Meta tags are special HTML tags that is not visible to users, however they are very important and key to helping crawlers understand content of the page. These tags can be found inside
<head> tag and they appear as
<meta>. They can be used to store various kind of information about your page:
- What is website about? (description meta tag)
- Main keywords of the page. for example this page contains meta tag to identify which keywords are what I think the most important:
<meta name="keywords" content="SEO, websites, search engines, meta tags">
- Special data for bing webmaster tool (
<meta name="msvalidate.01">in this website was used to identify I am owner of the blog)
Meta tags can be also customised for other crawlers:
- App links tags contain data whether page can be deeplinked in mobile application
- Twitter cards tags used to customise all tweets that have active link to page.
But since this blog is about SEO let's focus on key meta tags: title, description and keywords
By customizing these tags not only you help crawler understand your content but also able to customise how your web page is displayed in search results:
By not including these special tags you could potentially lose clicks - bad description of the page or no at all can search result for page look unclear for user or crawler and therefore lose clicks and ranking overall.
In conclusion - setting up appropriate meta tags in your pages should your #1 priority.