We see website meta tags all over the web — from social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like), various websites blogs (such as ours), and online forums, to even eCommerce marketplace platform giants (such as Amazon, eBay, and the like). But, have you ever asked yourself deeply as a webmaster or website owner what their role is?
Do you think they have any use for your website? Well, the answer to this question can be two-sided. Firstly, it highly depends on what your blog is all about. If you’re writing a blog about recipes, you could use categories for the type of dish (American, Chinese, Ethiopian). And, tags for the type of meat (chicken, beef, vegetarian) — could be like your index.
Secondly, from an SEO perspective, you can open up other parts of your blog so it can be crawled even more. However, you would want to use a plugin if you are using multiple tags on all your posts — which might cause some duplicate content issues. Yoast SEO is a solid plugin that allows you to set tags to be followed by Google yet stay unindexed.
It also depends on what you are trying to do. If you don’t like it because it looks messy, that’s fine. But, if you want to gain more traffic, you can add it. Most search engines will scan how many times you mention a certain keyword on your pages. And, if your tags are located on every page, there’s a higher chance that your blog will appear in search results.
What Website Meta Tags Are For Beginner Webmasters
As per strikingly.com, in the realms of the digital world, website meta tags can mean a number of things — such as meta tags, hashtags, analytics tags, or even HTML tags to name a few. They all mean different things as well and sometimes, professionals tend to complicate matters even more by using different words to mean the same thing.
In simple terms, website meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s source code. Meta tags are essentially little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about. The only difference between tags you can see (on a blog post, say) and tags you can’t see is location.
Simply, this is because these meta tags only exist in HTML document format — usually at the “head” of the page. Thus, they are only visible to search engines (and people who know where to look). The “meta” stands for “metadata,” which is the kind of data these tags provide – data about the data on your page.
Related Resource: Site Taxonomy SEO | Categories, Tags & Archives Audit Tips
Web tags are commonly used to collect website information. On websites, they are typically used to provide structure and give order to content. Certain HTML tags such as H1 tags serve as specific instructions as to how a browser should display the content they contain. Meta tags are another type of tag that are used to contain data about the site’s content.
Search engines and even website visitors use the information that they provide to further understand what a page is about. Meta tags make it easy for a search engine to determine what your site is about and whether or not it is relevant to a given search query. In an HTML document, you will most likely see these tags enclosed in the section.
This same information also comes up on search engine results pages for queries relevant to your site content so users will also see this snippet about your website. Tags are widely used on the internet as a way to organize content into categories for easier retrieval. They are supposed to describe the content for which they are used.
How Your Website Meta Tags Usually Works
A website meta tag is an attribute that is associated with a group of content. It describes the content it represents as in the case of a hashtag or SEO tags that provide an overview of what an image or text is about. Tags make it easier for web users to locate curated content and view the topics on a page at a glance. You can break down your content into categories.
And now, using different tags, people are able to focus on a specific group of content that is most relevant to their search. There are different types of tags depending on the use. In website development, for instance, HTML tags refer to keywords that provide instructions as to how a web browser formats and displays content.
In SEO, title tags HTML and image tags describe a website element to search engines. This is particularly important because search engines do not see a webpage in the same way as humans do. They are designed to see text and determine content relevance based on the way a page is structured and the tags that it uses.
A good example would be images and video files. Search engines do not generally see multimedia content but putting image tags to describe what the picture is about will give them an idea of its existence on your page. We highly recommend that you add alt texts to your images especially on blog posts to optimize your content for search engines.
This increases your site’s online visibility and makes it rank higher on search engine results. When writing image tags, however, it’s important to be more descriptive rather than stuffing your descriptions with keywords. Image tags are also important for visually impaired users relying on assistive technology such as screen readers.
The Main Benefits Of Using Them In Your Content Plan
For a good user experience, showing tags is important IMHO. It simply categorizes posts, thus a user can easily find his/her desired posts. Only one thing is critical, and that is, “providing access to search engines to crawl them”. Just make sure these tags aren’t responsible for duplicate content. If those tags create any duplicate content, your site might be penalized.
Tags on a content-rich website – such as blogs – can help categorize content and make it easier for users to focus on topics that they want to read about. It pulls up curated articles based on the niche or the keyword selected so you know that you’re getting content that is streamlined to your requirements. Having said that, tags can improve the user experience.
Specifically, by allowing visitors to easily get around your site and target the information they came for. In terms of SEO, the use of canonical tags (“rel canonical”) tells search engines that a particular URL or webpage is the master copy. This is particularly important if your website contains duplicate content appearing on various URLs.
Such as in the case of website content that is translated into different languages. Without a canonical tag, a search engine can flag your content as a duplicate and you can get penalized for what might look like the use of plagiarized content. Search engine algorithms have become even more sophisticated due to the proliferation of duplicate content.
Tags, properly used, do two things:
- One, they give users access to more content of interest
- And two, they give your website an optimal structure
In both cases, they don’t need to be public to be used. And in both cases, they are not always helpful when visible. When your goal is to move traffic to a specific thing, tags just get in the way. They provide more avenues for your audience to not follow the path you’ve prescribed. On the flip side, you can ALWAYS link to your tag pages in your content.
In doing so you’re also able to tell the audience why you want them to visit. Adding tags manually gives you complete control over your content. Be wary of what’s automated in WordPress. The guys who designed it weren’t thinking about you getting rich. . . they were just making bells and whistles.
The Most Important Website Tags For Overall Optimization
In a nutshell, meta tags in particular are important because they are designed to offer a good overview of what your website is about to users who find your page through search engine results. They are the first things that users will typically see about your site when they come from search engines. So you want to make a good first impression by optimizing them well.
Always remember, that your target website users want to make sure that they are clicking through a link that can provide them with the information they are looking for. By optimizing your meta tags to contain a proper description of your page, you are setting the right expectations and bringing targeted traffic to your website.
What’s more, as search engines prioritize the user experience in rankings, those that have misleading title tags and meta descriptions tend to rank lower. Partly, because of their high bounce rates — which happens when people end up leaving their sites prematurely — because they did not see what they expected to find in the content.
Resourceful Reference: Tagging Posts Properly For Users And SEO
It’s, important to realize, that some types of tags such as image tags and H1 tags ensure that your site is also easy to navigate – another indicator of a good user experience. Using them appropriately on your site makes users happy because it allows them to digest content easily, and it keeps your pages in the good graces of search engines in effect.
Overall, using tags on your website makes it easier for search engines and even users to find information on your pages and sufficiently gauge the relevance of your content to a given search. Additionally, the value of sharing tags allows your readers to discover other content on similar subjects you have written previously.
The way you’ll use your website tags is entirely up to you and what you feel may be useful for your target audience. That’s the simplest and most practical way to put it. That said, there are a variety of website tags that you can use.
1. Content Title Tags
To begin with, the title tag should give a preview of what your page is about. It should be clear and descriptive but it shouldn’t be too long. Ideally, you want to stick to about 55 characters including spaces for your website title. When you write your blog post, think about your tags thoroughly. Don’t make it a 2-second afterthought.
They’re important for visitors and Google! The good thing about thinking per your tags is that it also immediately helps you find other posts to link to. Be that as it may, you can try to include a target keyword to add value but make sure that you don’t sacrifice coherence. Having a keyword in your title doesn’t necessarily translate to improved results.
When you’re planning your blog posts, it’s likely you’ll have some over-arching themes. Those themes are probably your best tags. On yoast.com, for instance, they often write about SEO copywriting and Site structure, but also about WordPress, Schema Markup, or Google Analytics. These are just some examples of the tags we also commonly use.
2. Meta Description Tags
Aside from the title tag, the meta description also appears on search engine results pages so it is just as important to optimize this area. Again, it should provide an accurate overview of your page, highlighting the key points of your content. In the past, the optimum length for meta descriptions is 150-165 characters for most CMS-based extract fields.
Although, with recent developments, Google has been known to display longer snippets of this tag. We do recommend that you craft your meta description in a way that the first part emphasizes the most important points of your webpage.
3. Featured Image Alt Tags
Moving on, optimizing images for SEO and media files on your website is another key component of effective SEO. It gives your site another opportunity to rank well in relevant search results. Image tags ensure that there is an alternative text that comes up in the event that the web image doesn’t load – as may be the case for slower internet connections.
As well as for cases where the user has accessibility issues and uses a screen reader to browse through your website. Having said that, while it’s okay to add a targeted keyword into your alt tags for images, we also advise against keyword stuffing because this could affect the user experience for visually impaired web users.
4. Contextual Header Tags
Headers break your content into easily digestible bits, improving readability and, in effect, the user experience. They can also give search engines a good understanding of what your site is about, and the main topic of your page. Use them to introduce each section of your page — but be careful not to overuse these tags – particularly the H1 and H2 tags.
Simply, because this is something that can overwhelm your users. Ideally, you want to use only one H1 tag on a page while other subheadings can be in H2 or H3 tags depending on the level of importance of the content. Of course, your website pages’ taxonomy structure basic plan, just as everything else on your website, requires regular maintenance.
You might think of new topics to write about or the focus of your business might shift. So, make sure to go through your tags regularly, remove redundant ones and check if you’ve added any new topics you’re writing about.
5. Below The Fold Tags List
When you add a tag to a post, that post is added to that tag’s archive. For instance, we have a tag page for keyword research. When we add a “keyword research” tag to this post, it’s added to that archive. That is, of course, very useful: when people click on the keyword research tag, they’ll find a complete overview of all posts on that topic.
Also, Google will understand all the posts in this archive belong together. When you add a tag that hasn’t been used before to a post, WordPress automatically creates a tag archive. If you tag very liberally, adding 10-20 tags to each post, each of them unique to each post, you’re creating dozens of archive pages. There’s another advantage of tagging posts properly.
When you’ve written a post and you’re wondering which other posts to link to, you can quickly browse through the tag that the new post belongs to. This will help you find posts that you can link to from within your current post, to help visitors find related content even more easily. If you think that’s too much work, consider using an internal linking tool for that.
How To Choose The Right Website Meta Tags For Content
It’s always advisable that if you use tags, make sure that they are well-optimized. And, as a junior webmaster, just like you visit the categories section on your website dashboard, you should also visit the tags section. Herein, you can simply make all the needful changes — like deleting or adding new custom tags as per your website content focus point.
For instance, if you visit our website down below, you’ll be able to see a list of resourceful and relevant website tags as per this topic. And, if you click on any of them, it should land you on a specific origination page where the list of related blog posts is located. Try to edit your tags as often as possible since you may remove a post and it still remains.
Related Resource: Tags & Categories | WordPress SEO Master Best Practices
So, with that in mind, we can clearly state that when you use tags the wrong way, you can even make it harder for people to navigate your site. This isn’t just bad for users; using tags in the wrong way can be detrimental to your site’s SEO as well. When you’ve chosen the right tags and tagged your posts nicely, you’re done for a while, but not forever!
You can even optimize your tag pages to try to make them rank well too. In that case, the Yoast SEO Plugin or AIOSEO Plugin can greatly help you with this. The content analysis will not only check the content of single blog posts or pages, but it‘ll also run a check on your tag page. As a result, you’ll get detailed instructions on how to improve the content on it.
When choosing tags you should ask yourself:
- Which other posts does this post relate to?
- Which tag applies best to this group of posts? What’s the common denominator?
- Is that the best keyword research choice for this topic?
On one hand, you shouldn’t use tags that don’t relate the current post to any other post on your website. While, on the other hand, you shouldn’t add too many tags to a post either. And, if this is what you have been doing all along, make sure you go back to your tags dashboard and do some revision changes. And then, try to avoid repeating the same mistake.
You shouldn’t make up tags; they should be existing words or phrases — all of which people search for — we’d advise performing keyword research first. In this strategic guide to keywords search, you can read how to go about that, step by step. Similarly, if each of your website tags archive pages only has 1 or 2 posts on them, they’re not very useful.
Firstly, they won’t help users find other related posts. Secondly, they won’t help Google understand what your site’s about. In the past, we saw plenty of sites with an overload of tag pages get hit by Google’s Panda update resulting in a low rank.
In a nutshell, website tags have their own merits and disadvantages as far as things such as User Interface (UI) Design, User Experience (UX), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as well as the way SERPs like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like perceive your overall website content is in the picture. The best thing is to focus on what’s best for your site.
After all, there is no specific way to find out who has viewed your WordPress blog. But, there are some methods that you can use to get an idea of who has been looking at your content. One way is to look at the analytics for your blog. This will show you general information about who has been visiting your blog and what pages they have been viewing.
As a leading internet company, Strikingly makes it easier for you to optimize your website tags to help you get a good start on your SEO strategy. It has a built-in SEO tool — so you can easily and quickly edit the key areas in your content — including your title tags, image alt tags, and meta description. But, adding tags on your Strikingly website is really simple.
The platform has built-in SEO tools that allow you to edit image tags, title tags, and meta descriptions to enable you to optimize your website content with ease. That’s it! But, you can always Consult Us if you’ll need more help or support. Until the next one, thanks for visiting. We wish you good luck with your next strategic website tagging plan, you are welcome!