What Are Website Meta Tags?

First, if you are like most people who open stores….this might be the first time you have heard the term “meta tag” or maybe you have heard of it, but you have never changed the default tags that might be listed with your website.  Do not worry.  Meta Tags can easily be explained.  Technically speaking, a “Meta Tag” is the HTML code inserted into the header on a web page. In the context of search engine optimization (SEO) when people refer to meta tags, they are usually referring to the meta description tag and the meta keywords tag, but there is also the meta title tag as well.  In addition to the well-known meta title, description and keywords tags, there are other meta tags, including the meta http-equiv tag, meta refresh tag, the meta robots tag, the meta copyright tag, and the meta author tag, among others. These tags are used to instruct user agents such as web browsers and search engine spiders on a variety of topics, but as a store owner if you just focus on your main site Meta Title, Description, and Keyword tags you will be ahead of the game.

Meta tag information does not change how the page looks.  It is not visible to your customers…unless they view your source code in the browser specifically…and no one would really do that unless they are just super curious.  You can see an example of what a website meta tag might look like below:

<TITLE>Inventory Source- The greatest wholesale dropship data service company on the planet helping you sell more, while working less.</TITLE>
<META name =“description” content=”Dropship Automation – Inventory Source  becomes the value adding link in your supply chain giving you the same technological capabilities once reserved only for the largest businesses on the web. Let Inventory Source act as your supply chain manager and back-office IT staff, so that you can focus on the fun parts of your business.”>
<META name =”keywords” content=”wholesale, dropship, InventorySource.com, product data management, suppliers, product loading, amazon solutions, eBay product loading, ecommerce experts, automation,
greatest company in the world”>

The purpose of meta tags is to inform web crawlers and search engines about your website. They existed before search engines, but today, they primarily used in terms SEO for making sure your site is understood by search engines.  Using them may help web crawlers more easily index your pages in search engines; however, not all web crawlers pay attention to the tags.  Some crawlers do use them and some do not, and those that do sometimes change how they read or use meta tags from time to time.  So, not having meta tags will not be a deal-breaker for your website, but since they are simple to add, it is STILL a good way to get started with your SEO activities. Learning how to create a meta tag on each page may help promote greater visibility on certain search engines, and may increase the likelihood of your page coming up as a choice when people search under alternate but related names to your content.

When you want to write your meta tags here is a good guideline to follow:

1- Meta Title: Your website Name and a one line slogan.
2- Meta Description: 3-5 sentences talking about your website.  Try to work in a few key words like categories, brands, or product types into this section if you can.
3- Meta Keywords: Select about 20 keywords based on your products, brands, categories, product types, or other search terms people might use when looking for what you sell.

There are reasons for our recommendations above, but feel free to research meta tags and SEO in more depth for more details.  We just wanted to provide you with a good solid approach for your tags that is easy to follow.  Once you have your tags just contact your platform provider for how to add them to your site.