Meta tags are pieces of hidden information within a web page that are invisible to the user but important to other services, mainly search engines. Search engines are most likely to pick up on your site’s description and keywords meta tags which are then used to evaluate the content of each page and indicate where your website should be ranked in search engine results.
The meta description is, as you may guess, a description of the page it is located on and is often used as an extract of a page in search engine results. Your meta description should contain key phrases relevant to your website, if possible, but should essentially be a well-written introduction to the page if it is to appear in search engine results.
Meta keywords are used by search engines to evaluate the search phrases the website should appear for. It is important to prioritise your keywords by most to least important as it is thought that search engines perhaps only read through the first few in the list, though it is not commonly known how many for sure. You should ensure the keywords match the content of the page as consistency is important to search engines.
Hints & Tips
It is essential to have a unique description and set of keywords for each page as this will allow search engines to differentiate between each one and show that your website has original content on each page. Early search engines would only look at meta tags when crawling a website but in their current sophistication they assess the content of the pages too. It is worthwhile to get your keywords and descriptions right as this allows search engines to place you correctly in their results, it is then down to further search engine optimisation methods, such as link gathering, to improve your rankings.
Search engine optimisation
Writing your meta descriptions and including relevant meta keywords is one of the many services provided as part of our online marketing package.