Samiksha Hiwase | 6 min read | July 15, 2020

How to Avoid a Character Set in the Meta Tag

1. Overview

As a Shopify store owner, you are probably wondering what is the most important point when it comes to SEO. What can you do with minimal time and effort to have a good impact on your SEO?
The answer is writing the best Page titles and Meta descriptions with unique words and phrases to attract users.
In this blog, you will learn about the How to avoid a Character set in the meta tag, what is meant by Meta tag, and How to create the Meta descriptions for your page.

2. Introduction to Meta Tag

Meta tags provide information about your page that is included in your page’s HTML code. You can utilize the “Meta”information because this is about the page itself, not part of the page’s content. Generally, meta tags are present on the page list.
The meta tag is placed in the head of an HTML document. An example of a meta tag is as follow:-
< head>
< title>Site title
< meta name=”description” content=”Description of this page”>
< meta http-equiv=”content-type” content=”text/html;charset=UTF-8″>
< /head>
In the above example, two meta tags are defined
  • Where, UTF-8 = Unicode Transformation Format in 8 languages.
  • The first meta tag contains the descriptive information of the page. This is what Google will display in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). When you perform a search in Google, the results on the SERP are largely based on the meta tags.
  • The second meta tag defines which charset the browser should use when accessing the particular page.
Meta tags are very important for search engines because they provide valuable summary information about a page. You should avoid a character set in the meta tag in order to improve loading times and to avoid information duplication.

3. How to avoid a character in the meta tag?

The many testing tools like GTmetrix, Google Page Speed recommends to avoid the character set in the meta tag. There are a few options available for defining a charset without using a meta tag.
You can define the character set depending on your server-side language or web server. So, the character set will be displayed within the HTTP response header.
Observe the character set that is defined in the HTTP header as shown in the following image:-
This is the desired method for defining a charset and to avoid a character set in the meta tag of your page. Performing this will help you to increase your page load time as well as to avoid any information duplication that may cause browser confusion.

4. Know about Meta Description

Page titles and meta descriptions are meta tags that search engines use to display information about your site on the screen of all visitors. Meta tags help visitors to form opinions about your site and to decide on which link they should click on.
A meta description is a meta tag that acts as a 155-160 characters summary that describes the content of a web page.
The meta description is also the other important meta tag. It is utilized to provide a description of what is the topic of a particular webpage. It includes the 1-2 sentences as a summary of the page’s content.
Here’s how the meta description tag is coded:
The meta description shows a short paragraph of text under the page title. Generally, once a searcher reads your page title and if someone interested after reading the page title they will read the meta description of your page.
This makes the meta description extremely important because it is your opportunity to convince the searcher to click on your page. You should treat the meta description as a short piece of ad copy, where your job is to sell the searcher on your search result
  • In Shopify, The meta description can be set for webpages, product pages, collection pages, and blog posts. Make sure each page has a unique meta description that uses simple, direct language. A good description encourages more people to click the link to your store.
  • For example:-When you type a search query into Google, let’s type the word “shoes” then the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) display results as shown in the image:-
The blue-colored words at the top are known as the “Title Tag.”They are the title of the web page. Below them, you will see a description that is not more than 155 characters. This is the Meta Description.

5. What is a Character Set?

A character set (charset) is a predefined list of characters each defined by a number. Browsers make use of character sets in order to determine what should be displayed on a web page.
How browsers will display the site to your visitors is depends on which character set you defined. There are multiple charsets, currently the most popular is UTF-8.
A few other examples of charsets include:
  • ASCII: Uses a unique binary 7-bits number to define every upper and lowercase letter in the alphabet, numbers from 0-9, and some special characters.
  • ISO-8859: An extension upon ASCII to include international characters.
  • ANSI: Default charset in Windows.
The default charset currently being used in HTML5 is UTF-8 which solves many character encoding problems.

6. Meta Descriptions are your Best Salespeople

When writing your meta descriptions, make sure to remember the three key things are:-

Description

Your description can not be more than 155 characters. Just make sure your description should be unique that attract visitor’s attention to your site.

Focus on the customer

The descriptions for your product pages should focus on how this product could make the customer’s life better. The home page description should sell your brand which matches the customer’s wants and needs.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

You do not have much time to make an impression on users. So, select the best words in your meta description and write a description to all pages.

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