Behind the scenes, in the actual coding of your website, are two elements that ensure that your web pages get found; these two items are the Meta tags and headlines.

If you learn anything from this article, it’ll be this:

  • The Meta description displays the text underneath the title in search engine results
  • The headline is used to hook individuals into reading your content, and also appears in results

The use of Meta tags has seen their demise over the years of search engine optimization. In older days, the ‘keywords’ Meta tag was in heavy rotation and became one of the big focal points of SEO and getting found. However, the ‘keywords’ tag has fallen out of favor like much of the other Meta tags within the HTML coding.

What has remained is the fact that people look for two things when browsing search results:

  • A relevant headline to their query
  • A description that gives them an idea of what the web page details

The Meta description is your best friend because it acts like an opening paragraph to your content. You’re limited in character size but you’ll easily slip in a sentence which should be accurate to your content and relevant to your potential visitor.

There are other Meta tags such as ‘author’, ‘robots’, and ‘content-type’ which give additional information to the search engines and web browsers but, again, the main thing to remember is to always fill in your Meta description (otherwise it’ll be done automatically).

All of this comes back to the use of headlines which, in technical terms, will be wrapped within the <title> tag, just before the Meta tags. Publishing platforms like WordPress and other blogging tools have fields to easily add the titles automatically but those using HTML/CSS coded websites will need to ensure they’re filling in these vital tags.

The consensus about whether the title/headline plays a factor in SEO is still widely debated but cutting through the minutia will tell you that it simply needs to be there. The headline is the biggest factor in website conversions within search engine results. People will spend time digging around for relevant information but a headline/title that completely relates to their query is far more likely to be clicked.

The combination of the two elements were talking about here, Meta tags and headlines, go hand-in-hand with getting users to discover your website so don’t forget to make each element unique to the page and content.

What have you to say about Meta tags and headlines?