Meta Tags form a very important part of the On-page SEO activities and literally every professional SEO analyst has to attach some degree of importance to them. Like several things in SEO, people also have lot of intriguing questions about meta tags. For instance, how to write meta tags for SEO, how many types of meta tags are there in SEO, Do Meta tags really help in SEO so and so forth. Through this post, I will answer most of these questions that will hopefully clear all your confusion regarding meta tags.
But let me first start with an important clarification. Meta tags can only be added to blog posts or articles and not categories sub-categories or pages. This fact holds true, at least in the case of WordPress CMS. If you are using any other CMS then I can’t really validate this claim.
In this latest blog post, readers will get to learn two critical things:
- What is Meta Tags?
- Meta tags for blog post
- Does Meta Tags really have any impact on SEO
- Do’s and don’t while adding tags
- Why Over stuffing Meta Tags is counterproductive
What is Meta Tags
Meta tags are nothing but snippet of your blog post that are usually represented with the help of tags. These tags essentially provides hint to search engine and helps them determine what is your page or article all about. This helps search engine to understand your content better and consolidates the SEO score of your article. Consolidation of your SEO score implies that your article has a better chance of appearing higher on Google or Bing’s SERP.
It must be noted that Meta tags don’t appear in page itself but appear in page’s HTML source code. Therefore, in most cases it is never directly visible to readers.
Let me give a simple example to substantiate the simple concept of Meta Tags for readers.
Suppose I’m planning to write a article on the topic ‘How to acquire backlinks in 2021.” What meta tags will I be adding to this article? Well, I’ll be adding following meta tags for this article: Backlinks, Backlinks in 2021 & Link building. These tags make sense since the article primarily revolves around backlinks and link building.
Do you need Coding Knowledge to add Meta Tags
The answer is big ‘no.’ You don’t need any coding knowledge to add meta tags. I’ve elaborated more on this in the next point.
Meta tags for blog post
Since I have already mentioned that Meta tags can only be added to blog post, it is important to highlight that how should you be adding them. I’d like to point out that this sub-topic is especially meant for SEO amateurs or especially who have just started learning about SEO.
I’d like to categorically point out that you don’t need to have any coding knowledge to add meta tags. In fact, adding meta tags is as easy as taking a ‘walk in the park.’ WordPress is an extremely user-friendly platform and this ensures that people with no coding knowledge can do lot of things including adding meta tags.
To add tags, go to the right-hand side of your word press editor and open the tag section. After opening the section, you can start adding tags but make sure to insert comma after every tag. Only after inserting the comma, the tag gets registered in the page source code.
I’ve uploaded a short video to explain how easy it is to add meta tags. This video has used the latest version of WordPress, the block editor. However, the process of meta tags remains the same in case if you’re using the older version, WordPress classic editor.
Does Meta Tags really have any impact on SEO
The answer to this question, at best, can be described in a subjective way since this is a pretty contentious topic. Personally, I believe that meta tags has a positive impact on SEO. Although tags may not have a decisive impact, they can still go a long way in giving your article a greater visibility in Google’s SERP.
This hypothesis is obviously based on my experience as a SEO professional and content marketer. Apart from my personal experience, the fact that even Google’s algorithm continues to lay emphasis on meta tags for understanding the gist of the article is suffice to underscore the importance of Meta Tags. Many SEO pros unanimously agree that many of Google’s basic functions have remain largely unchanged despite major algorithm updates over the years.
Over-stuffing Meta Tags is counterproductive
Just like over-stuffing keywords in the article is counterproductive, so is overstuffing meta tags. Over-stuffing of meta tags happen when one puts too many keywords in the meta tags even though these keywords may have appeared only once or twice in the entire article and these keywords don’t relate to the main theme of the article in anyway.
This basically implies that one should strictly add only those keywords in the meta tags that sum up the gist of the article.
Over abusing or over-leveraging meta tags does not attract heavy penalty from Google. That said, it still proves counter productive in the long run as it leads to prove experience for readers. This is suffice to earn a bad rap from Google, which may lead to minor downgrading of ranking for your web page. But I’d like to again reiterate that this mostly won’t cause any heavy penalty for your website.
Last but not least, I’d like to point out that meta tags are immensely light weight signaling factor but, like many light weight on-page SEO activities, it still occupies great importance in modern day SEO practice.