What are meta tags?

I belong to a mastermind group that is following a Joel Comm video series. We get together every week and discuss the particular session we watched during that week. Some of his videos do assume a certain amount of knowledge especially when they veer off the prepared materials.

The discussion was concerning meta tags and how important (or unimportant) they are for SEO. I was glad I watched because I picked up one interesting tidbit about meta tags that I hadn’t known before .. but I’ll get to that in another post.

So what are meta tags?

First off, it’s useful to understand that what you see on a web page isn’t the whole story, there are certain HTML code elements that are not visible on the rendered page but still read by search engines. Meta tags fall into this category. Meta tags are metadata, essentially data about data (if that is confusing, I’m afraid the wikipedia entry won’t be much help). However in this specific example, the concept is a little easier to grasp, since on an HTML web page, meta tags help describe what the web page is about.

What can you say about a web page? Well a number of things, but you need to only pay attention to two tags “description” and “keywords”.

  • Keywords is just that, a list of keywords that you think describe your page the best
  • Description is a few sentences that describes what your page is about

Many website building tools and CMS (content management systems) will have some way for you to fill these tags in, without having to learn how to code them into HTML. If they don’t, consider moving on to one that does.

Next – how search engines use meta tags

About the Author Kathy Alice

Kathy Alice Brown is a traffic and conversion expert specializing in SEO, Copywriting and Facebook Ad Campaigns. In her spare time she loves to get outside.