Anyone who works with online content has probably heard the term “tag” used before. But what precisely is a tag, and why is it so important to producing quality online content? Keep reading to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about tags.
What is a tag?
A tag is essentially a keyword that is used to identify a piece of information so that it is easy to find that information again. You might think of it as a single card in an old-fashioned library card catalog—when you find the card, you find the item you’re looking for. Tags can be used to locate websites, images, files, or almost any other type of digitized information. They are a type of metadata, which means exactly what it sounds like—data about data.
What are the most commonly used tags?
Everybody knows about at least one type of tag—the hashtag, which social media users utilize to spread the word about a new trend. But even the simplest website is decorated with tags. The most conspicuous tag is the title tag that appears both at the top of every page of your website and in Google searches, but the page’s code contains meta tags that are not visible on your website. For instance, there are meta keywords that will be read by search engines and meta descriptions that tell search engine users what each page of your website is about.
Why are tags important to online content?
Without effective tags, it’s going to be very difficult for your website to show up in search engine results—which, of course, is how most internet users will find your website in the first place. The secret to a successful website is optimizing your tags. A well-composed meta description, which often shows up under your website’s title tag on a Google search, may attract the attention of internet users. Meta keywords, if used well, can also influence the prominence of your website in search engine results. If you run a website, understanding tags is a must for building your audience.
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