How to Use Meta Tags for Successful On Page SEO

Meta Tags although very important, are just the first step of Search Engine Optimization. SEO is more than just Meta Tags.

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SEO Basics-Meta Tags
SEO Basics-Meta Tags

It's pretty obvious that everyone who blogs would love to receive more visitors, therefore they want to improve SEO of their sites.

Meta Tags although very important, are just the first step of Search Engine Optimization. SEO is more than just Meta Tags.

Meta elements are typically used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified, and other metadata.

Here are the common and most used meta-tags-important meta tags for SEO (search engine optimization):

1.Titles - Blog Title, Page Titles

Title tags are short descriptions about our blog/website. These are the first factors which search engines and visitors look into.

SEO title examples:
<title>The Title of the Page</title>

While technically not a meta tag, this tag is often used together with the "description".

Read more at Page titles and SEO

2.Description Meta Tags

SEO Meta Description or Meta Descriptions provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages, that are commonly used by search engines on search result pages to display preview snippets for a given page.

Example: Define a description of your web page:

<meta name="description" content="It's pretty obvious that every one who blogs would love to receive more visitors.">

Read more: Create description meta tag for SEO

3. Keywords Meta Tag

What is a meta keyword?

Meta keywords should not be ignored, though they are not a major ranking factor for most of the search engines nowadays

<meta name="keywords" content="HTML, CSS, XML, XHTML, JavaScript">
Read also:
Meta Keywords Best Practices
How to Research Keywords for SEO and Best SEO Keyword Research Tool

Other Meta Tags
There are many other meta tags, but none are really considered useful nowadays.

4.Robots Meta Tag

The robots tag is still one of the most important tags.
 These meta tags can control the behavior of search engine crawling and indexing.

The default values are "index, follow" and do not need to be specified.

Google and most of other search engines understand the following values:

noindex: prevents the page from being indexed
nofollow: prevents the Googlebot from following links from this page
nosnippet: prevents a snippet from being shown in the search results
noarchive: prevents Google from showing the Cached link for a page.
unavailable_after:[date]: lets you specify the exact time and date you want to stop crawling and indexing of this page.
noimageindex: lets you specify that you do not want your page to appear as the referring page for an image that appears in Google search results.
noodp: prevents the alternative description from the ODP/DMOZ from being used,, example:
<meta name="robots" content="noodp" >
<meta name="googlebot" content="noodp" >
<meta name="Slurp" content="noodp" >
<meta name="bingbot" content="noodp" >
<meta name="robots" content="noydir" >
<meta name="Slurp" content="noydir" >

You can now also specify this information in the header of your pages using the "X-Robots-Tag" HTTP header directive.

Here are some implementations of the Robots Meta Tag:


5.The Charset Tag

This defines the page's content type and character set.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="...; charset=..." />
<meta charset="..." >

Google and other search engines recommend using Unicode/UTF-8 where possible.

6.The Meta Refresh Tag

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="...;url=..." />

This meta tag sends the user to a new URL after a certain amount of time and is sometimes used as a simple form of redirection. It is not recommended to use this form of redirection.Search Engines recommend using a server-side 301 redirect instead.
You can use this meta tag also to refresh the page of your website after a certain period of time, for example:

Refresh document every 30 seconds:
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">

7.The Author Meta Tag

Define the author of a page:
<meta name="author" content="Name Surname">

8.Verification Meta Tags

You can use this tag on the top-level page of your site to verify ownership of your site, for various tools and apps such Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, to claim a site at Alexa, etc.

Example Verification Meta Tag:

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="..." />

9.Yahoo's nocontent

Yahoo! also introduced in May 2007 the attribute value: class="robots-nocontent". This is not a meta tag, but an attribute and value, which can be used throughout Web page tags where needed. The content of the page where this attribute is being used will be ignored by the Yahoo! crawler and not included in the search engine's index.


<div class="robots-nocontent">excluded content</div>
 <span class="robots-nocontent">excluded content</span>
 <p class="robots-nocontent">excluded content</p>

These are some of the most important and most used meta tags on the web.

photo credit: Seo via photopin (license)

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About the Author

Written by , an SEO Analyst and Consultant and Keyword Researcher who works as a Freelancer and also a Medical Student.

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