meta tags Meta Tags for your Website & How to Use Them how to use meta tags 862x462

Meta Tags for your Website & How to Use Them

Glenn Blog Leave a Comment

Meta tags are ways of tagging your site to provide the Search Engines with crucial information about its content and reason for being. With the advent of more sophisticated search engine algorithms, these have become less prominent, but meta tags are still important, and it’s always good SEO practice to use them.

Important Website Meta

Always place website meta tags between the opening and closing page <head></head> and in all cases try and avoid ‘Stop Words‘ that are considered by Search Engines as delivering irrelevant and unwanted information.

Title Meta

<title>What the page does | With relevant keywords | Business name Location</title>

The title is the first (usually click-able) phrase you see as a search result. Keep it clear, concise and page/site relevant. Ignore tags like ‘home’ on the home page and put your business name later in the phrase as its less important than the content key message and your primary/focus keyword. Google typically displays the first 50–70 characters so aim to keep it under 70 characters.

Description Meta

<meta name="description" content="descriptive text">

A description of your website, key products/services, key message & location. This should be human-readable and contain your focus keyword(s) where appropriate. At the latter end of 2017 Google expanded the character length of meta descriptions to 320 characters. You’ll notice a change in the SERP’s, where instead of there being 2 lines of a meta description, there can be 4-6 lines of meta description length. However, just because you now have that much bandwidth doesn’t mean you must use it; the best descriptions are still concise with a defined offering and a clear call to action. Remember that the description, like the title, will be read by a real human being too – so write the content on that basis and aim for around 160 characters.

Keywords Meta

<meta name="keywords" content="words, phrases, 2+ word combinations">

The keywords are the most important words, phrases and 2+ word combinations that are related to the page/site. For the homepage, we would recommend you use keyword combinations that are targeted to your primary product/service and also use location geo-targeting. For example, Slick Media would sparingly use high-competition keywords like ‘web design’, but by localising with a phrase like ‘web design in milton keynes’ (Milton Keynes is our primary catchment area) you are increasing your chance of being found with a geo-located term with less competition. Whilst there is no official limit, we recommend no more than 10 keyword phrases / 160 characters.

Keywords are no longer important / should I use Keywords?

There have been official announcements from Google dating back to 2009 that keywords are not used in web rankings:-

Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web rankingMatt Cutts

In October of that same year, 2009, at SMX East, Yahoo! announced they also no longer rank the meta keywords tag and on this basis, leading SEO providers like Yoast #1 WordPress SEO Plugin to call keywords ‘useless’ (but they still allow you to turn keywords back on).

Sorry Yoast, but we disagree – Yes, you should still actively use Keywords!

Our own experience, on seeing big drops in keyword lacking pages & big increases on carefully selected keywords, has taught us a valuable lesson, and that is, you should still actively use keywords. A ‘focus keyword’ remains the primary determinant of your page, and content of the page should reflect that primary keyword term, but that excludes other related keywords that you may also wish to be found for. Target your keywords carefully to the content, but 5 keywords (a good limit for affordable Google Ad Blocks) are definitely better than none.

Other less important & less Utilised Meta tags

You can use these Meta tags, but it’s not going to affect your ranking.

<meta name="copyright" content="text">
<meta name="googlebot" content="noodp">
<meta name="language" content="English">
<meta name="reply-to" content="email address"> 
<meta name="web_author" content="text">  
<meta http-equiv="name" content="value">

Best Plugins on WordPress for Website Meta & SEO

We recommend Yoast SEO (keywords turned back on) or Premium SEO Pack WordPress Plugins.

Search Engine Stop Words – Words to Avoid in Meta

A Search Engine crawler/spider visits your site for initial submissions and then updates; when they detect stop words, your website might get restricted or ignored by the search engine. Typically these stop words are filtered out from the search results because they are insignificant, but to avoid initial mistakes and subsequent re-submission requests directly aim to avoid them.

Different search engines have their own stop words, but the following are universally accepted Stop Words.

a
able
about
above
abroad
abst
accordance
according
accordingly
across
act
actually
ad
added
adj
ae
af
affected
affecting
affects
after
afterwards
ag
again
against
ago
ah
ahead
ai
ain’t
ain’t
al
all
allow
allows
almost
alone
along
alongside
already
also
although
always
am
amid
amidst
among
amongst
amoungst
amount
an
and
announce
another
any
anybody
anyhow
anymore
anyone
anything
anyway
anyways
anywhere
ao
apart
apparently
appear
appreciate
appropriate
approximately
aq
ar
are
aren
aren’t
arent
aren’t
arise
around
arpa
as
a’s
aside
ask
asking
associated
at
au
auth
available
aw
away
awfully
az
ba
back
backward
backwards
bb
bd
be
became
because
become
becomes
becoming
been
before
beforehand
begin
beginning
beginnings
begins
behind
being
believe
below
beside
besides
best
better
between
beyond
bf
bg
bh
bi
bill
billion
biol
bj
bm
bn
bo
both
bottom
br
brief
briefly
bs
bt
but
buy
bv
bw
by
bz
c’mon
ca
call
came
can
can’t
cannot
cant
can’t
caption
cause
causes
cc
cd
certain
certainly
cf
cg
ch
changes
ci
ck
cl
clearly
click
cm
c’mon
cn
co
co.
com
come
comes
computer
con
concerning
consequently
consider
considering
contain
containing
contains
copy
corresponding
could
couldn
couldn’t
couldnt
couldn’t
course
cr
cry
cs
c’s
cu
currently
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cx
cy
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dare
daren’t
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date
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definitely
describe
described
despite
detail
did
didn
didn’t
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directly
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during
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each
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Let us know if we’cve missed any key ones and please do join the conversation (below) to ask questions and/or help others.

About the Author
meta tags Meta Tags for your Website &#038; How to Use Them 0da77002febbfe28d15144a57bbcc2c9 s 180 d mm r g

Glenn

A highly experienced Web Designer / Web Developer (Webflow, WordPress, Weebly & Custom), Front-end / Back-end Developer & New Media Specialist, with extensive knowledge of a wide spectrum of technologies in the Development and Creative Industries, built up over a number of years.