Meta Tags: The Definitive Guide to Meta-Data for SEO

Feb 22, 2022SEO0 comments

The <meta> tag defines metadata about an HTML document. Metadata is data (information) about data.

<meta> tags always go inside the <head> element and are typically used to specify a character set, page description, keywords, author of the document, and viewport settings.

Metadata will not be displayed on the page but is machine parsable.

Metadata is used by browsers (how to display content or reload the page), search engines (keywords), and other web services.

Understanding and using meta elements correctly can be tricky.

Meta tags tips

#SEO Miscellaneous meta tags – For Beginners and Professionals

  1. Meta Title

The meta title tag informs search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, of the clickable title you want to display on search engine results pages.

The meta title tag acts as the title to a document.

Its purpose is to convey the main topic of a web page, and as such, it is used by search engines for ranking purposes and as the clickable element within search snippets – but not always.

Here are my top recommendations for creating click-worthy (and rank-worthy) meta titles:

  • Write a unique title tag for each web page
  • Use your title tag to describe the page’s content to users and search bots
  • Aim for a title tag length of 35-70 characters
  • Include your target keyword(s) but avoid keyword stuffing
  • Place your primary keyword toward the front of your title tag if possible
  • Ensure your title tag matches search intent
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word and the odd full word for emphasis
  • Minimize stop words like a, and, but, so, or, etc.
  • Include your brand name if it makes sense

<title>This is the Title of the Page</title>

2. Meta Description 

Simply put, the meta description tag summarizes a page’s content.

Search engines often use it as the snippet on the search engine results page.

The meta description will show beneath the title link and the display URL within a standard search snippet if applied by search engines.

Here’s what a meta description looks like in HTML code:

<meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of a meta description. Your meta description will often show up in search results.”>

Here are seven tips to get the most of your meta descriptions:

  • Write a unique meta description for your most important pages
  • Summarize your content’s most important features
  • Match the search intent of your primary keywords
  • Incorporate your main and related keywords where relevant
  • Keep your meta description below 158 characters
  • Place your most important information in the first 120 characters
  • Use an active voice, numbers, and a CTA to boost CTR

3. Meta Robots Tag

The meta robots tag is a meta tag for robots.

In other words, it provides data to robots about how to handle a page.

By default, search bots will index all your pages it can crawl. The meta robots tag allows you to set special instructions like not indexing this URL or crawling the links on this page.

Here are the main directives you can define:

  • Index: This tells search bots to index the page. If a page is indexed, it will appear in search engine results. If you don’t instruct search bots to not index the web page, it will get indexed anyway (assuming it’s crawlable).
  • Noindex: This says to search bots “do not add this webpage to your index” which means the page won’t show up in search engines.
  • Follow: This instructs search bots to follow the links on your web pages, and that you also vouch for the resource you are linking to. This too is the default if you don’t add any instructions to your source code.
  • Nofollow: This informs search bots not to crawl links on the page and that you don’t endorse the resource you are linking to.

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

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, nofollow”>

<meta name=”robots” content=”index, nofollow”>

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow”>

4. Meta Keyword Tags

Meta keywords are tags you can apply to a page to indicate the keywords it should rank for.

Here are what they look like as part of HTML code:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3″ />

The trouble is, meta keyword tags got exploited by spammers in the early days of SEO, and because of that, most engines ignore the meta keywords tag these days.

Infact, Google hasn’t used meta keywords as part of its ranking algorithm for over a decade.

5. Open Graph and Twitter Card Meta Tag

You are probably wondering why Facebook Open Graph and Twitter Card meta tags appear in this list.

They’re for social media, right?

That’s true.

But they’re also beneficial for SEO.

You use these social media meta tags to control exactly what’s shown, including:

  • The title
  • The description
  • The image

Open Graph and Twitter Card Meta Tag Examples

<meta property=”og:title” content=”Title />

<meta property=”og:description” content=” description.” />

<meta property=”og:image” content=”image source” />

Twitter Card Meta Tag Examples

<meta name=”twitter:title” content=” Title ” />

<meta name=”twitter:image” content=”image source ” />

<meta name=”twitter:creator” content=”@hcubeweb” />

6. Author Meta Tag

→This tag is used to display the author of the page.

<meta name=”author” content=”Hitesh Ladva”>

7. Content-Language Meta Tag

<meta name= “content-language” content=”English”>

→Classify the language in which the content is written.

You can skip if :

Already classified the language in the #HTML tag, e.g. <html lang= “en“>

→It helps spider identify the language

8. Audience Meta Tag

→Helps control the age of viewers;

it is used with parental control software and robots. It is suitable for the pages which are created only for adults.

<meta name= ” Audience ” content=”All”>   

9. Generator Meta Tag

This tag tells the


→a version of the publishing tool

used to generate the page.

<meta name= ” Generator ” content=”Microsoft Frontpage 4.0″>   

10. Revisit-after Meta Tag

→This tag is used to tell web robots how frequently a webpage should be indexed.

→You can also use Robots.txt file instead of this tag to give the same instruction to the web robots.

<meta name= “Revisit-after ” content=”10 days”>   

11. Distribution Meta Tag

This meta tag is used when you are seeking an international audience


→Want to reach the local audience.

→The above tag instructs the search robot to make the page available across the world

<meta name= “Distribution ” content=”Global”>   

12.  Publisher Meta Tag

→Tag is used to displaying the publisher of the web.

Offers an opportunity for branding as you can add the name of your program, company or your design studio within the tag.

<meta name= ” Publisher ” content=”H Cube Web Solutions”>   

13.  Copyright Meta tag

→This tag is used to specify a copyright or patent; your intellectual property.

<meta name= ” copyright ” content=”Copy right 2022″>  

14. Refresh Meta Tag

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”30″>

15. View Point Tag

Setting the viewport to make your website look good on all devices:

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

Final thoughts

Meta tags aren’t that complicated. Understanding the 15 tags above should be enough to prevent any significant SEO.

Meta tags are essential for both search engines and web browsers.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Which SEO meta tag are you going to use differently after reading this post?

Let me know by leaving a comment right now.


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