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When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO) marketers have to pay attention to multiple moving pieces to score a good position in the search engine results pages. There’s the quality of your content, how fast your web page loads, the structure of your websites, and the overall user experience that can make or break your SEO strategy. One factor that is often overlooked is the meta tags.
And, understandably so. In the past, marketers abused meta tags by stuffing them with keywords, so Google took a stance and altered the way it managed and reviewed them.
However, ignoring meta tags completely is a mistake that can affect your ranking.
So, let’s take a look at what meta tags are, their impact on SEO, and how to optimise them for the Google search result page.
Meta tags are snippets of code that give search engines important information about your web page, such as what your content is about or how it should be displayed on the results page.
Unlike the tags available on a blog post or video, the meta data is only visible to search engines or the people who know how to look for the inside the HTML code.
Meta tags don’t have a direct influence on your ranking, but they can affect user experience, which ultimately can translate into a better position in the search engine results page.
As we explained earlier, meta tags offer search engines more details about your page than a simple search term or your page’s content. That way, Google can ensure that the users who land on your web page will have a satisfactory experience and actually find an answer to their query. And, as we all know, Google places a great value on user experience.
More than that, you can also optimise your meta data in a way that will make your website more noticeable to the search engines.
The main types of metadata are: meta title tags, meta descriptions, and meta robots. Let’s talk about each and understand their role and how you can make the most out of them to advance your SEO strategy.
The title tag is one of the most important SEO elements of a web page. It’s the page title that Google shows in its search results and it can have an enormous impact on your click-through rates. Title tags are essential in telling users what your page is about and if your content can offer an answer to their query.
How to Optimise Title Tags
The meta description tag offers a brief summary of your page’s content. It appears below the title tag and it’s an essential SEO element of a web page. Although the meta name description content won’t affect your ranking, it serves like a pitch that can help you convince prospects to click on your link. A good meta description can boost your click-through rate if you manage to persuade users that your page is exactly what they are looking for.
How to Optimise Meta Descriptions
The robots meta tag tells the search engines how they should crawl your web page. By reading the meta name robots content, search engines know what commands to take. Here are some examples:
index or noindex: Tell the search engines if your web page should be shown in search results or no;
follow/nofollow: Tells the search engines if they should follow or no the links on your page;
noarchived: Tells the search engines not to show a cached link to a page in search results;
notranslate: Tells the search engines not to provide a translation of a web page in search results.
How to Optimise Meta Robots Tags
Only use meta robot tags when you want to restrict the way Google crawls your web pages. Using the wrong attributes can have a negative effect on your website’s presence in search results. For example, labelling an important page as noindex by mistake can affect your organic traffic, click-through rate, and ultimately your conversions;
Write the attributes in lowercase as it can improve the readability of your code.
On their own, meta tags won’t do much to advance your SEO strategy, but when you combine them with other practices, you can start seeing impressive results.
Not only will meta tags help you improve user experience, but it can also make your site more visible to search engines and boost your click through rate.
If most of the things in this article sound foreign to you, that’s ok. SEO is a language that not too many people speak. But, we here at Australian Internet Advertising are proficient in all things search engine optimisation.
Contact us today and have a chat with one of our Search Engine Optimization experts about your SEO needs and expectations and see what we can do for you.