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Kelly-Anne Crean

Meta Tags for SEO – Best Practices Guide

20th Aug 2011 SEO Blog 2 minutes to read

Meta Tags are elements used on every page of a website to provide information related to the website and the individual pages of the website, they have a big influence on your SEO performance. Every web page has meta tags, but they are only visible in the HTML code.

Here are some common Meta tags:

1) <title>The Title of the Page</title>

2) <meta name=”description” content=”Description of page” />

3) <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow” />

Page Titles

The title tag is for use on every page on the website. This should describe the content of each unique page and include keywords if applicable.

Page titles are an important on-site factor that assist a website’s ranking SERPS. They provide summarised information about your website which appears in the SERPS when keyphrases related to a website’s page are searched.

Each page of a website should have unique page titles. The optimal length for a page title should be no more than approx. 60 characters.

Meta Description

The Meta Description tag is a place where you can include a summary of the page contents.
Meta descriptions appear in SERPs just below the page titles. The aim of the meta description is to create relevant and interesting description of the page.

Meta descriptions are extremely important for improving user click through rate and gives you the opportunity to let users know exactly what is on the page. Meta descriptions are summaries and have an optimal size of no more than 160 characters.

Robots Tag

The Robots tag tells the search engine crawlers how to treat the pages of your website. Noindex will tell the search engines not to index that page. Nofollow will tell them not to follow any of the links on the page.

Best Practices

Title and Description

The Title tag is important and should appear on every page of the website. This should reflect the content of the page and include one or two keywords relevant to the page. The search engines bold the keywords within the Title and Description associated with the search query within the results. Each page should have individual Title tags.

The Meta Description should be descriptive and also relate to what appears on the page. These should contain keywords where relevant and be restricted to 160 characters (any additional characters will be cut off within the search engine results). The Meta Description has no ranking influence within the results and therefore its job is purely to encourage a click.

Robots Meta Tag

The Robots Meta tag is used to tell the search engines how to treat certain pages of your website. For example, if you do not want the search engines to index a certain page of your website, you can use the Noindex tag. If you don’t want the search engines to follow any of the links on a specific page of your website, you can use the Nofollow tag. We recommend adding these carefully as they could prevent the indexation of important pages of your website if placed on the wrong pages or across the site.

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Kelly-Anne Crean

Client Services Manager

Queen of self-defence, Kelly-Anne is our very own Krav Maga expert! Having trained for over 8 years and earning her P5, we’re hoping should we ever need defending, Kelly-Anne is around! Very well-travelled with over 60 countries under her belt, the next big adventure is hiking the Inca Trail – we’re out of breath just thinking about it!

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