When working on a website, you may hear references to “Meta Data” or “Meta Tags“. This is commonly associated with “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization). Managing your pages meta tag information is important for when search engines like Google search your site. This article will explain what meta tags are for.
What is a Meta tag?
A Meta tag is an HTML tag that is specifically for the browser to read information about the site. This information is not seen by the visitor of the site. Meta Tags have the following functions:
- Stores Descriptions and Keywords for search engines
- Shows last modified and authorship information
- Can redirect your site to another page
Meta tags are all stored in the
<head> section of your website code. Below is a brief description of what the Meta tag code looks like.
How meta tags are used?
List keywords for search engines
Below is an example of the keyword meta tag. This allows single words separated by commas to list what the article is focusing on.
<meta name="keywords" content="word1, word2, word3">
Adds a description page for search engines
The Description meta tag is what Google uses to display in their search engine. Must contain a small Sentence/Paragraph about your site.
<meta name="description" content="This is my website description in a small paragraph.">
Shows who wrote the document
This meta data supplies the author information.
<meta name="author" content="John Doe">
Refresh or redirect the user to another page
Below will refresh the same page after 45 seconds.
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="45">
Below will redirect you to Google after 5 seconds.
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;URL=https://www.google.com">
To place meta tags in your site you will need to edit the code. To learn where to put the meta tags, please check the next article on Adding a Meta Description Tag.