If you speak to web design companies like Pebble you would have heard us talk about Meta Tags and/or meta information. This short post will explain exactly what they are and what they are used for.
1. Meta Title
This is a tag that is placed at the top of every page and the item you will see listed in Google. The tag looks like this:
<title>John Lewis Clearance - More Of What You Love For Less</title>
Once Google has indexed your website it will use your meta title tag to display to the user what this page is. The title tag also appears in the browser window when you are on the actual website.
2. Meta Description
This is a tag that is also placed in the header of the web page to tell search engines what is in this page. The tag looks like this:
<meta name="description" content="John Lewis Clearance. Now On. Shop for Sofas,
Beds, TVs, iPads & Fashion online. Free Delivery on orders over £50." />
You can see by this screenshot below what these look like when a user searches and how it is displayed. We have used John Lewis as an example of this:
Important things to remember about adding Meta Information to your web pages:
The title element of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page's content. The maximum that will be displayed in a title tag is 70 characters. If you use more than 70 characters then Google will show an ellipse "..."
Use the meta description tag the tell users and search engines what you are talking about in the actual page. This helps Google to understand whether this particular page is relevent for the user. The maximum amount of characters you can use in a meta description is approximately 155 characters.
Google does not have to use your meta description though if it feels it is not relevent to the page.
What if I don't specify a Meta Description?
See this video below from Google explaining what happens if you don't. Basically, if you do not then Google will attempt to make one for you based on the content of the page.
- Resubmitting a Sitemap to Google
- So, how does Google work?
- I was top of Google, what happened?