23.What are Meta Tags ?

Meta tags words and descriptors in your website code are meant for search engine spiders or robots to understand your page better so that they can index the pages properly and present the pages on relevant search results. Meta Tags were a very important part of the SEO process but now their importance has been depleting in the wake of the many changes which have taken place in the manner in which SEO results are calculated by search engines, especially Google. The users/visitors will not be able to see the meta tags unless someone wants to (a simple view source will show the page codes to anyone). Meta Tags are also used to retrieve indexed web pages by search engines. Over the years misuse and abuse of meta tags has led to search engines ignoring these in many cases to ensure search results relevancy by adopting newer ways but as a basic hygiene, Meta Tags are a must on the website pages. It’s an important aspect of on-page search engine optimization.

Meta Tags come in different types but the most common are Meta Title, Meta Keywords and Meta Description.

The keyword and description meta tags that are included in the html of website pages, provide information to search engines spiders (also known as search-bots or robots) to help them index and then decide (based on the search engine algorithm) how and when to present the pages on search results. Meta tags are one of the factors among many, which search engines use for evaluating website pages for ranking on search results pages. Before the website is submitted to  search engines, it is essential that you make each page search engine friendly with the use of correct Meta Tags.

The easiest way to do this is to think what words you would search in a search engine, when looking for your products/services/information provided on your site. In addition, it would be a good idea to ask friends and family and research other websites with similar content. Google’s keyword tool is also a good tool to look for highly searched keywords and keyword phrases relevant to your website content. Create a comprehensive list of keyword phrases and shortlist the most relevant ones with high search volumes for your website's page Meta's.

If your business is geographically bound, then your key phrases should be able to reflect this for better local search result rankings. For example, if you are a consultancy firm in New Delhi, India, then you must include this in your keyword phrases. By just putting "consultants" as Meta Keyword you will not get targeted traffic from your geographic zone. Once ready with the keywords phrases list you should choose at least 3 main keyphrases which match your offerings and the content of your website. Make sure you include these keyphrases in your Meta description, Meta title and body text.

Now let's look at a few more tips to ensure better on-page search engine optimisation.

Keep your Meta Title no more than 6 to 10 words long with a maximum limit of 63 characters.

Keep your keywords meta-tag length to less than 256 characters.

Your Meta description should be no more than 200 characters long. Ideally 150 characters.

AND MOST IMPORTANT - each page of your website should have different meta tags. Duplication may be a lot less work but can lead to problems with search engines never ranking your web pages or penalizing the website.

There's much more to SEO than meta tags, but each step has to be strategically planned an implemented. We believe in doing things right every time. You may want to read more about our SEO strategy and implementation services and SEO consultancy services.