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If they are not drafted properly, meta tags can make the difference between a click on your website from a potential customer and a lost one that goes to your competition.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are HTML elements inserted in the website code, that are intended to provide relevant information. They are used by search engine bots with the purpose of describing the content of the page and facilitating its indexation.
Generally, meta tags have the main role of conveying to search engines (such as Google), but also to your potential client, what the respective page or site contains and what are the most relevant words in relation to the content on each page. Because they are found in the <head> section of the site, they are among the first pieces of information read by search engines.
Which are the most important Meta Tags?
The most important meta tags are: Meta Title, Meta Description and Meta Language. Although Meta Keywords is very well known, it has lost its influence when it comes to optimizing a website (from a SEO point of view).
The Meta Title is the Page Title. Its ideal length should be between 60-70 characters, as Google only displays 65 characters. It is very important that this page has unique content, that it includes the representative keywords and, most important, that it is suggestive. In addition to the page title, the Meta Title may contain the brand name or other relevant information.
The Meta Description is the most relevant description for web pages. It is displayed under the Meta Title in Google search results (or other search engines). For this reason, it is recommended for the Meta Description to be a continuation of the Meta Title, to be as suggestive as possible and to contain a CTA (call to action).
Furthermore, it is also advisable that the text contains information that prompts the reader to react. This can range from benefits, to assets or advantages of the product or service sold.
It is important to remember that the text of a Meta Description must be between 150 and 160 characters, as Google does not display more than 155 characters.
Meta Language is used mainly in websites that have content translated into several languages. Its purpose is to inform search engines about the language in which the content of the site is drafted, as well as to help them display relevant results according to the location.
References on the importance of meta tags, as well as other technical information, can be found on the support page provided by Google, by accessing the link here.
How to add meta tags on an online store?
Usually, an online store has the following structure:
- Home (main page);
- Category page;
- Subcategory page;
- Product page;
- Static pages (for example: “About Us”, “Delivery Terms”, “Contact”, and so on);
- Other specific generated pages.
In order for meta tags to be as relevant as possible for a potential client and for the search engine, they must be created according to these following best practices:
- Analysis and definition of the target audience, in order to identify the messages and keywords to which it reacts;
- Analysis of products or services, in order to highlight the advantages and benefits they offer;
- Analysis of product categories, in order to be able to differentiate the descriptions for each category;
- Defining the advantages and benefits offered (for example: free shipping, 20% discount on the first order, certified products, products in stock, and so on).
In order to further define meta tags, we will use as example a fictional eCommerce food business – “Yummy Food”. The examples below are intended to cover as wide a range of readers as possible. Let’s begin!
Example: Grocery store
- Home (Main Page)
- Meta Title: Must contain your main keyword or business segment. It is recommended for it to mention a main asset and the name of the brand.
- Example: Buy Japanese food online – Yummy Food
- Meta Description: For the homepage, the Meta Description should provide general information about the products, information that will attract the user and stir his interest. It is recommended for it to contain exact figures, customer benefits or specific assets.
- Example: Choose from over 200 traditional Japanese ingredients and spices. All products are in stock and will be delivered in 2 days anywhere in the country!
- Category page
- Meta Title: The category title is used as the Meta Title, its content being useful in describing the products available in that section. The brand name can also be added at the end.
- Example: Traditional Japanese dishes – Yummy Food
- Meta Description: It is recommended for the description of a category to contain only information about that category and its related keywords. This can be accompanied by information that will attract the reader, such as: advantages offered by products in the respective category, transport information (free delivery), guarantees or other relevant data about the category.
- Example: Here you can find ready-made or semi-prepared traditional Japanese food products, to make your work in the kitchen easier. Benefit from Yummy free shipping now.
- Subcategory page
Although in these pages the metas are done in the same way, the duplication of content must be avoided, therefore the texts must refer only to the specifics of the subcategory.
- Example of Meta Title: Traditional Japanese sweets – Yummy Food
- Example of Meta Description: Discover many must try traditional Japanese desserts and sweet snacks. Yummy Food offers you only the best treats.
- Product page (detail)
- Meta Title: In the case of products, the Meta Title uses the name of the product, accompanied by the brand name.
- Example: Mochi – Japanese dessert – Yummy Food
- Meta Description: The Meta Description of a product should emphasize the product’s characteristics, the benefits it offers to the potential buyer, but also other assets that the store can offer upon purchase. If the existing products in a category are similar, to avoid duplication, emphasis is placed on the differentiating elements between the products (color, smell, size, and so on).
- Example: Mochi is an extremely delicious Japanese dessert, made from sticky rice, filled with red bean paste or green tea.
In the case of websites that use attributes or tags, these generate specific links that sort products according to those attributes. For example, the link for the (color) attribute “red” should only show products that contain the color red or that are red.
- Meta Title: In this case, the Meta Title contains the product segment and tag name, followed by the brand name.
- Example: Mochi with green tea – Japanese dessert – Yummy Food
- Meta Description: The description will be similar to the categories, except the fact that the specific attribute will be referred to as a differentiating element between other categories or subcategories.
- Example: The Japanese dessert Mochi with green tea is made from sticky rice filled with green tea, which gives it a different but extremely flavourful taste.
- Static Pages (“About Us”, “Delivery Terms”, “Contact” and others)
In the case of static pages, the relevant information contained in these pages must be reflected in Meta Tags.
- Meta Title: Must contain the page and brand name.
- Example: “Terms and Conditions for delivery and returns – Brand Name/Site”
- Meta Description: For Meta Description, the shorter than 160 characters text should be a summary of what the page contains or it should encourage an action.
- Example: “Find out more about the delivery and return terms for the products offered by Yummy Food.”
Correctly written metas play an important role, helping a consumer make the choice between your site and that of your competitors. In order to encourage the customers to make a choice in your favor, make sure the metas are both accurate and correct.
If you are in need of a comprehensive review of your online shop metas, contact us here in order to find the best solutions for your business.
If you want to find out more, fill out the form below and receive the “Guide for writing the meta tags of an online shop” for free.