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What Is Meta Tag: Definition, Types, and How to Create It

Last updated: Jun 20, 2024

What Is Meta Tag?

Meta tags are HTML elements that provide metadata about a webpage, that include information such as the page's title, description, keywords, and character set.  

Meta tag in HTML is created to help search engines understand the content and context of a webpage, which can improve its visibility and relevance in search results

Additionally, meta tags can be used to specify directives for search engine crawlers, such as indexing and following links. 

Hence, with the right meta tags, you can optimize your website and make it appear on the first page of search results.

 

Meta Tag Components

After you know what is meta tag, now you need to know its components. In forming meta tags, you will need a meta title (title tag), meta keyword, and meta description. Here is the following explanation of meta tag components:

 

1.  Meta Title (Title Tag)

Meta Title Example.
Figure 1: Meta Title Example.

 

The first component of meta tags is the meta title or title tag. The meta title is the clickable headline in search results. It should be keyword-rich, descriptive, interesting, and constructed with appropriate length to attract users. 

This title can be edited using HTML code or through the SEO Title column in a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.  

 

2.  Meta Description 

Example of Meta Description.
Figure 2: Example of Meta Description.

 

Meta tags also contain a meta description. A meta description is a brief summary displayed under the meta title in search results. It provides a snapshot of the content and should be clear and compelling to encourage users to click. 

 

3.  Meta Keywords

Meta keywords are targeted phrases related to the content, helping search engines understand the page's topic. They should be relevant and distributed evenly throughout the content. Thus, you need to enter these meta keywords in the SEO plugin on your website.

In addition to these three important components, you may also need the following meta tag variations to make your SEO strategy more effective:

  • Meta robots: They provide information for search engines to index and crawl the web pages and links within them. Meta robots don't need to be included in the meta tag if you don't want to change anything.
  • Meta refresh redirects: This tag is needed if you want to redirect users to a different URL. However, you should use redirect 301 to redirect users instead of this tag variation.
  • Meta charset: It specifies the character encoding of the website. Generally, the code used is UTF-8. If you specify the wrong code, there will be many errors in the content and trigger an increase in bounce rate.
  • Meta viewport: It tells search engines that your website is responsive and adaptable to multiple devices.

 

Meta Tag Function

After knowing what is meta tag and its components, you need to know its function for website pages.

Meta tags facilitate easier indexing by search engines and provide users with concise information about the webpage. This helps users decide whether to visit the page.

Despite the information regarding whether meta tags are one of the search result ranking indicators, some SEO experts still recommend using meta keywords so that websites can potentially capture traffic from less common or long-tail search queries. 

 

How to Make a Meta Tag

As mentioned on what is meta tag, meta tags are one of the SEO elements that you should pay attention to so that the website can be well-optimized.

However, before discussing how to make a meta tag, let's understand what is meta tag arrangement in HTML code first.

  • Meta Title: <Title>Website Title</Title>.
  • Meta Description: <Meta Content='Web Site Description'Name='Description'/>.
  • Meta Keywords: <Meta Content='Website Keywords'Name=Keywords'/>.
  •  

However, if you are using WordPress, then you can directly install meta tags in an SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO.

Here is how to create meta tags for website content and pages.

 

1. Use Persuasive Sentences in Meta Description

Use persuasive sentences in the meta description, such as "get the best solution" or "visit now" in order to attract users to visit your page.

You can also use adjectives that can touch users' emotions, such as "special", "best", or "amazing" so that users can feel a sense of urgency to visit the page.

 

2. Create a Meta Description with the Right Number of Characters

In addition to stringing sentences to attract visitors, you need to create a meta description that is not too long or short.

Although there is no set number of characters that are considered "just right", you still have to be careful in making it. To make it easier to create a meta description, you can utilize the Title & Meta Description Checker tool from cmlabs.

The tool will count the number of characters in your meta description sentence, warn you if it's too short or too long, and provide a preview of your constructed meta description in search results.

 

3. Enter Main Keywords in Meta Title and Meta Description

The next step to create meta tags is to include the main keyword in the meta title and meta description to make it easier for search engines to determine how relevant your page is to the query that users are looking for.

If you have input targeted keywords on your meta tags, your website will receive more clicks as users tend to visit search results that are most relevant to the query they entered in the search bar.

However, please note that you should use keywords in meta tags wisely. Don't include too many keywords as they will spam the content. 

 

4. Insert CTA in Meta Description

Finally, you can include call-to-actions such as "read now", "start now", and "visit this page for more" in the meta description to entice users to visit your article. These CTAs can prompt users to take action. So, ensure that these CTAs are relevant to the content of the page and provide a clear indication of what users can expect to find.

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