What Are Meta Tags And How Does It Work?

What Are Meta Tags And How Does It Work

While we all know what meta tags are and how they work, not everyone knows how crucial they can be for their SEO strategies. 

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What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are simply words or phrases that appear in the HTML code of your website’s pages. In simple terms, meta tags are the hidden factors that make your website stand out from the rest. When someone uses search engines to look for something, the keywords in the meta tags will appear in the results alongside the actual content. That’s how important they are.

What Do Meta Tags Do?

The keywords in your meta tags will determine how your site appears in the search results when someone uses a search engine. The meta tag’s description can help you better understand how your site will appear when someone performs a search on Google. 

For example, suppose you’re doing business in Australia, and you want to target Australian audiences. In that case, your meta tags should contain words and phrases such as Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, and so on.

Let’s say you run a shoe store in Sydney, and you want to target Australian audiences. You can use the description to explain what your website is about. In this case, you would enter the keyword shoes into the meta tags to describe your website’s content. 

When an Australian search for shoes on Google, your website will appear because it has the most relevant content to that keyword. This is because Google’s algorithm considers the words and phrases you use in the description.

Why Are Meta Tags Necessary?

Backlinks are still one of the most important factors contributing to a website’s success or failure. However, Google has recognized meta tags’ role and incorporated them into their algorithm. 

This is why building a solid foundation with high-quality backlinks is important.

There are many different types of backlinks, and while most of them are extremely important, meta tags play a vital role in gaining backlinks from major websites. 

For example, if you run a store specializing in men’s accessories, you could have a link to an online shop that sells sunglasses.


When a website owner builds a quality page using relevant and valuable content to their target audience, they’ll naturally want to share that content with their followers on social media. This is where backlinks come in.

If you run a store in Sydney and want to attract potential customers from Melbourne, you should probably be creating content relating to events and activities in Sydney. 

In this example, you could create a blog post about a famous Australian band that covers their latest album or tour news. 

This type of content is very interesting to people living in Sydney, so it’s a fantastic way to gain backlinks and attract potential customers.

While backlinks are extremely important to build, you should also be aware of other forms of SEO that aren’t as easy to measure. 

For example, Google’s algorithm is getting smarter every year, and to keep up, you’ll need to evolve your SEO strategy constantly. This is where meta tags come in.

What Is The Role Of The description And keywords?

We’ve already gone over the importance of meta tags, so now let’s talk about the two most important tags in particular: the description and keywords.

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The description is the text that appears below a website’s link on a search engine result page. In some instances, the description can be up to 500 words in length, and it should be detailed yet concise. 

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Remember that this is the text that appears below a website’s link, so it’s the first thing visitors will see when they click on it. This is why keeping the description concise yet comprehensive is extremely important.

The keywords are words and phrases you’ll need to enter into the HTML code of your site’s pages to ensure those pages are found and indexed by search engines. Keep in mind that the keywords you enter must be related to the content of your website. 

For example, if you run a blog about health and fitness, you probably want to enter the words fitness and health, as these are the types of things your blog posts would typically cover.

You should enter a combination of up to 2-3 keywords in each meta tag. While meta tags do not have to be a precise science, you should enter the keywords, so they are relevant and relevant to your target audience. 

If you want to appear in the organic results on Google, you should probably be entering the keywords into the meta tags of your site’s pages.

How Do I Enter The Right keywords?

The better you enter the right keywords, your SEO will be better. There are several methods you can use to enter the right keywords, and while some of them can be very time-consuming, others can be a bit simpler.

If you’re using WordPress to run your website, you can use the built-in SEO features to enter the right keywords. 

WordPress stores keywords that you might need in the text of your posts and pages. If you want, you can use this and enter the words and phrases that best describe your blog post or page’s content.

Another method is to enter the keywords in the header of your blog posts and pages. You can use the title and h1 tags of your blog posts and pages to do this and your site’s description and keywords in the body copy.

You can also create a list of the top-level domains (TLDs) you’ll need to register for to run a successful site. For example, if you want to run a vegan blog, you’ll want to register for your blog’s domain name. When someone clicks on that link, they’ll be taken to your site.

Importance of Meta Tags

A meta tag, or metadata tag, is a small text describing other elements on a webpage. Meta tags are commonly found in the HTML code of a webpage but can also be seen as a type of HTTP header. 

The HTML code on a webpage will often contain a tag that links to a description of the page that can be read by search engines such as Google. A tag can also provide information to other applications such as Google Maps and Siri.

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Meta Tags Can Improve User Experience

Using meta tags can help improve a user’s experience on a webpage. If a user enters a query into the Google search bar and clicks on a search result, the URL of the page will contain a sequence of letters and numbers which represent the tag on that page. 

If the sequence of letters and numbers does not match the data entered in the search bar, the user will be shown a warning that their query could not be found. 

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However, if the data entered in the search bar is present but the sequence of letters and numbers is incorrect, the user will not be warned, and the webpage will not be found when a search is performed. 

This is because the tag on the webpage is incorrectly formatted, preventing it from functioning as a search engine tag.

The use of tags can also make a significant difference to a webpage’s load time. The more meta tags a page contains, the longer it will take for the page to load. The same goes for a video hosted on a webpage; the more meta tags applied to it, the longer it will take to load. 

This is because when a webpage, or a video, is loaded into the users’ browsers, the browser must go through and catalog all the tags on the page, identifying each one. This can take a significant amount of time.

For these reasons, it is important to ensure that the tag on a webpage is correct and contains the relevant information to make the webpage more discoverable. 

Unfortunately, this can be difficult to achieve given that the tag is often created and edited by the webpage’s publisher, and the person uploading the content to the website has no control over creating these tags. 

To ensure that the tags on a website contain the correct information, the webmaster should check the website’s source code to ensure that the tags are formatted correctly and that all the necessary information is present. 

Make Sure Your Meta Tags Work

Suppose you’re creating a blog post about the top trends in wine. You might start with an interesting article idea, but once you begin writing, you realize there’s much more you could say about this topic. 

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After all, it’s not as “top” as you first thought it was. Or maybe it is, but you want to explore other options too. What if you don’t even know what keywords or descriptions to use?

If you go back and look at your original idea for the blog post, it might not even make sense anymore. Or, at the very least, it will seem like a completely different article. 

This is why meta tags are so important. They allow you to find the right words for your content without having to worry about whether or not your original idea still makes sense once you start writing. 

Think of it this way: If you don’t have the right keywords in place, you’re essentially throwing away your well-written article because the software can’t find it. Ugh. Not helpful at all!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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