How meta tags, meta descriptions, and meta keywords affect Google's search engine.
What are meta tags?
Meta tags are small snippets of text that describe a page’s content; the meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code.
The only difference between tags you can see (on a blog, say) and tags you can’t see is location: meta tags only exist in HTML, usually at the “head” of the page, and only visible to search engines (and people who know where to look). The “meta” stands for “metadata,” which is the kind of data these tags provide – data about the data on your page.
How can I check the meta tags on my site?
For your homepage, in your back-end admin go to:
CMS > PAGES > MANAGE CONTENT > Click on HOME > Click on the META DATA tab.
Or in your category pages:
From here you will type in 2-5 keywords that you want your website rank for. Keep in mind that any more than 5 keywords will confuse Google. It's better to spread different keywords throughout your site and different pages vs putting all your keywords on one page.
Adding a description to your page is as useful meta tag as, very simply, it explains to Google / Bing / Yahoo searchers what your page is about. Let’s say you were googling the phrase “best place to buy guns” for example. You might encounter the following results:
It’s important to note that the description tag won’t always show up in the results for a Google search (Google picks a snippet of text from the page itself) but it’s useful in other ways.
Google has also stated that keywords in meta descriptions won’t affect your rankings. However, a compelling meta description tag could entice searchers to click through from the search engines to your site, especially if the description includes the keywords they were searching for.
- The power is in your wording. How you phrase your meta descriptions can make or break your search results. Add different words that describe value in your description. Give searchers a good reason to click on your result.
- Write calls to action! Try adding language like “click here”, “learn more about our guns by clicking here” and “click on this result”. Obviously, the context of the webpage will determine what wording you choose like: “best guns here" or "lowest priced guns in Texas" etc.
- Test them! – If you have certain landing pages that receive a decent amount of organic traffic, consider testing different variations of meta descriptions to see if you can get a lift in click-through traffic. Try different description lengths, phrasing and positioning of your keywords.