SEO Beginners Guide Part 3: What Are Meta Tags?

So, now that you know what SEO is, and you have a better understanding of how to use keywords, it is time to turn your attention to meta tags. What are meta tags? Meta tags are sections of HTML code that tell the search engines what your site is really about. In reality, there are lots of different types of meta tags, but the three that should most concern you right now are the title, description and keyword tags. Here’s what you need to know.

Meta Title Tag

The title tag informs the search engine what the title of a given page is, and this is what is displayed at the top of a search entry result, (see below). Where possible, it is always a good idea to try and include one or two of your main keyword targets in your meta title tag. Try to stick to around 60 characters or less with your title tag because this is about all that Google and other search engines display before they edit the length of your titles.

Meta tag description


Meta Description Tag

The meta description tag should be a unique description of the content on a given page. On a search engine results page, the meta description can be found directly underneath your meta title, (see above). This is another good place to target those specific keywords and phrases that you are targeting with your site. In the meta description field you have about 160 characters to tempt your searchers into clicking on your site link, so don’t waste any space here with irrelevant information. Be clear, concise, persuasive, and don’t forget those all-important keywords.

Meta Keyword Tags

Including meta keyword tags are a final way to try and increase the relevance of a webpage to search engines. Meta keywords are words and phrases that you should include that are associated with the content on a given page. Adding these helps give search engines a better overall picture of what your page is about. However, it’s important not to abuse this section of your site. A good rule of thumb is not to include more than 10-15 words, and you must ensure that they are directly relevant to the topic in hand. Breaking either of these rules will quickly see your site sandboxed as spam.

Automating Meta Tags

By now, you are probably wondering about how you are going to code all these tags without the aid of an HTML crash course. Well, the good news is, you don’t have to. Many modern blogging platforms like Hubspot will do the hard work for you if you write the relevant content for each field. Plugins like the All in One SEO pack for WordPress are another easy way to add these meta tags to your website.

Let’s Play Tag!

So, what are meta tags? Basically they are another piece of the SEO puzzle that you need to complete in order to optimize your website for the web. The final piece of this puzzle is creating content, so make sure you stick around for the final part of our SEO Beginner’s Guide. It’s coming soon!