Let’s Get Meta! What Are Meta Tags and How they Relate to SEO and Social Media
by Jeff Tom
Meta tags! You might have heard of of them if you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization. They come in many forms, and sometimes you’re told certain ones don’t matter, others are very important.
It can be a little confusing to say the least, but we’ll go through them, their importance in search engines and social media, and how to implement them in your website through WordPress.
You’ve probably heard of the term “meta” in your life at some point. Basically it means something or someone having an awareness of it’s self and being self-referencing, or providing information on it’s category.
For their functionality with websites they help tell search engines what the content of the post is about, and website links are shared through social media like Facebook or Twitter, and through Chat apps like Slack, Discord, or Messenger. These are done through meta tags in the source code of the website specifically for web crawlers to read (crawlers meaning bots, not people) to gain more insight into your webpage and help them understand what your content is about easily!
The Good Meta Tags that Matter
Let’s get into the the meta tags that are beneficial with search engines today, and that also can help increase the number of people who click on your site when they more importantly SEE these meta tags in Google’s search results! (Also known as a click-through rate).
- Meta Title – The title tag gives you the title of a web page. Pretty self-explanatory, eh! It should be brief, concise summary of around 60 words with your main keywords included in them.
- Meta Description – This is a longer description of your content typically consisting of 2-3 sentences where you also get a chance to give reader’s a preview of your content, and also an opportunity to peak their interest and click on your link to read your website!
I'm a native Austinite and principal of Austin Web Design & SEO. In 1998 I started a successful technology blog on AMD as a teenager and have been working online since.