on the page link.
- Include relevant keywords as it will be bolded in the SERP if it is a keyword being searched
- DO NOT have the same description for all pages!
What is Meta Keywords
Meta keywords are a list of keywords in HTML code that are related to the website or page. It is also used to tell Search Engine spiders what the page or website is about. Although Google and Bing no longer uses Meta keywords as a factor to rank pages; however, some smaller engines might still be using it as a factor. Therefore, it might be wise to optimize it for the smaller engine in case your visitors are coming from there.
5 Meta keyword rules you must follow:
- List keywords in order of relevance and importance
- Separate each keyword or keyword phrases with a comma
- Limit to 10-20 keywords (there are really no limits, up to you to decide what is right)
- Include misspellings and different variation of the spelling in case searchers misspell words (for example, Optimization and Optimisation)
- Include action words such as “buy,” “shop,” “find,” “purchase,” or words related to your industry