- Last Updated: Feb 19, 2024
- 9 min. read
Macy StormSenior Content Creator
- Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
Meta tags are snippets of code that provide information about a webpage to search engines, helping them understand and rank the content, making them a crucial element for optimizing websites.
If you want to get the best results out of your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, you must learn how to use meta tags for SEO. Meta tags play an essential role in helping search engines index your site.
What are meta tags?
In SEO, meta tags are defined as elements that make it easier for search engines to determine your content. These tags provide data about your page to search engines and visitors.
If you want to use meta tags effectively, you must optimize them to help search engines index your pages better. On this page, we’ll provide you with three ways your meta tags impact SEO and five of the best meta tags you can optimize for your website’s SEO performance. If you need help optimizing your meta tags, call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about creating an SEO campaign that drives results for your business.
Looking for an all-in-one SEO audit tool? You’ve found it.
SEO Checker provides data on key metrics to give you:
- Complete SEO score
- Content Grade
- Site Speed Analysis
- and more.
3 ways meta tags impact SEO
Meta tags play an essential role in your SEO campaign.
Let’s take a look at three ways meta tags help with your sites indexability and overall performance.
1. They affect how Google indexes your site
Your meta tags play a crucial role in helping Google index your site. If you want your website to appear in relevant search results, Google needs to index your pages. Your meta tags will help Google understand the context of your page, so it can rank you in the right search results.
Google crawls your site to understand the context of your page. Your meta tags provide insight for your audience because they describe your page. For example, the title of your page is a meta tag.
When people browse the search results, they will see your title first. Many people will judge your page based on the title and determine if it’s relevant to their query. Google will turn to your title to determine the relevancy of your page concerning a user’s search query.
It will assess relevancy based on your phrases and any keywords you use in it. Your title is one meta tag Google uses to help your page appear in relevant results. If you want to appear in the right search results before leads interested in your business, you must optimize your meta tags properly.
This process will assist your company in reaching leads interested in your products or services.
2. It helps you rank for keywords
Meta tags help you rank for keywords relevant to your site, and keyword selection is a crucial part of SEO. Your meta tags can help your website rank for relevant keywords and appear higher in search results than other leads. Users utilize keywords to help them find relevant websites for their search queries.
If you choose the right keywords, you’ll help rank your website in the right search results. When you integrate these keywords into your meta tags, you help Google understand the context of your site and index your pages correctly. You will appear in more relevant search results for keywords your audience is searching for.
Even if it doesn’t directly impact how search engines rank your page, it will affect how people interact with your content. Having well-optimized meta tags compels people to click on your website links and check out your content. It increases engagement on your page, which will improve your site’s ranking in the search results.
3. Meta tags influence the user experience on your site
Meta tags help you provide your audience with the best experience on your website. These tags help organize your page and provide your audience with information about your page. When you use meta tags, you provide more descriptive details for your audience.
They will judge if your page suits their needs. Also, meta tags make it easier for your audience to read content from your page. For example, you can use meta tags to break up the text on your page.
They help add organization to your page, which makes it easier for your audience to read the page and understand the information. If your audience spends more time reading your content, it will boost your SEO ranking in the search results because of the high engagement. By using meta tags and SEO, you’ll help your content appear in front of more relevant leads and drive better traffic to your site.
5 best meta tags for SEO (and how to optimize them)
Meta tags are an excellent way for your business to improve your site’s performance in the search results.
Let’s look at five of the best meta tags for SEO that you’ll want to focus on to help your business appear in the right search results.
1. Title tag
As we mentioned previously, your title tag is the first thing your audience sees in the search results. They will judge your content based on your title tag. If you want to reach more leads interested in your business, you must optimize this meta tag.
Your title is a preview of your content.
You want to ensure that it’s an informative title tag so your audience can get a better feel for your page. A reasonable title tag will entice users to click on your listing and engage with your content. When you create your title tag, ensure that it’s clear and descriptive. Since it’s a preview of your page, you want to ensure you tell your audience exactly what to expect when they click on your site.
You’ll also want to ensure that you integrate your most important keyword into your title to help your website rank in relevant results. A clear meta tag will go a long way for your business. This precise description will ensure that you have a great title tag that gets people to click on your listing.
2. Meta description
The second most important of the meta tags for search engines is the meta description. Your meta description is the snippet that displays below your title tag in the search results. It’s a small blurb that tells your audience about your content.
Similar to your title tag, your meta description provides your audience with a preview of your page.
This area is another place where you’ll want to be clear, descriptive, and utilize your keyword. This meta tag is one of the most crucial SEO meta tags for getting leads to click on your listing. Your meta description will also help search engines understand the context of your page and rank you in the relevant search results.
3. Canonical tag
When you’re looking at meta tags and SEO, it’s essential to optimize for the canonical tag. This meta tag is crucial for ensuring that you don’t create duplicate content. Canonical tags emphasize the right URL and guide crawlers to the URL that is the main one.
People use this tag when they have two almost identical pages of content. Canonical tags allow search engines and users to know the page that is the most critical. This tag is crucial for ensuring that Google doesn’t penalize your site for having identical content.
Duplicate content is typically a negative SEO indicator. When search engines see multiple pages of content cover the same ideas, these search engines will believe you’re trying to produce content to try and boost your rankings unethically. With the canonical tag, you’re guiding your audience to the right page.
This tag is especially helpful if you’ve created a new page for your site and don’t want users to go to the old page. By using the canonical tag, you’ll ensure that leads find the right page, and you don’t have your ranking penalized by Google.
4. Alt text
Alt text is one of the lesser-known meta tags for search engines. Alt-text is an image optimization meta tag. This tag allows you to add a description of your photo that’s read if the image doesn’t display or if people are using screen readers.
When you use alt text, you make images accessible to people and search engines. Google can’t read pictures and won’t know what they are, which is what makes alt text extremely important. The alt text helps Google understand the context of the image to properly rank your page and your image.
You’ll want to create clear and concise descriptions that are easy for those with accessibility needs to understand. Don’t muddle your description with keywords in hopes of ranking better for those keywords. You can integrate a keyword or two into your alt text, but only if it fits and flows naturally with the text.
Don’t force yourself to incorporate keywords.
5. Header tag
When you create content for your page, you’ll often break it up into sections with header tags. These header tags help structure your page and make your content more digestible for your audience. They’re also crucial to SEO because they help the search engine understand your content better.
Header tags allow search engines and people to go through your content smoothly. These headings provide your content with structure and create a flow for reading your page.
Headings provide your audience with a better experience on your site. If they can easily read and digest your content, they’re more likely to remain on your page longer. This behavior will boost your SEO ranking and allow you to reach more interested leads.
When you use header tags on your page, don’t overuse them. Each header should serve a purpose to help make your page more organized. They are meant to introduce main points in different sections on your page, so use them only when necessary.
By optimizing SEO meta tags like headers, you will create a more useful page that ranks better in the search results.
Start optimizing your meta tags for SEO today
Meta tags, when properly optimized, will help your SEO campaign reach new heights. Your pages will be better optimized, which will allow you to rank higher in the search results and reach new leads for your business. At WebFX, we have over 25 years of experience working with SEO.
Our team of over 500 experts will help you optimize your meta tags to drive valuable SEO results for your business. If you’re ready to start creating more effective meta tags, contact us online to speak with a strategist about our custom SEO plans.
Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
WebFX is a full-service marketing agency with 1000+ client reviews and a 4.9-star rating on Clutch! Find out how our expert team and revenue-accelerating tech can drive results for you! Learn more
How Is Your Website’s SEO?
Use our free tool to get your score calculated in under 60 seconds.