Meta keywords are a category of meta tags which are placed into the HTML code hidden below the surface of a Web page. They aren’t immediately visible to a visitor unless he deliberately decides to access them, but instead, they are the page contains an algorithm will read off of that page.
How Does Google Use Them?
These keywords contain data that is analyzed by the search engine algorithms to characterize the content of the page. It’s essential that these tags accurately describe your content for the sake of good search engine optimization.
In the past, Google has pointed out that these keywords play an incredibly minor role in SEO. The truth is that some of them can improve your ranking, and they can cause a negative hit if improperly handled.
The Title and Description tags, for example, play a role with human visitors, regardless of their direct impact within algorithms. They are visible to users in a google search and may entice a visitor to click, depending on the information they provide compared to other search results.
We’ll go over the basic things you need to know:
How To Check Meta Keywords?
You can access the source code by the Ctrl + U shortcut, or by right-clicking anywhere on the page and selecting ‘View page source’ from the drop menu. There are also a number of plugins to check meta tags of any website quickly.
Which Meta Tags are the most important in 2019?
We mentioned some already, but among all of them, here’s a basic list that you’ll need to cover when outfitting your page:
- Title Tag
- Description Tag
- Robot’s meta tag
- Alt text if your page is dealing with many images
Title meta tag is how your page’s title appears in search results. This title offers visitors a preview of the content on the page, and is the second most contributing factor to CTR (click-through rate), after the SERP ranking.
You should make your title tag accurately descriptive and clear. Keep it under 55 characters.
This is how it looks inside the HTML code:
Equally important as the title tag, it describes the contents of the page, and a good description is paramount for a good CTR.
In the past, description length was usually around 150 characters, but in recent times Google has switched up the length on occasion. You should generally keep it under 160 characters and put emphasis on providing an accurate representation of your page’s content.
Keep it simple. Only include your keywords naturally and try to have a different description for each of your pages. This is especially important if multiple pages rank closely to each other in the same search.
You can edit your meta descriptions inside the HTML code, and this is how it looks like:
<meta name=”description” content=”Page meta description goes here.”>
Robots Meta Tag
The robots tag, very similarily to robots.txt, is exclusively there for search engine web crawlers. They are placed in the head tag of the page and guide the crawlers on whether to index or noindex (not index) your page, as well as whether they should follow outgoing links from your page (follow or no-follow links).
<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”>
Or some other combination of those attributes.
Alternative Text Tag
Alt tag ‘translates’ images to a medium that crawlers can comprehend. It’s paramount to have proper Alt text if you want your page to be found through Google Images. Sample alt text looks something like this:
<img src=”http://yourwebsite.com/picname.jpeg” alt=’picname” />
The alt tag should be accurate and informative, the text needs to be short and concise, and keep the text around 50 characters. All of that is essential for an optimized sitemap for images. Downsize high-res pictures to preserve quality while greatly improving loading times.
Meta Keywords Generator
Not to be confused with generator tag, an essentially useless tag.
Meta keywords generators are various applications and services that analyze your page and inform you of the most desirable keywords and tags.
Don’t rely exclusively on these free tools, always do your research and use computational tools just as a pointer.
Elena is an SEO and Keyword Research enthusiast, Contributes to the blog section, and manages the chat system at 1stpageKWs. She loves spending her precious time with the family.