Meta tags are still a very useful tool for SEO strategies. They may not have a direct effect on rankings but they still have an important purpose.
The one constant with search engine optimization (SEO) is change. Search engines have been in existence since the 90s, and have died a thousand deaths since then. Even though meta tags are believed to be dead for quite some time now, they are still important and play a big part in SEO practices.
As a digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is important that we stay relevant and up to date on effective SEO practices. We did some research and looked to answer the question, “Are meta tags still useful, and are they a worthwhile marketing strategy?” We begin this discussion by defining what meta tags are:
“Meta tags are a great way for Webmasters to provide search engines with information about their sites. Meta tags can be used to supply information to all kinds of clients, and each system processes only the meta tags that can understand and they will ignore the ones that cannot. Meta tags are added to the <head> section of your HTML page.”– Google.
Do Meta Tags Help SEO?
Meta tags do help SEO efforts, but not all of them, and not all of the time. There are four major types of meta tags that are worthy of your time. Some are not as useful as others. The tags that are worth using on a regular basis will likely increase your page traffic by notifying Google about who you are and what services you provide.
While there are many forms of meta tags, the following four are the most important and relevant to digital marketing.
- Meta Keyword Attribute – A series of keywords that are relevant to the page in question.
- Title Tags – This is the text seen at the top of the browser. Search engines identify this as the “title” of your page.
- Meta Description Attribute – A brief description of the information on the page in question.
- Meta Robot Attribute – An indication to search engine crawlers as to what they should do with your page.
Meta Keywords Attribute.
Meta keywords make less sense in SEO practices recently. A couple years ago, the meta keyword tags may have benefited an SEO campaign, but not anymore.
Years ago marketers would “keyword-stuff” tags that were completely unrelated to their pages. Google eventually became wise to this and decided to devalue the tool. Google no longer uses meta keywords in its ranking algorithm because they are too easy to abuse.
Contrary to meta keywords, there are title tags. Title tags are the most important of all the meta tags we will be discussing. These tags have actual impact on search rankings and, perhaps just importantly, are the tags that are visible to the average user.
You can find title tags at the top of the browser. This is particularly useful if you want to give the page one primary title for the user but also want to clarify that information for SEO purposes. They also help the user to indicate through sites if they have multiple tabs open in the browser.
Meta Description Attribute.
These are also quite useful meta tags. They explain to search engines and the searchers what is on your page. Keep in mind that the description tag will not always show up on the Google SERP, since Google frequently picks a snippet of text from the page itself instead. Nonetheless, meta descriptions are still a useful meta tag.
Google has stated that keywords in the meta description will not affect your rankings; however, a compelling and informative meta description can entice searchers to click on your page, especially if it relevant to what they are searching for.
Meta Robot Attributes.
With this form of meta tags, you will be telling search engine crawlers what to do with your page once they find it.
- Index/noindex – This tag tells the search engine whether or not to show your page in the search results.
- Follow/nofollow – This will tell the engines what to do with the links embedded in your page; whether they are trustworthy and if they should be followed or not.
From all of the above information you can conclude that:
- Title tags alone can impact SERP rankings.
- Descriptive tags can convince searchers to click on your page, especially if they are relevant to what they are searching for.
- Meta descriptions can serve as “organic ad text”.
Meta tags are not hard to utilize. All it takes is a little experience with HTML. Tandem Interactive is an organic search company that can help your site properly optimize meta and title tags in order to increase traffic to your site.