Meta Tags Optimization

In this lesson, you will learn how meta tags optimization can help you reach higher search engine rankings for your individual pages. You may have never heard of meta tags, but they are important to your rankings in some search engine results. Not all search engines use meta tags, but it is still important to include them for the search engines do.

What is a metatag?

Meta tags are part of the information that is inserted into the "Head" area in the HTML part of your web page, and include the title, description, and keywords for each individual page. This information is not seen by the visitors on your web page, but rather by the search engines that spider your website pages. Information contained in the meta tags helps search engines index your individual web pages, and in some instances, some of the information in your meta tags will be displayed in the search engine results.

To give you an idea of what meta tags look like, go to this page http://www.creditsourceonline.com/index.html. If you go to the very top of your browser and click the view button, it will produce a drop-down menu. Go down the menu and click source to reveal the HTML code for this web page. The very top section contains the meta tags, and looks like this:
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>Credit Information For Wise Consumers
<META Name="Description" Content="All the credit information you need to find the best credit cards, access credit reports, and achieve financial freedom.">
<META Name="Keywords" Content="credit, credit card offers, credit reports, consumer counseling, debt consolidation">

How to include meta tags on your pages

If you use a text editor to build your web pages, then you already know about HTML code. The metatags belong at the very top of your HTML code.

If you use website building software, you will need to look at the HTML source for your individual pages. The code shown in the above example needs to be included at the very top of the HTML source for your page. If not, you need to add it

If you use an online website builder, inserting the meta tag information will probably be one of the steps in building your individual pages. Online website builders take the information that you put in for the meta tags and code it into the HTML source for the page that you are building.

Now we will discuss the individual header tags on a website page, and how to implement meta tags optimization.

Title Tags

Title tags are very important because some search engines display this information in their search results. The words from your title will also appear on the very top bar of your website browser, plus the browser button on your toolbar will display the first few words of your title. Another interesting aspect of title tags is that they are also used for the description when someone adds a web page to their favorites list. This gives you three places to reinforce your message, just by including a title tag.

To see how this works, go to http://www.creditsourceonline.com/index.html. When you look at the very top of your browser, you will see "Credit Information For Wise Consumers", which is the exact words from the title tag in the HTML code. The bottom tool bar button displays Credit Information.

Writing a title tag

When writing your title, you will want to use the main keyword or keyword phrase that your individual page will be focusing on. Use your specific keyword phrase near the beginning of your title and don't use the keyword more than once. You can use a variation of the keyword if it is absolutely necessary to the wording of your title. You also want to keep the title of your page to less than 80 characters. This includes both the letters of your individual words plus the spaces in between the words.

Here is what a title tag looks like. When you write your own, place your title in between the tags like this: <TITLE>Your Title Goes Here</TITLE>

Description Tag

The meta description tag gives a description of what the individual web page is about. Search engines that use meta tags will often include the information from your meta description tag, as well as your title tag. Not all search engines display the wording from the description tag, but it's worth including it for the search engines that do.

Meta tags optimization - Tips for writing your description

When writing your meta description tag, you will want to use your most important keywords towards the beginning of your sentence. A good description should make your listing stand out from the other listing in the search engine results and compel searchers to click on it. As you write your description, try to keep it to less than 20 words, and not more than 200 characters (letters and spaces).

Here is what a description meta tag looks like (you need to put your own descriptions between the tag attributes).
<META Name="Description" Content="Your description goes here.">

Keyword meta tags optimization

The keywords tag contains the main keywords that your individual web page will be focusing on. For search engines that use meta tags, targeting your keywords can help with your rankings. When you chose the keywords for your meta keyword tag, be sure avoid excess repetition of the same keywords, because you can be penalized by the search engines for this.

Writing your keywords meta tags

When writing your meta keywords tag, you need to use the main keyword phrase that you are targeting for that individual page first. This is because search engines give priority to the first few words. You can then use a variation of the word, plus maybe one or two related keywords. You can use from one to five keywords in your meta keyword tag, so include the keywords that seem logical for your page. When you type your keywords into the keywords meta tag, separate the keywords with a comma followed by a space between the keywords.

Here is an example of a meta keyword tag:
<META Name="Keywords" Content="your main keyword phrase, variation of your keyword, relevant keyword, general keyword for your website, maybe one more">

Meta tags help focus the content of your page

Meta tags optimization is important not only for the search engines, but also to help you tighten the focus of your individual pages. Take your time in writing your meta tags. Nothing is worse than to slap them together in a hurry, and then to see your sloppy work displayed in the search engine results. You need to use your meta tags to portray a professional image.

With the basics of meta tags optimization covered, you can now begin to add pages to your website. In our next lesson, we will discuss how to build the second level sections for your site.

Next: Website Content Positioning
Previous page: Meta Keywords Advice

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