Meta tags are part of your website code and although their content is rarely seen by users many of them are vitally important to search engines. Will cover the key ones here.
As crucial as title tags are description meta tags. You might have heard different but I'll explain all as we go!
They are invisible to visitors on the actual site but can be found in the code looking like this:
Every page should have a unique meta description which contains one or two of the keywords you want the page to rank for and is an accurate and attractive summary of the page's contents in one or two sentences. The one for this page is:
To check if your pages are using this tag:
Strangely even some of the most popular platforms like Wordpress don't come with meta description abilities. For Wordpress you'll need a plugin like Yoast so you can add yours.
Most search engines ignore the description meta tag's content in SEO terms as it has been abused by spammers from the moment the internet went public! However they are often shown in the search results below the blue text and it can make the difference on whether a visitor clicks through to you ... or not.
So in our flower shop example if the meta description was "Live in Happy Town and need fresh flowers? Call us or visit our shop to see our great selection of daily deliveries." then in the search results their entry might look like this:
My general rule of thumb is that your meta description should be the first one or two sentences of your text content because:
The keywords meta tag is no longer used by search engines in any form so ignore it. In fact you should go out of your way to remove it from your code if it is there because it simply tells competitors what you are trying to rank for.
To check if there is a keyword tag on any given page of your website:
If you find a line of code that looks like this:
find out how to get rid of it!
I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.
If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.