The Meta tag is one of the most overlooked HTML tag. Just because the tags are not visible to the web visitor doesn’t mean that it’s not important. The Meta tag can still come in handy for SEO purposes.
What is a META tag?
A META tag is used to include information about a web page. Such information is not displayed on the web browser, and can only be visible if you attempt to view the source code of the page. To view the source code, right click in your browser and select “View Source”. Your default notepad will launch, revealing the HTML code of the page.
The META tags are located somewhere near the top of the source code, so you shouldn’t have much problem locating the tags. They are usually placed right below the title tags, and above the BODY tag.
What are the META tags that matter in SEO?
There are three META tags that you should be familiar with.
1) The keywords tag.
In this tag, you include all the keywords that you think are relevant to your web page. Try to use keywords that appear many times in your article body. Doing that will help boost search rankings. The keywords are never displayed in the web page, and in the search results. But they will help the search bots to determine the overall theme of your web page.
2) The description tag.
You can use a brief description to describe your web page. The description doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just a couple of sentences will do just fine. For example, if you web page is about SEO, you can use a description that says, “Information about Search Engine Optimization. Five important tips.”
The description tag may be displayed in the search results, but web visitors will not be able to see the texts on your web page. It is used to help to visitor decide quickly whether your web page has the information that the visitor is looking for. So don’t just include the first two sentences of the article body. Your description should ideally sum up the content on that particular web page.
3) The Robots tag.
The robots tag is a tag that you use to communicate with the search bots. Sometimes, you may not want a web page to be indexed (e.g. a member’s only page or a product download page). In this case, you use the “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW” command. Noindex tells the search bots not to include the web page in the search index. Nofollow tells the bots not to follow any links on the web page. This prevents download links from being crawled and indexed.
Finally, be sure to use unique META tags for your keywords and description tags. Every web page is unique, so they should have their own unique tags.