Bloggie Wednesdays: Meta Tags. Your Blog Needs Them.

Bloggie Wednesdays: Meta Tags. Your Blog Needs Them


Between you and me, I don’t enjoy talking about blogging and SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimisation for you). It’s the least fun part of blogging and it’s something that I prefer to sort out in the beginning and never having to worry about it later on. Unfortunately, if you want to be friendly with the Google gods and have them put you on the front of the search page as much as possible, that bit of extra work called SEO is something you can’t run away from.

As much as I dislike shoving SEO down your throat, the reason I’m writing this is that when I was working on a client’s website, I realised that weren’t any meta tags on her blog at all. Out of curiosity, I checked out the Page Source of a number of blogs I follow and to my surprise, they don’t have any meta tags on their blogs either. In that case, I thought I’d write about it and why you should have meta tags on your blogs.

I’ve written a general post on Search Engine Optimisation for Beauty Bloggers 2 years ago and today, I’d like to delve into a section of it called Meta Tags. These are the tags that you see at the top of Page Source of every webpage you see. It’s not something you can see on the website itself. If you’re unclear about what I mean, right-click on a webpage and click on View Page Source.

Meta Tags View Page Source

Meta tags are special HTML tags that provide information about a webpage. They don’t affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, what the page is about and which keywords represent the page’s content. When search engines like Google or Bing build their indices, they use this information. When people search for information, search engines crawl websites, pick these tags up and display them in search results.

Meta Tags for the Website

Here’s an experiment for you. Go to and search for your website. In my case, let’s say I type in “Beautyholics Anonymous” (excluding the quotes). Let’s take a look at the search results.

Meta Description in Search Results

You’ll see that the top result has my blog (woohoo!). It also shows the description of the blog. Now how did it know what Beautyholics Anonymous is about? Ahh … it’s all in the text I put into the Meta Description.

Meta Tags on Homepage

Meta tags for your website consist of four important sections:

1. Title tag

  • What’s the title of the website?
  • Title tags are important elements for SEO. You can add a couple of important keywords to your title and then your blog name. Or your blog name first and then the keywords. E.g. My Beauty Blog | An Awesome Australian Beauty Blog (or something like that). This will also appear on the bar at the top of your browser.
  • Keep it under 69 characters (too many and Google will truncate the title in the search results)

2. Author

  • Who’s the author of the website?
  • You may want to use your real name or a pseudonym if that’s what you’re using for your blog. I used Tine instead of my full name.

3. Meta keywords

  • What are the keywords used to describe the website?
  • The problem with keywords is that it’s very easy to go overboard and use every word you can think of under the sun to describe your website.
  • Keep the keywords relevant to your blog. Think of what you mostly write about and use those keywords. If you write predominantly about beauty, adding the keywords “gardening, carpentry” and so on won’t help.

4. Meta description

  • What is the website about?
  • This is a good place to write a brief description about your blog. This is what is shown when someone searches your blog on Google or any other search engine.
  • Keep your description under 160 characters to avoid it being truncated by Google. As you can see in my example above, I wrote too much in my meta description and the remaining characters were cut off.
  • Meta descriptions do not have any SEO value. They are not taken into consideration when showing your website in search results. However, it has marketing value as it’s the first thing people see when search results are shown. It allows to know what the website is about at first glance.
  • Make your meta descriptions interesting. Even if your blog isn’t what people are searching for, make the description catchy enough to grab their attention and make them want to check your blog out anyway. Mine is boring as arse and needs to be changed. πŸ˜›

Meta Tags for Individual Blog Posts

What I mentioned earlier were meta tags for the website’s homepage. There are also meta tags for individual web pages. For example, the meta description of a blog post will differ from the homepage’s. The homepage’s meta description will tell you what the WEBSITE is about. Each blog post/page’s meta description will tell you what the blog post/page is about. The same goes for keywords. The keywords used will mainly be for the blog post.

Meta Tags for Individual Posts

Meta tags for individual blog posts are dynamic. In other words, they are not generated to be the same as the homepage’s. They will change according to each post with different descriptions and keywords specially created for the post. They are also dynamic so that search engines will clearly know one blog post/page from another and do not treat all of them the same.

How do you insert meta tags into your blogs?

So, after going on and on about meta tags, the all important question is: how do you insert meta tags into your blogs?

For WordPress

If you’re on WordPress, there are plenty of SEO plugins that you can use that will automatically insert meta tags into your website for you. You don’t have to manually insert these tags if you don’t want to. A couple of recommended WordPress plugins for SEO are All In One SEO Pack and Yoast. You can also check if your WordPress theme comes as part of a framework like Thesis or Genesis. If they do, then they’ll have their own settings where you can insert the tags without any need for additional plugins.

Meta Tags SEO in Thesis

For me, Beautyholics Anonymous’ theme runs on the Thesis framework so my meta tags for the website and individual blog posts are automatically sorted out and inserted into the blog.

For Blogger

For Blogger, you can manually add meta tags like Author and Keywords to your blog theme’s HTML. Go to Template > Edit HTML. Search for the code below:

<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>

Copy and paste the code below right after the code above. Just change the content below to suit your needs (they don’t have to be in capital letters).

<meta content='KEYWORDS HERE' name='keywords'/>
<meta content='AUTHOR NAME HERE' name='author'/>

Blogger Meta Tags Meta Description

For meta description, you can add them in the Settings. Go to Settings > Search Preferences. By default, the Description is disabled. Enable Description and edit the text for your website’s description (keep it under 150 characters).

Blogger Meta Tags Search Description

For meta descriptions of individual posts on Blogger, you can add that when you’re composing your blog posts. Go to New Post > Post Settings > Search Description. Give the blog post a very brief introduction or summary on what it’s about. You will only be able to see the Search Description box if you enabled Search Description in the Settings (as shown in the above paragraph). Keep the search description under 150 characters as well.

I hope I didn’t lose you somewhere in the post. It can get a bit technical especially when it comes to codes (and I do ramble on) but once you familiarise yourself with it, it’s actually not too bad. Once you have these meta tags on and make it a habit to put in a description and keywords for each blog post, you have a large part of your blog’s SEO sorted out. It’s extra 20 seconds of work. πŸ˜›

So, if you haven’t inserted any meta tags to your blog, here’s a bit of homework for you. Take 15 minutes and think about what your blog represents, what it’s about and what the keywords to describe your blog are. Insert them into your blog manually or via a plugin. It may not guarantee you top spot of a Google search but at least it will not be lost in sea of websites.

Good luck!

What’s your blog description like? If possible, do copy and paste your description in the comments below. I love to read good blog descriptions. πŸ™‚

Bloggie Wednesdays is a series of articles just on blogging. They contain tips, how-tos, discussions about anything and everything you need to know about blogging and how we can be better bloggers. If you have any suggestions, tips and tricks about blogging you would like to share with us, or if you have any questions you would like me to address, please let us know in the comments.

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33 comments… add one
  1. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    Wow never knew this!! This is why I heart you Tine. Adding to my blog right now! <3
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Beauty Haul: All About The Lips! (Chanel, YSL, Dior)My Profile

    1. Tine

      Aww you know I heart you too πŸ˜‰ x

  2. Fiona

    I like to do all this backend programming thing. It’s fun! I learnt all this SEO from Google after realizing my blog’s SEO score is sooo bad and low haha. In fact most popular top site / blog score low with SEO.
    Fiona recently posted..Review: A Complete Double Cleansing Ritual with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and DHC Mild SoapMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I know right? I find it riveting too πŸ™‚

  3. LinaC

    I don’t know, I heard nowadays they are not so important. We were working on website of our company like 7 yrs ago and when we tried to work over our metatags, our programmer (developer) said: ‘now (it was 2006 or 2007 i think) search engines do not consider them, only content’. That is why I even didn’t bother now. Old days, true, engines were reading metatags before your website, and some clever SEO specialists could put something irrelevant to search just to get ranking. Ah, here the same with professional language: “In 2009, Google announced on its official blog that it does not use meta tags for ranking websites (and has no intention of using them in the future). Why? About a decade ago, keyword meta tags quickly became a way to stuff a website with irrelevant keywords to dive traffic from unrelated search terms. As a result of this persistent abuse, most search engines quickly abandoned (or significantly reduced the importance of) keyword meta tags in ranking websites.”
    LinaC recently posted..New is well forgotten old… Is it right for new beauty products?My Profile

    1. Paris B

      I’m with you on this one LinaC πŸ™‚ Meta tags have become a little less relevant due to the keyword stuffing that happens a lot back in the day when everyone was told it was so important. Also, in recent times, with Panda and Penguin hitting everyone left and right, I wonder if they can even be harmful to rankings if someone is overzealous.
      Paris B recently posted..Oh Honey, let’s get Romantic and give a second chance to the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm StainMy Profile

    2. Tine

      Thanks for your comment LinaC and I completely understand what you mean. There’s a danger in overdoing it with unnecessary keywords that could actually do more harm than good to a website. I don’t see it so much as the need to boost ranking but more so that it makes it easier for people to search for topics on websites. I still say that in terms of description for better marketing, meta descriptions still work even though they technically have no SEO value.

      1. LinaC

        Oh, hope I didn’t sound cross. Of course you are right, for example if I know only name of blogger, but don’t remember blog’s name and url (sometimes they are tricky)…and it is in meta tags (or looking for specific topic), much more chances that blog or blog post with respectively filled meta tags will appear on top of searches, than with ignored meta tags… Is it correct?
        LinaC recently posted..New is well forgotten old… Is it right for new beauty products?My Profile

        1. Tine

          Haha no not at all! You do have a point of course and it makes sense that meta keywords are not as important as they were years ago. At the end of the day, it’s the content that is most valuable and as Paris B said, what’s the point of fantastic SEO if the content is no good? πŸ™‚

  4. Norlin

    You made me panic there for a minute. I knew I had my meta stuff in place but had to just double check! Phew! I do! hahaha..good post!
    Norlin recently posted..Workout Gear – Quality Vs QuantityMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha your blog was also one I checked. It’s all good! πŸ™‚

  5. Paris B

    I’m with LinaC on this one. I think the SEO scene has moved on from using meta keywords although I do think the meta description of a website is helpful to have. Whether it helps rank is one thing, but at least someone gets an idea of what the website is about. I hate the way the new Google alogrithms are screwing up my traffic, but I do agree that content is the key thing to have. Have poor content and no amount of SEO can help anyone there! πŸ˜‰
    Paris B recently posted..Oh Honey, let’s get Romantic and give a second chance to the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm StainMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yep, totally get what you and LinaC mean. Overuse of unnecessary keywords may do more harm than good to websites. In my case, I’m more on the stand of “put the important keywords there in case it helps.” It’s also why I focused more on description than keywords because even though they have no SEO value, it makes it easier for people to want to click on the post in search results if they have an idea of what the post is about (in case the title isn’t clear enough).

      I’m so over Google’s new algorithm. It stinks up my traffic so badly that it’s really bringing me down. I know I shouldn’t let it affect me nor my passion for blogging but the thought of those significantly decreased numbers that I worked so hard to keep or increase just makes me want to cry. It’s just figures but I just can’t help but feel like poo πŸ™

      1. Paris B

        Same with me re: decreased traffic but I think of it thus – If people aren’t coming in as much from searches, it must mean whoever’s reading is a regular and if you think of it that way, those numbers aren’t shabby at all! πŸ˜‰
        Paris B recently posted..Oh Honey, let’s get Romantic and give a second chance to the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm StainMy Profile

        1. Tine

          You sure know how to make me feel better πŸ™‚ xx

      2. LinaC

        What is about bounce rate? Has it changed? or the same?
        LinaC recently posted..New is well forgotten old… Is it right for new beauty products?My Profile

        1. Tine

          Bounce rate has increased over the months πŸ™

  6. Chelsea

    I never knew how to do this… as always, thanks for the tips, Tine! Off to Meta tag xx
    Chelsea recently posted..Wishlist Wednesday: USA Haulin’My Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure Chelsea. Hope it helps πŸ™‚ x

  7. Efrain

    I’ve just did it in blogger however since I didn’t know how to search for the option in Spanis I put my blogger page in English LOL.

    Thanks Tine to make my blog more professional.
    Efrain recently posted..Mi opiniΓ³n: Pond’s Espuma Limpiadora Anti-imperfecionesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      No worries Efrain. Haha whatever works for ya is good! πŸ˜‰

  8. Swati

    i had put the meta tags for the earlier blogger version but in between blogspot changed the backend script so i did not remember to look for the meta tags. Thanks for reminding. I fixed that and I had already enabled the search description so done with that. SEO check! πŸ˜€

    1. Tine

      My pleasure! It’s something that’s very easily forgotten. I almost forgot to put it in; I didn’t have meta tags for a couple of months when the blog first moved to Wordpress πŸ˜›

  9. Cheryl from BusinessChic

    Oh dear, you’ve just made me realise that all of my tags have been truncated on the Google. Thanks for this post, Tine! x
    Cheryl from BusinessChic recently posted..The personal stylist: Meagan HardingMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha you’re welcome, Cheryl! Time to shorten the descriptions πŸ™‚

  10. Trisha D.

    Thank you so much for writing this post! As soon as there’s a spare moment, I’m giving it a try on my blogger blog.

    I also read a few Bloggie Wednesday posts and found them extremely helpful as well.

    Question: do you know if there is a better comment solution for blogger, say something similar to yours that includes recent posts?

    P.S. I’m your newest reader loving all the techie things. Keep rocking on!
    Trisha D. recently posted..Redesign underway!My Profile

    1. Trisha D.

      I did some googling and found a solution, let’s hope it works ha!
      Trisha D. recently posted..Redesign underway!My Profile

      1. Tine

        Yay I hope it works for you too! Just holler if you have any problems. Will try to help if I can πŸ™‚

  11. Piccha

    Thanks for the tips. Very usefull <3
    Piccha recently posted..Review: My Beauty Story Lip Gloss Sweet LipsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure! πŸ™‚

  12. Kayte

    I know this post is quite old but I just wanted to let you know that I found it immensely helpful and I’m now going through putting it all into action over on my blog. Thanks heaps Tine x
    Kayte recently posted..My Favourites for June 2016My Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure, Kayte. Glad you found it helpful. Good luck in your blogging journey! πŸ™‚

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