Did you ever wonder how Google actually goes about ranking the content you put up? Well a gigantic factor is the meta tags it finds on your site.
What are meta tags?
Simply put, they are short pieces of information on your page that tells Google what your page is about and helps it rank your site according to that information.
If you have ever wondered how Google is so good at ranking content that is relevant to what people type and that many times, whatever you search for on Google has results that have bold words, well that’s an example of meta tags in action and the sites that appear from the searches that you do, did it right.
Now these can be broken down into the following:
- The title: Basically if you write an article or blog, the title itself can be a tag.
- The permalink: Generally whatever title you write will create a corresponding permalink that duplicates it.
- The description of your article: This is what appears on search engine results. When you type in something, get the results and it has a short description, that’s an example of it.
These 3 things are part of the whole meta description of your page/s and when Google’s spiders land on your page, depending on what type of information they find on one or more articles, that description you create will play a large part in how and where they rank your site for.
Here is an example of a blog post of mine that is on the first page and where these 3 elements appear:
Now there is another element I purposely left out and it is…
Keyword tags. These are basically an index of keywords you add depending on what type of website platform you have so that when Google finds you page, you are basically giving it a list of terms you want it to rank your site for.
This extra feature can commonly be associated as being part of the overall meta description and in certain ways it is, but in my experience it doesn’t play as much of a major role as the other 3.
And ironically, despite part of the name being identical, the overall meta description/tags in general are more so used to describe the 3 elements above more so than this 4th one itself.
However, I did not include this on the list above because I don’t actually use it.
Why? Well I first have to explain how to set up the first 3 elements correctly and then I’ll explain why I don’t worry about the optional 4th one.
How to ensure you have the 3 important elements set up:
The easiest way to do this is to have a WordPress site and the following plugin installed: All in One SEO.
By having a WordPress site, each time you write a new title, the permalink will automatically fill in, completing 2 of the 3 elements above.
And your first paragraph in each article/blog you write will make up the description and that will be saved by the All in One SEO and appear on Google, which will fill in the 3rd most important element.
For example, as I type this article, all 3 elements have been filled in without me having to worry about it (And this goes for every new blog post that I write). With a combination of WordPress and that plugin, this stuff is really automated so you don’t have to micromanage each new article/blog you write or enter in a new code, it is automatically filled in thanks to these things.
Note: If you also install this plugin, you may see a bunch of check boxes and empty areas which you think you may need to fill in, don’t, let the automation of the All in One SEO do things automatically.
Now back to the reason I don’t use the 4th element:
The biggest reason is that by filling in the first 3, I basically already complete all that is necessary for Google to identify the main keywords and rank them.
The extra feature of keyword tags themselves doesn’t really add much to what I completed and in some cases, I have been told by someone who knows more about SEO than I do that it can impede your results.
How then do you ask will Google rank your page? Well it’ll do so based on the information the other meta tags already provided AND LSI.
And that is going to be enough. Furthermore, you can only do so much to tell Google what you wish them to rank you for, but in the end, they don’t actually “gift” it to you.
Important: The meta tags don’t take your site all the way to the top spot, but they do help index the site better.
If all you had to do to rank on the first page was just fill in those 3 elements above, then this would cause massive abuse. In fact, this is the way it used to be until Google made some extreme changes so that just by doing this little thing, people couldn’t so easily rank so high and do nothing in the process.
If this doesn’t get your site to the top spots, what does?
Low competition keywords and content authority.
Well now it’s 3 if you add: Meta tags (You may as well also call it description).
Sites which have a great deal of content, chase keywords with low enough competition AND identify their content to Google easily through the meta description are very likely to rank very higher.
And my sites, including this one have been following this process over the years and have reached MANY top spots. Regardless of what new rules Google puts out for SEO, those 3 things will always make your site have a much greater advantage vs others that don’t do that.
Making sure your site does “everything right” for maximum SEO benefits:
Setting up the meta tags is easy if you follow the strategy I indicated above. People may think of this as being a technical aspect of SEO and it can be without a WordPress site, but with it, you don’t have to worry about that.
What is tough is writing the content and in some cases, finding the keywords, but that’s the price of ranking high on Google.
One final note, if you are the type of person who uses a different website platform to make articles, know that most of them with the exception of HTML sites allow for the same type of automation as the All in One SEO plugin does in a WordPress site, however in the end, I will always recommend you use that platform to make your pages than any other.