Why Meta Tags Are Essential : How To Optimize Them For SEO?

December 6, 2023 | Advanced SEO

Quite often, the most fundamental parts of a mission do not get enough importance and attention.

If SEO is your mission, then meta tags are those ignored fundamentals. 

[Disclaimer: I often forget to buy ‘Salt’ while doing my grocery shopping.]

The problem is most websites prioritize other essential elements (prime grocery items) of SEO and ignore meta tags (salt).

Whereas meta tags fundamentally describe your web pages’ purpose and intent to search engines and users.

This article will discuss the importance of meta tags and how you can optimize them for search engines.

But before that,

What Is A Meta Tag?

A meta tag is a snippet of HTML code that describes search engines how to display a web page in SERPs and tells web browsers how the web page will appear to the searchers.

Meta tags can significantly impact your click-through rate.

These HTML codes are included in the <head> section of HTML.

Meta description tag

The above is an example of a meta tag called ‘meta description’.

Why Meta Tags Are Vital For SEO?

Importance of meta tags in SEO

Meta tags SEO play a vital role for the following reasons,

  1. Meta tags describe the purpose of your web pages to the search engines and decide how they will appear on search engine results pages.
  2. They indicate web browsers how to display your web pages to the users.
  3. HTML meta tags signal crawlers whether to index your web pages or not.
  4. They describe search bots whether to follow the backlinks on your web pages or not.
  5. Meta tags describe Google whether your web pages are mobile-friendly, and Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing.
  6. Meta tags ensure the proper display of texts of your content.

List Of Meta Tags Supported By Google

Following are the meta tags that Google supports. The tags are best described and explained by Google itself.


Meta Description Tag


Meta Robots


Meta Googlebot Tag


Meta Google Tag


Meta Google-Site-Verification Tag

Content-Type and Charset

Meta Content-Type and Charset Tag


Meta Refresh Tag


Meta Rating Tag


Meta Viewport Tag

Though Google supports quite a few meta tags, as shown above, we will cover the most essential ones that you need to optimize to implement meta tags SEO in the next section.

How To Optimize Meta Tags For SEO?

As mentioned above, we will discuss the following most essential meta tags for SEO in this section,

  1. Meta Description
  2. Meta Robots
  3. Meta Viewport
  4. Meta Title

Meta Description

A meta description tag is a short and relevant description that describes search engines what the web page is about and convinces the searchers that they are precisely looking for that web page content.

It appears just below the content’s title on the search engine results pages.

Meta Description Tag

Though meta description is not a Google ranking factor, Google often uses meta description tags for their featured snippets.

Moreover, a compelling meta description creates interest among searchers to click on the link of your web page.

A typical meta tag HTML code looks like the following,

Meta description tag HTML code

Best Practices For Meta Description Tags

It would help if you kept in mind the following while writing your meta description tags,

  1. Restrict the length to 120 characters.
  2. Provide accurate content summary.
  3. Use sentence case.
  4. Avoid stuffing your meta description with keywords; include only the relevant ones.
  5. Make sure there are no duplicate meta descriptions.
  6. Match users’ search intent.

Once you finish creating your meta description tags, you must ensure they are properly optimized with relevant targeted keywords.

You can opt for a reliable tool like RankWatch on-page SEO checker.

RankWatch on-page SEO checker.

RankWatch SEO IQ Meta Description suggestions

RankWatch SEO IQ provides you with the detail of keywords used in your meta description and suggests the necessary actions to further enhance your meta tags SEO.

Meta Robots 

A meta robot tag describes crawlers whether to index your web pages or not and tells Google bots to follow the backlinks on your web pages.

A typical meta robots tag HTML code appears in the <head> section like the following,

Meta robots tag

You can include the following four main instructions in the ‘content’ attribute for search engines,

index: It instructs crawlers to index your web pages.

noindex: It instructs crawlers not to index your web pages.

follow: It instructs search bots to crawl the backlinks on your web pages, and you endorse them.

nofollow: It instructs search bots not to crawl the backlinks on your web pages, and you do not provide any endorsement for them.

Best Practices For Meta Robots Tags

Following are the best practices for applying your meta robots tags,

  1. If you have web pages with duplicate content, you must implement a ‘noindex’ parameter on those web pages to avoid SEO issues. 
  2. Never implement ‘nofollow’ instructions on your internal links.
  3. It is essential to check if any vital web page you have stopped from indexing or applied nofollow to your internal links by mistake. That can have a severe impact on your meta tags SEO. The best way to check that is to perform a site audit.

RankWatch site auditor can make this task a breeze.

RankWatch site auditor

Scrolling down at the end of the tool page will give you a complete picture of your noindex pages and nofollow links.

Noindex pages and nofollowed links in RankWatch site auditor

Meta Viewport

Meta viewport tags became one of the most crucial SEO meta tags, especially since Google prioritized mobile-first indexing.

A meta viewport tag decides the visible part of a web page by adjusting the scaling and width of the viewport.

It instructs web browsers how to render a web page for various devices. Google considers the presence of this meta tag as a sign of mobile-friendliness.

A typical HTML code for a meta viewport tag looks like the following,

Meta Viewport Tag

Best Practices For Meta Viewport Tags

Following are the best practices for applying your meta viewport SEO tags,

  1. Apply meta viewport tags on each web page of your website.
  2. Once you finish adding meta viewport tags, you must check the mobile-friendliness

You can check the mobile responsiveness of your web pages using a reliable mobile friendliness checker tool.

RankWatch mobile friendliness checker tool

RankWatch’s mobile friendliness and responsive checker can make your life easier. Just enter your domain URL in the dialog box and your mail address, and the tool will immediately display whether your website is mobile friendly or not.

Meta Title

A meta title, also known as title tag, is an HTML element. It specifies the title of a web page.

The primary purpose of a meta title tag is to describe crawlers and searchers what to expect from that web page.

Meta Title tag

A meta title tag typically appears like this on the SERP as shown above.

The HTML code for a meta title tag looks like the following,

Meta Title Tag

Best Practices For Meta Title Tags

Following are the best practices for designing your meta title SEO tags,

  1. Restrict the length to 60 characters.
  2. Do not use any clickbait meta titles.
  3. Do not stuff your meta titles with irrelevant keywords.
  4. Maintain uniqueness for each meta title.
  5. Make your meta titles brief but explanatory.
  6. Do not use generic or vague meta titles.
  7. Match the search intent of the users.
  8. Use title case.

RankWatch on-page SEO checker tool can help you to check whether your meta titles are optimized with relevant keywords.

RankWatch SEO IQ Meta Title suggestions

RankWatch SEO IQ provides the details of keywords used in your meta title and suggests the necessary actions to optimize your SEO metadata further.


Though meta tags do not get enough priority, like content or backlinks, meta tagging plays an essential role in SEO.

Meta tags describe to users the purpose of your web pages, tell the intent of your web pages to search engines, decide your web page’s appearance on the SERPs, signal crawlers whether to index your web pages and follow the backlinks, ensure proper display of your content on all devices for a smooth user experience.

A solid metadata SEO can significantly boost your click-through rate and conversions.

Hence, start optimizing your HTML meta tags today following the best practices discussed in this article and take the help of the right tool.

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