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Meta Tags: A Key Success Factor in the World of Search Engines

Anastasia Melnyk
Oct 19, 2023
Hand touching digital interface

We all know the situation when we search for something on a search engine and stop at a certain result. But how do certain pages grab our attention more than others? The answer lies in the world of meta tags. Meta tags are small but powerful tools that can make a big difference in snippets and clickability in search results. But what are meta tags, and how do they shape a page's title and description?

In this article, we'll understand the concept of meta tags and look at how a page title and description are shaped by content. You'll also learn about the important rules of heading formation and their different templating options. And as for page descriptions, we'll cover the key rules for composing them.

But let's not stop there! We'll deal with the H1 tag and its rules of formation and uncover the secrets of creating tags H2-H6. If you want to attract more visitors and increase your site's visibility in search engines, get ready to dive into the world of meta tags and their impact on search results. Let's go!

What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are elements (instructions) of HTML-pages markup designed to store and transfer data intended for browsers and search engines. As a rule, they are placed in the <head> block of an HTML document:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>

<html>

<head>

<meta charset="utf-8">

<title> Page title for search engines </title>

<meta name="description" content="Page description for search engines">

<meta name="keywords" content="The most important keywords of the page for search engines">

...

</head>

<body>

<h1> Document title </h1>

<p> Document text </p>

...

</body>

</html>

The most important HTML tags associated with the ranking of pages on the site in search engines are tags:

  • Title
  • Description;
  • Keywords;
  • Headings H1, H2, H3, ...

In addition to the important meta tags mentioned above, others can be used to define and describe the page content more accurately. For example, the tag "author" allows you to specify the page's author, and the tag "viewport" defines the viewing settings on mobile devices.

Another useful tag is the "canonical" tag. It is used to specify the canonical URL of a page, especially in cases where a site has multiple URLs pointing to the same content. It helps search engines understand which URL should be indexed and displayed in search results.

Meta tags are an important part of search engine optimization and help improve the visibility and clarity of your content for search engines and users. Proper use of meta tags can make your site rank higher on search engines and attract a more targeted audience.

Snippet and Clickability

A snippet is a block of information about a found document that appears in search results. A snippet consists of a title and a description or annotation of the document and can also include additional information about the site.

A snippet allows the user to get an idea of the document or even the information they seek without opening it. Most snippets are made up of Title and Description, but keep in mind the following things:

  • The title and description of the page in the search results are formed based on the content of the page:
  1. The content of the Title element
  2. Content of the Description meta tag
  3. The text of the page, including the Schema.org micro-parsing. A complete list of special data that can be transferred.

The search results describe the page using the most informative and relevant text.

Basic Rules for Title Pages

Proper page titles are an important aspect of optimizing content for search engines. Here are some important rules for Titles that you should consider when creating pages:

  • The Title on each site page should be unique; think about users and CTR.
  • The Title should be no more than 70 characters long (Excluding branding).
  • Do not inflate the Title by two sentences. Allowed Title size for Google - 69 characters (12 - 13 words).
  • The most important key in the Title must be in the beginning (The most frequent key is taken as the basis).
  • The Title should specify a region (if the page is commercial, info pages are not required).
  • The Title should answer the question of what the page is about.
  • The Title should be relevant to the page content.
  • The Title should not be incorrect word constructions such as: "Baby Food What Foods Can I Eat?" (The correct variant is "Child nutrition: a list of allowed foods.
  • The Title must be clear and contain no spelling mistakes.
  • The name of the company in the Title is made with a capital letter; the name of the company is not specified at the beginning of the Title.
  • It is not desirable to use special HTML symbols in the Title.
  • Do not use jargon.
  • It is not necessary to use a direct key in the Title; you can dilute it a bit, as indicated in the template below. 
  • Using adjectives in the tag increases CTR; use it extremely carefully (the best, profitable, most, huge).
  • Do not use pronouns, particles, and prepositions in the Title. Search engines do not consider them (stop words: and, or, about, to, I, not, too, etc.).
  • Do not list cities in the Title.
  • It is not recommended to use upper case letters.

"Qualitatively developed Title is formed only based on collected, clustered semantic core and elaborated structure of the site."

Title Template Options

When forming page Titles, you can use various templates to help you create informative and attractive titles. Here are a few popular options for Titles templates:

  1. [modif1key] + [modif2key] = [modif1keymodif2]. For example, make a table of contents + table of contents of a term paper in Word = make a table of contents of a term paper in Word.
  2. [modif1key] + [modif2key] + [theme word] = [modif1keymodif2themword]. For example, what to feed baby + feed at one year + menu = what to feed baby at one year: menu.
  3. [modif1key] + [modif2key] + [modif3key] = [modif1modif2keymodif3]. For example, how to compose a semantic core + compose correctly + website semantic core = how to correctly compose a website semantic core.

Universal templates:

  1. Request + region + additional information. For example, trucking in Kyiv up to 5 tons.
  2. Request + region + additional information. For example, belly dancing in Odessa: a program for beginners.

Description for Pages

The contents of the Description meta tag are one of the sources that form the basis of site page descriptions in Google search results. The snippet contains the most informative and relevant text for the search query.

The meta tag is usually placed inside the head element: <head> <meta name="Description" content="..."/> </head>.

!Requirements for the meta description Descriptive

  • Be unique for each page of the site.
  • Be capacious and meaningful, with properly structured sentences, without abusing keywords, phrases, capital letters, advertising slogans, etc.
  • Reflect on the current state of the page.
  • Conform to the language of the document.
  • Different from the content of the title element.

Examples of bad meta descriptions:

  • "Buy merchandise online! Best price, huge selection! Fast delivery! Discounts of up to 50%! Order now!" - This meta description is too promotional and contains a lot of exclamation points. It is not informative and does not reflect the page's specific content.
  • "Construction, repair, design, services. We are the best in our field, providing quality services at affordable prices. Call now!" - This meta description also contains advertising language but does not provide specific information about the page content. It also needs to reflect the current state of the page.
  • "Keywords, phrases, search terms, optimization, SEO. Top tips and strategies for increasing search engine visibility." - This meta description uses keywords and phrases too persistently, making it unnatural and poorly quality. It doesn't provide information about the page's specific content.

Good meta descriptions should be informative, reflect specific page content, and meet search engine requirements.

Basic Rules of Forming Description

The basic rules for forming a meta Description for pages will help you create an informative and attractive description that meets the requirements of search engines. Here are a few key rules:

  • Meta tag description should describe the content of the page. 

In the case of the online store, meta description tags should not only describe but also attract attention, advertise the product and contain a tempting offer to the potential audience. It may be advantageous delivery terms, different payment methods, a 5-year warranty or an assortment of 10 000 products.

  • The meta tag should be attractive to users. The user should want to click on the ad. It is important to think about increasing the CTR when writing this tag.
  • The tag should contain the main requests of users. 
  • It is unnecessary to list all the promoted queries; 3-4 are enough.
  • The tag should not exceed 150-250 characters for proper display on Snippet.
  • The tag should be made for people and be readable.
  • Online stores should specify the tag price and other useful information (e.g., delivery, call to order, etc.)
  • It should not contain grammatical, stylistic or logical errors
  • All names with a "proper name" should be capitalized (for example, "Google.Direct" instead of "google.direct")
  • Descriptions in description meta tags should be unique for all site pages; copying some text on the page is not recommended to fill the tag.
  • A correct description should contain the keywords used to optimize the page. You should use at most 3-4 key phrases in the tag. The same word should be repeated at most 5-7 times. The most frequent queries should be placed at the beginning of the description. Also, incorporate search intent to ensure the description aligns with the users' search motivations alongside the strategic use of keywords.
  • Do not specify the URL of the site.

"Description is a summary of what the user will find on the page and why he should click here.”

H1 Tags on the Page

The H1 tag is the text's title (it serves the same function as a book or newspaper article title). Each page of the site should contain only one single H1 tag.

The title plays a paramount role in the page's attractiveness for visitors after they visit the page from the Search. Optimal use of the H1 tag on the page offers several benefits that are important to consider:

  • Clear definition of the page's topic: The H1 tag helps to clearly and concisely define the main topic or content of the page. It allows visitors to immediately understand what the page will be about and navigate through the content.
  • Improve the user experience: A well-defined and informative H1 tag makes navigating and understanding the content easier for site visitors. They can quickly assess whether the page meets their expectations and needs.
  • Increased relevance to search engines: Search engines pay attention to the H1 header when determining page subject matter and ranking in search results. An optimized H1 header with keywords related to the page's topic helps increase the page's relevance and visibility in search engines.

Basic Rules of Forming H1 Tags

The correct formation of the H1 tag on the page will help create an informative and attractive title that meets search engines' requirements and satisfies site visitors' needs. Here are a few basic rules to consider:

  • H1 must be present on every page of the site. It is a prerequisite
  • H1 must be unique and not duplicated with other H1 on other pages of the site
  • H1 should be used at most one time on the page. It is a prerequisite
  • H1 should not use spammy construction types "Buy", "Order," etc.
  • H1 should read and be human, be logical, not pulled for SEO-promotion
  • H1 should not be duplicated with Title (if possible, because in online stores, this can happen)
  • H1 should be distinguished from Title
  • H1 should be a manageable length. 
  • You should not put a period in the end, and using punctuation marks as little as possible is recommended.
  • It should be as relevant to the page as possible
  • H1 should be visually highlighted in the text about paragraphs.

H1-H6 tags should contain a short description of the relevant section of text with characteristic keywords. Do not include anything unnecessary in the content of the header. When filling out H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, and H6 headers, as well as the Title page title and other attributes, it is advisable to adhere to the following rules in assessing the importance of the title.

Basic Rules of Forming H1-H6 Tags

Correctly forming H1-H6 tags on the page is important for creating structured and informative content. Here are the basic rules to keep in mind when using these tags:

  • The uniqueness of the headers concerning other pages of the site. Repeated headings on different pages of the site may not be taken into account by search engines.
  • The proximity of the header to the beginning of the document. The closer to the beginning of the HTML code is the title, the greater its value relative to other elements of the page and the more meaningful the title's content.
  • The proximity of the keyword to the beginning of the title. Ideally, the headline should begin with the keyword.
  • The length of the title H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6. The length of the title should not exceed 60 characters. Search engines handle a limited number of characters; long titles will not be fully perceived.
  • Heading literacy. Grammatical errors in the headline reduce the relevance of the headline.
  • Keyword density in the headline. All headlines are evaluated for over-optimization. Therefore, you should not cram more and more keywords into the headline; the headline can be ignored.
  • The blocks of the site, such as menus, navigation menus, and various forms, MUST NOT be placed in H2; it is acceptable that they are placed in H4-H6 but not H2-H3.
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Frequently asked questions

How do you write a meta tag?
Is meta tag mandatory in HTML?
Is meta tag safe?

Are You Ready To Grow Your Website?

Understanding the ins and outs of website growth, we help ensure that your site grows over time with ever-increasing reach and accessibility. Not only do we employ the latest digital marketing techniques for driving traffic directly to your website, but our strategies also focus on gaining loyalty from those visitors so they come back again and again.
Leave your contacts to get a comprehensive and aggressive digital marketing plan taking your business to new heights.