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Using Meta tags for SEO

Blog, March 16, 2015

Are you using Meta tags for SEO? If not, here you can find some useful information on how to do it. If you are already an expert in meta-tags, you have a choice to go to more enlightening articles.

The metadata might be analyzed by browsers (how to show content or reopen page), search engines (keywords), or other web applications. Metadata is data about data. The <meta> tag shows you metadata about the HTML file. Metadata will not be shown on the page, but will be automatically parsable.

Meta elements are generally used to define page description, keywords, author of the document, last edited, and other metadata. Meta descriptions are HTML components that give clear and short information about the contents of web site. Meta descriptions can generally be seen on search engine result pages (SERPs) in the form of previews for a given page.

Code Sample

<head>
<meta name="description" content="This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.">
</head>
Optimal Length for Search Engines

Roughly 155 Characters

Meta description tags, although not relevant to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs allow to advertise content to users and to let them know exactly whether the page has the information they need

The meta description should employ the keywords cautiously, but also create a great description that a user will want to click. Direct relevance to the page and uniqueness between each page’s meta description is crucial. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.

<head>
<meta name="description" content="Here is a description of the applicable page">
</head>

Tips and Notes

Note: <meta> tags always goes inside the <head> element.

Note: Metadata always goes as name/value pairs.

Note: It is necessary to define the content component if the name or the http-equiv element is already determined. If none of these are determined, it is not allowed to define the content attribute.

Differences Between HTML 4.01 and HTML5

HTML5 does not honor the scheme parameter.

There is a new attribute in HTML5 – charset. It simplifies the process of defining charset:

  • HTML 4.01: <meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″>
  • HTML5: <meta charset=”UTF-8″>

Differences Between HTML and XHTML

There is no end tag  for the <meta> tag in HTML.

You should properly close the <meta> tag in XHTML.

Examples

Example 1 – Define keywords for search engines:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”Dubai, website design, SEO, SMM, logo design”>

Example 2 – Define a description of your web page:

<meta name=”description” content=”Cartoons and website interface”>

Example 3 – Define the author of a page:

<meta name=”author” content=”Digital Services”>

Example 4 – Refresh document every 45 seconds:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”45″>

Attributes

= New in HTML5.

Attribute Value Description
charset character_set Dedines the character encoding for the HTML document
content text Provides the value related to the http-equiv or name attribute
http-equiv content-type
default-style
refresh
Gives an HTTP header for the information/value of the content attribute
name application-name
author
description
generator
keywords
Determines a name for the metadata
scheme format/URI Not honored in HTML5.
Defines a scheme that will be employed for interpreting the value of the content attribute

Avoid Duplicate Meta Description Tags

As with title tags, it is crucial that meta descriptions on each page be different. One way to fight not unique meta descriptions is to create a dynamic and automatic way that creates non-duplicate meta descriptions for pages.

Meta Description

Quotes Cut Off Descriptions

As soon as quotes are used in a meta description, Google cuts off the description. To prevent meta descriptions from being removed, it’s best to delete all non-alphanumeric characters from meta descriptions. If quotation marks are essential in your meta description, you can change them to single quotes rather than double quotes to prevent truncation.

Sometimes it is Okay to Not Write Meta Descriptions

When engines pull, they always show the keywords and neighboring phrases that the user has looked for. If a webmaster pushes a meta description, they can detract from the relevance the engines make naturally. In some cases, they’ll overrule the meta description anyway, but a webmaster can not always rely on the engines to use the more relevant text in the SERP.

Google does not use keywords meta tags 

Meta data Google webmasters guide

A Dictionary of HTML META Tags