Basic Meta Tags

In Meta Tags - HTML Meta Tags we learned about the structure of meta tags. Now we'll look at some basic meta tags.

Recommended Basic Meta Tags:

Title Tag

The title tag isn't a meta tag but is related to the discussion in this article.

The title tag displays the text you see in the top bar of a web page. This text not only displays the title for the web page, it is used as the title of a link when someone adds a link to the page to their favourites/bookmarks.

Example of how the title tag is used in the browser window

This tag is used by some search engines to decide how the page ranks in the results and/or as part of the web page listing.

Example of how the title tag is used by Google in the search results

Description Meta Tag

The text contained in the description meta tag is used by some search engines as the description for the web page in their results.

meta name="Description" content="Basic HTML Code Articles - HTML Tutorials HTML code, code validation, HTML code validators, link checkers, cross browser compatibility, DOCTYPE declaration, character encoding, HTML document structure"

Compare the coding above with the image below.

Example of how the meta description tag is used by Google in the search results

Keyword Meta Tag

The keyword meta tag contains terms a potential visitor would use to find the web page. It is not used by all search engines.

meta name="Keywords" content="Your set of keywords for the page "

When creating the list of keywords for the page, don't include words that are not contained in the body of the web page.

To learn how to use the title tag, description meta tag and keywords meta tag effectively I recommend:

SEO Techniques - Step by Step An ebook with 20 chapters of step by step instructions and resources needed to optimize web pages for search engine placement.

SEO Training Class This free search engine optimization class via Yahoo groups is where you can work step by step to learn how to optimize web pages and obtain help as lessons are posted.

Character Encoding Meta Tag

The character encoding meta tag defines the character set used within the web page.

Example of character encoding meta tag:

meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"

As explained in Character Encoding, this basic meta tag is very important to how the web page is displayed.

Suggested Basic Meta Tags

Robots Meta Tag

The robots tag is used to specify if a web page is or is not indexed by the search engine.

Example of the robots meta tag:

meta name="Robots" content="index,follow"

Using a robots.txt file would be more effective but if you do not have access to creating a robots.txt file the robots tag can be used.

Author Meta Tag

The author meta tag defines the author of the web page.

Example of author meta tag:

meta name="Author" content="HTML Basic Tutor"

If you found this web page a useful resource for your own website please link as follows:

HTML Basic Tutor -

Basic Meta Tags used in a web page. Recommended and suggested basic meta tags. How the title tag, description meta tag, keyword meta tag and robots meta tag are used.