The title tag is what's displayed on search engines results pages (SERPs) as the title of your web page. Every page on your website should have a unique title. The title is not to be confused with the H1 tag that exists within the body of the page and can serve as a title for the on-page content. Title tags should be around 50-60 characters to avoid being truncated on search engines.
You can add the title to a webpage by finding the
<title> tag within the source code and entering the words. When you're finished adding your title tag, it should look something like this:
<title> Title goes here
Title tags are important because they help search engines determine what a web page is about, ultimately helping them decide whether or not to rank your page for a particular query. Title tags also appear in browser tabs to help you navigate your browser.
Effective title tags should use your target keywords to help search engines rank the page. However, they must also entice users to click to read your articles or web pages. High-priority keywords should appear as close to the beginning of the title as possible since you don't have a lot of space to work with. Additionally, every page should have a unique title to avoid confusing search engines and their users.
A meta description is the short text summary that appears on SERPs below the title. Your pages should all have unique and accurate descriptions of the content on them. A meta description should be between 150 and 160 characters to avoid being truncated in search results. Unfortunately, you can't always have a say in what your meta description is. Even if you write them yourself, search engines may still decide you provided information that wasn't relevant and choose to rewrite your meta descriptions or display the wrong content from the page.
To add the meta description tag to your website page, locate the
<meta name=" description" content= "Content goes here." > section of the HTML code.
A meta description is an important piece of information for search engines and users. Using an effective meta description can promote more clicks to your website by setting clear expectations for what users can expect to find.
Including target keywords in your meta description can help people discover your content more easily while telling search engines what the page is about. You can also explain the purpose of the page and what customers will find once they click. You can also perform A/B testing on your meta descriptions to see which versions get more clicks, help you rank higher, and ultimately bring in more website traffic. Learn how to write an effective description by checking out these meta description examples.
The meta robots tag tells search engines how to crawl your website, letting them know which pages you want to rank and which you don't. There are many purposes for these tags, so you must use them correctly if you want to rank certain pages and ignore others.
Robots tags tell search engines whether or not to index or follow a page by labeling them as INDEX and FOLLOW or NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW. When you label a page as INDEX, you tell search engines you want it to show up in SERPs. Meanwhile, when you tell them to FOLLOW a page, it means you want to pass PageRank to a specific page. A NOFOLLOW tag is not followed, so it can't transfer page rank to any other type of webpage. These pages can still appear in Google's index if another site links to them without using the NOFOLLOW tag. Other search engines may have different rules for these robot tags.
Robot tags can look something like this:
<meta name= “robots” content=noindex, nofollow”>
<meta name= “robots” content=noindex, follow”>
<meta name= “robots” content=index, nofollow”>
Ultimately, which tags you use will depend on your goals for a specific page. The first line in our example tells search engines to ignore the page and links within the page, making it ultimately useless for referral traffic. The second example tells search engines to ignore the page but follow all the hyperlinks on that page, and the third example tells search engines to index the page but not to follow the hyperlinks on the page that may go to other pages.
Each of your pages should have a meta robots tag, but only one tag per page. You would not use all three of your options on the same page.
Open graph tag
Open graph tags are used for sharing messages on social media platforms like Facebook. If you want to pass information from a blog like the featured image and a snippet, you will use the open graph tag. These tags effectively tell social media platforms the type of information you want to display when you share a link from your website.
You've likely already seen some open graph tags in action. Any time you share a link from a website on social media, it automatically generates a preview. This preview is created through the open graph tag. There are many open graph tags you can choose from, but they will appear in the head HTML as
Your options for what you can put in an open graph include:
The title defines the webpage and its subject matter. You can make your open graph title the same as your meta title or change it depending on your social media audience. Meanwhile, the description acts similarly to a meta description, while the type defines the type of content. For example, the type could refer to a song, pdf, or image.
Additionally, the open graph image tag tells social media platforms which image you want to pull in from the web page to serve as the post's image, and the URL defines the URL of the page you're sharing. If you want to display the name of your website, you can do so using the site name tag, but it's not usually an important property for social media users.
The meta keyword tag is used to describe the keywords you want to rank for. However, most search engines ignore this tag, so it's becoming obsolete every year. In fact, if you abuse the meta keyword tag, you could get a penalty, preventing you from ranking for your target keywords. When used correctly, this tag could inform search engines what your content is about by highlighting important keywords found on your page. Unfortunately, Google does not use the meta keyword tag, but other search engines might, so it's worth considering if you want to improve your SEO using search engines other than Google.
At the very least, using the meta keyword tag can help you keep track of which keywords you're targeting on different website pages. The tag looks something like this:
<meta name+" keywords" content=" keywords go here"/>
Since the top search engines no longer use the meta keyword tag as a ranking factor, there's no need to waste your time or add more code that can slow down your website. Instead, you can skip this one and focus on meta tags that can help improve rankings and user experience.
There are many other types of meta tags that can be used in the head or body of a website, including:
- Canonical tag: The canonical tag is used to indicate if there is an original version of a webpage to tell search engines that one version is the main page and the others shouldn't be indexed. This can prevent you from competing with yourself for rankings and prevent duplicate content from becoming a problem.
- Alternative text tag: The alt-text tag helps search engines read images through text since they can't tell what an image looks like. When writing alt-text, always use relevant descriptions without keyword stuffing. Alt-text is also important for screen readers to improve website accessibility, so it must make sense to people.
- Header tags: Header tags are used to change font sizes and structure your content. These tags range from H1 (the largest) to H6 (the smallest) and can help readers scan content.
- Language tags: The language meta tag tells search engines what language the content is in and identifies the country to improve search results based on language and location.
- Author tags: Author tags show the author of the content, which can help satisfy Google's Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT) requirement for ranking content.
- Publication date: Publication date can be used on blogs to help users understand how relevant and recent the information is. Learn more about metadata for blog posts.
- Style: The style tag contains CSS code to define how the HTML elements should appear on browsers.