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You have finished making your website, or it has been developed for you. A lot of text has been added and photo's have been digitized. The website or web-shop is now open for business. Maybe you even have the ability to accept online payments so people can pay directly for their purchase. Now you are anxiously waiting for orders and payments to be made.
Unfortunately that's not how it works in the real world, and it's not how it works on the internet either.
If your customers don't know who you are, what you sell and where they can find you, how do you expect them to buy something in your shop? They don't even know where your shop is situated. So you need to get your website listed with the search engines and you need to place ads so people will notice you.
If you are looking for information or if you want to buy something (or you just want to stay ahead of your competitors by spying on their internet activities) you use a certain search engine. Within a few seconds the whole web is crawled. Usually you'll get too many hits, but when you read the background information of this search engine you will find that it's possible to perform a more detailed search task.
Meta tags are invisible tags that provide data about your page to search engines and website visitors.
Meta tags are placed in the <head> section of a HTML document, and so they need to be coded in your CMS. This can be easier or harder depending on the platform that powers your website: an “out of the box” solution like WordPress will have a dedicated section for meta tags like canonical links or meta descriptions.
However, before we get into the nitty-gritty of which meta tags to add to your site, let’s talk about why they’re so important.
As previously mentioned, meta tags offer more details about your site to search engines and website visitors who encounter your site in the SERP. They can be optimized to highlight the most important elements of your content and make your website stand out in search results.
Search engines increasingly value a good user experience, and that includes making sure that your site satisfies a user’s query as best as it possibly can. Meta tags help with this by making sure that the information searchers need to know about your site is displayed upfront in a concise and useful fashion.
Some types of meta tag relate to page structure and will ensure that your site is easy to navigate, while others tell search engines which parts of your page are important and which to overlook.
There are numerous different types of meta tags which fulfill different roles, and not all of them are relevant to SEO.
However, for the purposes of this quick guide, we’ve picked out the six most important meta tags that you need to know about for search optimization.