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What are Meta Tags and are they Important? Comments Off on What are Meta Tags and are they Important?

What are meta tags and why are they important

This is an interesting question, that a few clients have asked over the years.

A meta tag is simply an HTML tag, that can be found within the “head” section of a web page. Some meta tags help search engines, such as Google, to better understand what a web page is about, among other things. Other meta tags can tell web browsers how to set the viewport and many other things.

What Types of Meta Tags Are There?

There are a number of different meta tags available to use, but here are four that are most commonly used.

Title Tag

Okay, technically speaking, the title tag is not really a meta tag. However, many SEO professionals refer to the title tag as the meta title tag. That said, here is what a title tag of this article might look like:

<title>What are meta tags and are they important?</title>

Thus, the title tag is an HTML element which gives the search engines, searchers and website visitors, a general idea of what that particular web page is about.

Meta Description Tag

Meta Description Tag

The meta description tag should provide a brief description of what a web page is about. It could be just a sentence or two, but is usually a helpful synopsis. Below is an example of how the meta description tag might read for this article:

<meta name=“description” content=“In this article, we explain what a meta description tag is and why it is important to use.” />

Meta Robots Tag

The meta robots tag is a way to use directives that tell (ask) search engine bots, to do or not do certain things.

A common example of a meta robots tag is below where it tells search engines to index (show in search results) and follow (crawl) the links on the web page.

<meta name=‘robots’ content=‘index, follow’ />

The following meta robots tag is a typical example where search engines are told (requested) not to index and not to follow (crawl) links on a web page.

<meta name=‘robots’ content=‘noindex, nofollow’ />

Meta Viewport Tag

Meta Viewport Tag

In a nutshell, the meta viewport tag instructs web browsers how to set the viewport in order to ensure that a website displays correctly across all devices.

Below is a typical example of a meta viewport tag:

<meta name=“viewport” content=“width=device-width, initial-scale=1”>

In the above example, width=device-width sets the web page’s width to follow that of the device screen-width. This is particularly important when addressing the wide variation in viewport sizes of mobile devices from many different brands and models.

And initial-scale=1 means that the initial zoom level is set to 1, upon initial page load.

Is an Image Alt Tag a Meta Tag?

Please note that an image alt tag is not a meta tag. Title tags and other meta tags are actually HTML elements which provide information about a web page, whereas an image alt tag is an HTML attribute which provides additional information about an HTML element.

Are Meta Tags Important?

Are Meta Tags Important

You bet they are! Why? As discussed in this article, meta tags can provide useful information to both the search engines and web browsers that can enhance SEO as well as improve user (visitor) experience across a wide variety of devices.

To learn more about the importance of meta tags, contact our Scottsdale web design team by email or call us at 480-306-4260.


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