Meta tags are essential for Search Engine Optimization as they inform the search engines about the purpose of the webpage. These tags help search engines, like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and likewise,

  • Understand the relevance of a webpage to user queries.
  • Improve the CTR (Click-Through Rate).

Digital marketing success in 2023 demands you create and implement high-quality and relevant content for meta-tag optimization to enhance user experience. It helps increase the webpage ranking in SERPs and enhance the overall online visibility. On that note, here’s an easy guide to using meta tags for SEO in 2023.

Understanding Meta Tags

Meta tags are nothing but snippets of code giving essential information about the webpage to search engines. These tell search engines and web browsers how to display that information to the search results and the page visitors. Meta tags are only visible in the HTML code of the page.
Now, there are different types of SEO meta tags, for example:

  1. Meta Title
  2. Meta Description
  3. Meta Robots
  4. Meta Charset
  5. Meta Refresh Redirect
  6. Meta Viewport

Let’s understand their importance and how to use meta tags for SEO.

What is a Meta title?

<title>This is the title of the page.</title>

According to Google, titles allow search engines to provide visitors with a quick review of the webpage content, explaining its relevance to their search query. It is the primary information a visitor receives about the page, helping in their decision to either open the page or move on. So, your target audience will read through all the titles of the search results and click on the page that seems most relevant to their search. That’s why it is essential to create high-quality titles for a webpage.

What You Should Do

– Keep the title up to 60 characters
– Create unique titles for each webpage
– Keep the title brief but descriptive
– Avoid generic titles that sound vague
– Use either title case or sentence case
– Avoid clickbait titles and create click-worthy titles
– Be relevant to the search intent
– Relevant and meaningful keyword implementation

Common Meta title Mistakes

– The title is either too long or too short
– Not putting titles on every page of the website
– Putting multiple title tags on a single page
– Using duplicate titles across multiple web pages

You can use free tools to check these issues and fix them accordingly.

What is a Meta Description?

<meta name="description" content="Place the meta description text here.">

Meta description gives visitors a summary of the webpage content. You will find them as a snippet in the SERPs. The goal of a meta description is to inform the visitor, raising interest in them about the webpage. It’s a marketing pitch that should convince them that the webpage is what they are looking for. However, it’s essential to know that descriptions do not impact the ranking directly.

What You Should Do

– It should be within 160 characters
– Create unique meta descriptions for every page on your website
– Work on summarizing the page content appropriately
– Refrain from writing generic descriptions
– Write the description in sentence case
– Like the title, the description should be click-worthy and not a clickbait
– It should match the search intent of your target visitor
– Keyword insertion should be relevant and meaningful

Common Meta Description Mistakes

These are similar to the ones we mentioned under meta titles. So, avoid those when creating and implementing descriptions for your webpage.

What are Meta Robots?

<meta name=”robots” content="index, follow">

Meta robots are tags that tell the search how to crawl a webpage. It is extremely important for SEO strategy and requires you to use the correct value for the bots to follow. For example:
– index: index the webpage
– noindex: don’t index the page
– follow: crawl page links
– nofollow: don’t crawl page links

- <meta name=”robots” content="noindex, nofollow" >
- <meta name=”robots” content="index, follow">
- <meta name=”robots” content="noindex, follow">
- <meta name=”robots” content="index, nofollow">

What You Should Do

– Meta robots are used only when there is a need to restrict the way that Google crawls a webpage
– Ensure you don’t block the pages using meta robots in robots.txt

Common Meta Robot Mistakes

– Blocking noindexed pages with robot.txt
– Rogue meta noindex and nofollow
– These mistakes prevent the search engine bots from crawling and indexing the webpage, blocking all organic traffic. Blocked indexed pages and meta rogue index can be traced using Google Search Console’s Coverage report.

What is Meta Viewport?

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" >

These are tags that set the visible part of the webpage. It directs the browser to render the page based on varied screen sizes. Meta viewport indicates that a webpage is mobile-friendly which automatically boosts the organic ranking.

What You Should Do

– Tag all pages with a meta viewport
– If you don’t know what to do, it’s best to use the ‘standard’ tag

Common Meta Viewport Mistakes

You should not encounter any tagging issues in this respect, as most CMSs set the meta viewport by default. However, you can check any issues using Google Search Console’s Mobile Usability.

What is Meta Charset?

<meta charset="UTF-8">
For HTML4 or below
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8">

This tag is used to set the character encoding in a webpage, instructing the browser how to display the text on it. If you are not careful about the character encoding it can display the characters inaccurately, hampering the overall user experience. It can cause several SEO problems like people not linking back to your page, low page dwell time, and the search engine facing difficulty understanding your content. Among the hundreds of char tags, the two that are used most are:
– UTF-8: Unicode
– ISO-8859-1: Latin alphabet

What You Should Do

– Put meta char on all pages
– Use of correct syntax as per HTML version
– Putting the UTF-8 tag wherever possible

What is Meta Refresh Direct?

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;url="">

These tags tell the browser to redirect the visitor to a different page URL. It is advisable that you refrain from using them. You can however use a 301 redirect in its place. If you ever see a meta refresh tag on a webpage, proceed to remove it.

Wrapping Up

Hope this blog clears a lot of your doubts about html meta tags for SEO. Bear these practices in mind when strategizing for your website.


If you need further help regarding meta tags for SEO, feel free to consult the digital marketing experts at Forix SEO.