Understanding Meta Tags

Meta tags are pieces of text placed in the top, header part of the page to describe what the page is about. While they  are not as important as they once were for search engine rankings, well written tags can still help with SEO (search engine optimization) while  providing visitors with valuable information about your site. Being quick  and easy to make, they are well worth adding to your site.

Title Tag
The title tag is the most important meta tag not only for search  engines, but for visitors to your site. It will usually be displayed to  users on the SERP (search engine result page) as the blue link. It is  also displayed the top of their browser window and in the description if users  favorite your site. Therefore, it should be as crisp, clear, descriptive  and enticing as possible to anyone reading it.
For search engine optimization, the following rules should be  followed:

  • The title should contain around 15-65 characters or 5-8  words.
  • Use the keywords and phrases selected for the demographic  you are targeting. These keywords should also be on the page.
  • The title should vary with each page’s theme and target  keywords.
  • Try not to repeat words in the title since this wastes  description space and may be considered spam by some search engines.
  • Avoid words like “A”, “The”, “With” and only use punctuation where absolutely necessary.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each word.
  • Every tag needs to be unique

Description TagMeta Tags
While not as important as the title tag, the description tag  certainly has enough relevance with many search engines to warrant the  time and effort to be made properly and included on every page. The  description tag may appear on the SERP depending on the search engine and  factors such as DMOZ registration (Google will often use the DMOZ  description on the SERP) and the ability of the search engine to generate a  description from the page content. Therefore, it needs to be written in  fashion that is clear, descriptive and enticing to readers.

The description tag should be kept under two sentences with the  first sentence containing the most important keywords. While longer  descriptions of up to 250 characters are ok, most search engines will cut off  descriptions  of over 150 characters so it is best to keep them under that  length.
Some points about the meta description page to keep in mind:

  • Putting the most important keywords at the beginning or  middle of the sentence can sometimes help with your rankings.
  • Avoid repeating keywords since this may be considered  spamming.
  • Vary your description for each page according to the page  content.

Keywords Tag
Due to keyword spamming, most search engines now ignore this  tag. However, it is the easiest tag to make and still has some value with some  search engines. It is most useful in targeting obscure terms and  regions.

For this tag, simply insert words and phrases separated by commas. As with the title and description tags, use targeted keywords that  appear on the page. Do not repeat words or use to many words to avoid  spamming penalties.

Note that none of the meta tags are case sensitive with search engines so capitalization is a matter of appearance and makes no difference in this tag. Also, all meta tags should appear within the head  section of each page.

While they have declined in importance, meta tags, especially  the title tag, are still certainly important enough to warrant being taken seriously and done correctly both for enticing site visitors as well as  for SEO.importance, meta tags, especially  the title tag, are still certainly important enough to warrant being taken  seriously and done correctly both for enticing site visitors as well as  for SEO.

Be Sociable, Share!

Working full time from home, I am interested in blogging, online marketing, financial topics and technology. My aim is to constantly build my knowledge of affiliate marketing and related topics while help others in the process by creating online resources that enlighten and inform.

More from SEO Advice
Back to Top