|Meta Tags are hidden pieces of information placed into your site's code. They are designed to tell search engines important facts about your site. Internet browsers like Internet Explorer and Netscape also use Meta Tags to collect information about your site before they display it.
The three most popular, and arguably most important, Meta Tags are Title, Description, and Keywords. Of course, there are some standards that apply to all Meta Tags as well. It is of course important to consider where on your site to use Meta Tags.
If your site is built using HTML, your Title tag should look a little like this:
Technically, the Title tag is not a META at all, but information that is used by browsers to display your site appropriately. For instance, if you are using Internet Explorer to view this page, look up to the very top blue line at the top of your screen. It should read: "Meta Tags and How to Make the Most of Them -- Optimize6.com, Simply the Best and Easiest Wa y to Get Your Site Into the Search Engines."
However, search engines use this information too! If your Title is
And a potential visitor types "Widgets + wholesale" into their search engine, they might find you.
On the other hand, you could make your title more specific, this way:
With that search engine, you improve your chances of being ranked higher on the page of results potential vistors get after searching for "Widgets + Wholesale." It would do the same for those that search for "Widgets, Widgetologists, certified" (although such a search is admittedly unlikely, given that Widgetologist isn't actually a word).
The key is to make sure your title really fits your site. If your site contains 24 keywords that you think are popular, but none of them have anything to do with your site content the search engines will eventually catch on and you'll find your ranking has sunk. Moreover, visitors to your site will be ticked off because they cannot find what they were looking for. Even worse, those that want what you have won't be able to find you!
Your desciption is important in two ways. Firstly: some search engines display all or part of your description when listing your site. So when potential visitors to your site see your listing, the description can help entice them to click. Secondly: some search engines also use your description to determine your ranking.
If your site is built using HTML, your Description tag should look a little like this:
Your description should be a written out as sentences, or at least coherent phrases, that explain what content potential visitors should expect to find when clicking through to your site (or this specific page, if you plan to put description tags on every page).
Once again, your goals should be including relevant keywords that potential visitors might use and describing your content accurately. Remember that this description will be seen in some search engine listings, so be sure to give careful thought to how you word this description, and how it might attract or repel potential visitors.
A "Keyword" is a word or phrase that people use when searching for websites in their favorite search engines. It is important to identify keywords that potential visitors to your site might use, so that you can better help them find your site. You may use keywords in site submission or in meta tags.
Several major search engines do not bother with the keywords entered into your Meta tags. Too many sites have listed keywords that have nothing to do with their site content. Now, many sites choose what keywords to associate with your site based upon your site content instead.
Including a keyword link is still recommended. Some search engines will still reference this tag, and if you have a chance to influence what keywords are associated with your site -- take it! Further, writing our your keywords for a Keyword Meta Tag can help you figure out what words and phrases you would like to associate your site with.
If your site is built using HTML, your Keywords Meta Tag should look like this:
Take your time, and try to think of around 24 keywords for your site. These are the terms that the users you would most like to visit will use when they open a search engine. If you were looking for a site like yours, what might you type into a search engine? Some keywords are used a great deal. If the keywords that you associate with your site are also associated with billions of other sites, it will make the ranking for the results very competitive. Imagine competing with every other site in the world to be listed on the first page of results for "sports." If you can, try to include some specifics or details to carve out your niche in the rankings.
You will notice that in the example above, we included both "wydget" and "widjit." Sometimes users make typos when they use search engines. It may make sense to include alternative spellings of major keywords within your keywords tag -- just be sure all your misspellings are intentional!
Once you've got this list of keywords, add it to your Keyword Meta tag. Then, you can use them again when submitting to search engines through Optimize6!
You may also wish to add these keywords wherever possible to your site content, which may improve your site ranking as well.
A NOTE ABOUT ALL META TAGS
With ALL Meta Tags: be sure to remember to check your spelling, and your grammar! Potential visitors are less likely to click through to your site -- even if you are the first site listed in the rankings -- if you have misspellings or grammar errors in your title or description.
With keywords, you may wish to include a few intentional misspelled words, but if you have not spelled your keywords the way you expect your potential visitors will, they are less likely to find you.
WHERE SHOULD I USE THESE TAGS?
The Title tag should be included on every page within your site. If you have a very large site, you may choose to use the same title for every page. However, using more specific titles written to descibe each page seperately may improve your site rankings.
Likewise, many choose to list a description tag only for the front page of their site. However, including a descrition of every page on every page can improve your rank in search engines.
Keywords are less page-specific, and can be the same on every page, or used only on your site's opening page without major negative impact to your website's ranking.