Written by Aaron Rains November 6th 2020

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), many factors should be considered. A relatively simple but still essential part of SEO is the meta tags included on any webpage that search engines what the page is about. HTML meta tags for SEO relate a lot of important information to various search engines, similar to how computers in your vehicle tell your car what to do. Other factors tell the browser what to render and show on the page but don’t those things don’t always affect SEO.

This article will cover common meta tags for SEO (HTML) so that you can optimize your web pages to rank as well as possible. It’s also important to note that though necessary, optimized meta tags are fundamental SEO. A lot more goes into any SEO strategy, including link acquisition, content, targeted keywords, and crawling your website for errors.

Your Inclusive Guide To Meta Tags For SEO HTML

We’ll start by discussing meta tags in a little more detail than give you a little more tips on what to focus on with your SEO strategy.

What Are Meta Tags?

Simply put, meta tags are pieces of code in the <head> section of your website. HTML websites are split into two parts, the <head> and the <body>. The header contains a bunch of code that tells browsers what to load and what to do. It’s also accessed by search engine crawlers, which is why it’s important for SEO.

The <body> contains the code that shows the page loading in their browser, which makes up the page. We’re mainly going to focus on <title> tags in this article.

<title> tag

The <title> tag might be the most critical type of meta tags for SEO HTML because it’s the tag that will show up in Google’s search results when your page ranks high enough. Optimizing this has a high SEO impact.

Title tags should include main keywords included in the pages’ body content, ideally near the title’s font, if possible. The optimal title tag is about 60 characters and has a pixel width of 600. Most of your title tags should show completely at this length, though it is important to keep in mind that screen sizes and search engines are continually testing this, and it may change.

Meta Description

Like the title tag, the meta description contains the text you want to display in the search results right below your title tag. They are useful because they tell the searcher what the page is about to encourage them to click your site instead of your competitors. Usually, the search engines will be bold or highlight the text in your meta description that matches the keywords your searchers typed into the search box.

As of June 2020, the optimal meta description length is 160 characters. There have been several tests for potentially increasing this length over time, but we recommend keeping them to under 160 characters just to be on the safe side. You wouldn’t want to have to go back and fix anything later.

Their SEO impact is minimal, and we should note that meta descriptions aren’t used for rankings.


The canonical tag tells search engines where the original source of information comes from and which URL should be indexed. This process becomes essential when a website has not correctly used 301 redirects to controls for technical issues like www and non-www, trailing slashes, and http/https.

For example, this helps tell the search engines that even if searches link to your website but forget the www at the beginning, they still go to your site. The canonical is not a strong directive, which means that search engines can ignore it if they think it was done in error. It’s not a replacement for a proper redirect to cure duplicate content, but it might be a temporary band-aid.

Canonicals can also be used cross-domain, which means that if the content was originally published elsewhere, a tag might be applied to send the search engines to that original source. The impact these tags have on SEO is medium.


Continuing on our list of meta tags for SEO, meta robots are a very common tag on webpages that control if the page is indexed by search engines and able to rank for targeted terms. The most common meta robot tags are:

follow/nofollow – decides whether the links on the page should be contributed to overall SEO and page rank

index/noindex – this tells the search engine whether or not search engines should index the page

max-snippet – controls how much of the snippet provided to search engines should show in the index to help you optimize for clicks

max-image-preview – similar to above, but for images

max-video-preview – same as above, but for videos and determines how long it should be shown in search engines

Og Tags

OG (Open Graph) Tags are meta tags used for the various social media platforms to tell them to pull in the correct image/description of the page. They aren’t a direct factor increasing rankings, but they are a part of overall website optimization and are good practice to include in your site.


Meta keywords are older meta tags that the search engines used to determine what the page was about. However, this tag was spammed a lot by SEOs back in the late 90s and 2000s, making it useless for ranking. We do not recommend spending time on this type of tag.

SEO Requires You To Go Above and Beyond

Meta tags, though important, are just one part of SEO. If you had to visual SEO like a pyramid, the technical stuff would make up the foundation, quality content would make up the middle section, and the top of the pyramid would be link building.

Here are a few ways to get started with SEO that works.

Establish An SEO Strategy

The first thing to do is to look at your industry and website from an SEO perspective. Start by confirming if your site is on a platform that takes SEO into account and optimize it to make it a little more SEO friendly. Do some keyword research to find relevant keywords for your niche and then develop a plan for which pages on your site you want to rank.

Get a technical SEO audit to help you identify your SEO issues and prioritize ways to fix them.

Create Amazing Content

Now that you know what pages you want to rank on and identify the appropriate keywords, you can start creating the pages. Create your transactional pages first, using the keywords your ideal customer will be searching to find your service. Then create great content around those topics that answer client questions and inform your client about the information they might be looking for.

Start Link Building

The last piece to the SEO puzzle is link building. You want other people to be interacting and talking about you. What you’re trying to do is get exposure at places your online customers are already hanging out and get links at those places where they can quickly get right to your site.

Having these links from other sites will greatly help you rank higher.

Let Me Help You With HTML Meta Tags For SEO

When you need help with meta tags and a comprehensive SEO strategy, reach out to me today. I have years of experience in HTML Meta Tags and can help your business rank higher on search engines.

Don’t waste your time looking for a quick fix when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s an ongoing process that consists of an all-inclusive strategy that follows best practices and established guidelines. Let’s set up an initial consultation and set up goals for your business that are appropriate for your company.