What Are Meta Tags and Why Are They Important for SEO?

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Nov 21, 2022  . 7 min read
Importance of meta tags in SEO - TypeStack
Importance of meta tags in SEO - TypeStack

SEO is constantly evolving, and one thing is for sure that it is one of the most aspects of content creation and marketing strategies. Considering the dynamic nature of the algorithms and ranking tips, there is a constant need to update strategies to capture or maintain a high rank.

Apart from just the keyword strategy, there are a few other things that fall under basic SEO practices. Among these, meta tags are the foremost. The importance of meta tags in SEO since they impact the way a website appears. It has the potential of attracting people since it is visible to both visitors as well as search engines.

We’ll talk all about the importance as well as how to use meta tags for SEO. Let’s dig in!

What Are Meta Tags for SEO?

Meta tags are like a short summary of what your page is about and what your visitors should expect. The importance of meta tags for SEO is high since it gives a preview of the page’s content to both search engines as well as potential readers.

If you didn’t know this yet, meta is short for metadata, since it provides the initial data about your website to search engines and visitors. However, these data are visible on the SERP as the title and excerpts and not on the page itself.

Now, let’s take a look at a few different types of meta tags that you should optimize for your website for the best SEO results.

Title tag: The title tag is the H1 of the page that searchers see as the topic of your page. It is ideally the SEO blog title, web page topic, company name (for service or other web pages), etc.

Meta description: The meta description is a short excerpt of what’s covered on the page. It could be a description of your page, a summary of your blog, etc.

Viewport tag: Viewport is of great importance in SEO and dictates how the content appears on mobile devices, which is the go-to search device for everyone around the world.

Hreflang tags: This lets the search engines identify the language and the country that your target your content for. This is important in case you are targeting an international audience.

Now, after having mentioned the topmost importance of meta tags, let’s move on to discussing why are each of them important. And yes, we’ll discuss more number of tags that we have mentioned above.

Title Tag

A meta title tag is an HTML element of a website that conveys to people and search engines alike about the content on the page. Since they give readers the first impression of your website content in SERP, title tags are important for optimization.

The importance of meta tags in SEO is high since it influences the CTR (click-through rate) of the website, especially the meta title. Users will click on your website in the SERP if you create an appealing title.

Make sure the meta title or tag is added to the website's header when at the time of posting it. A title tag should, on average, be between 55 and 60 characters long or 680 pixels wide, as per the SERP.

Meta Description

A meta description is a brief explanation of the website content provided by the HTML element. It allows the users to understand the content of the website. The users can then relate to how the content solves the problem they are looking for. Moreover, it affects the website's CTR too, just like the meta title.

You must implement a meta description tag in the website's header. However, a meta description should not exceed 155 to 165 characters or 920 pixels in length. Include your targeted keywords when writing meta descriptions to boost your chances of ranking in SERP.

Viewport Tag

You can specify how a page and its content will be resized and displayed on any device using the viewport meta element. It requires a slight technical knowledge, but once you get things right, it’s easy. Here, "initial scale=1" will create a 1:1 ratio between CSS pixels and device-independent pixels while taking into account screen orientation, and "width=device-width" will make the page equal to the width of the screen as per the device the page is being viewed on.

The Viewport meta tag can be used to target the user experience more than rankings. Given the wide range of devices in use today and the obvious move to mobile browsing, it is an important element. Moreover, it enhances the importance of meta tags in SEO, just like with many of the other tags and adjustments we have covered in this post.

Hreflang Tags

Hreflang HTML tag is used to identify the language and location of a website’s pages. The hreflang tag is used to inform search engines about translations of the same page that exist in several languages, depending on your target location. This allows Google to provide the appropriate options to the searchers.

You can create a hreflang tag by simply finding the code for the language you want to use and adding it to the tag. Any two-letter ISO 639-1 language code is supported by hreflang.

Robots Tag

Robots meta inform the search engines whether to index or not index. This is done with a short code attribute on the page level. This means any links on that page should not be followed, according to the no-follow attribute.

Although these tags don't directly affect rankings, they can have an effect on how your website appears to search engines as a whole.

Google, for instance, detests flimsy content. Even though it may not have been your objective, your website may contain certain pages that offer minimal value to its visitors but are necessary for the website to function. Additionally, you can have draught or placeholder pages that you need to publish even though they are not yet complete or properly optimized. This again proves the importance of meta tags in SEO.

Image Alt Tag

Image alt property is added to the image tag. Alt attributes are significant for on-page optimization for two reasons, which are,

Visitors get an alternative text message if a specific image cannot be loaded (or if the images are disabled).

Search engines cannot see images, so alt attributes help provide the necessary attributes.

Images have a significant role in how a visitor interacts with a page on e-commerce websites. A page can be served for appropriate search queries if search engines can grasp the context of the images and how they fit with the rest of the content, according to Google.

Why Are Meta Tags Important for SEO?

As mentioned before, meta tags are extremely important for SEO. They don’t show up on the regular webpage but are for Google bots to crawl and find relevancy between the searcher’s intent and the information you provide.

However, two of the meta tags do show up on the search results as excerpts and act as the first visual that searchers have with respect to what the website contains. These are:

Title tag

Description tag

Meta tags can be the first impression that someone has of your website on a SERP, especially the two we talk about here. A good meta description attracts users to click the link and visit your website. The tags ensure that search engines know what the content on your website are about. This allows them to show show your content on the results page to generate you more clicks.

On an Ending Note

The importance of meta tags in SEO is immense, though widely under-utilized among new websites and start-ups. However, in order to ensure maximum traffic generation and brand reach, it is important to optimize the meta tags too.

This post is targeted at the importance of meta tags. We have also given a brief on how to use meta tags for SEO. However, if you are looking for a detailed approach to the best SEO practices with meta tags, keep following this space. We’ll be back with content that will help your visitors find you easier.