Title and Meta Tags
Good search engine optimization includes several factors that are explained in these SEO articles to help you achieve better search engine placement. Most of the advice given can be achieved almost immediately, where as other factors explained will take a lot of your time and effort. If you are serious about SEO then you’re on the right track. Please note that the tips mentioned in these SEO articles are used by SearchBliss and some of the information stated is merely our opinion.
Before you begin reading these articles, please keep this in mind. The most important advice I can give you is to build your web pages with your visitors in mind. We have all been to sites that “don’t make much sense” as a result of webmasters targeting keywords that they have trouble placing into readable text. You can have thousands of web site visitors each day, but it is useless traffic when they exit your page out of frustration, and they may never return.
Targeting the Right Keywords
Choose the right keywords. This is extremely important. Optimizing a site takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. Doing this targeting the wrong keywords can be devastating. Find relevant keywords that are searched for often. Make sure you target “phrases” rather than single keywords. For example, targeting “hosting” alone will not help you. There are too many search results. But targeting “web hosting provider”, “web hosting service”, and “hosting business” will get you more realistic results (and a ton of traffic). Plus you are still targeting “hosting”. I would suggest targeting ONE “reach phrase” and TWO “realistic phrases”. Three phrases may seem like a lot, but not when one or two keyterms is in all three phrases. When this occurs, things don’t get watered down, giving better results.
Let’s begin with the “bare bones” of SEO. Title tag and meta tags. Most search engines give little to no relevance to some of these, however, since no one really knows how they are factored by each engine, they are still important steps in optimizing any web site.
1: The TITLE tag
Here is an example Title tag which should appear in-between the tags of your web page(s):
<title>My Business Title</title>
The title tag is very important. Why? Because search engines not only give it value in relation to optimization, SE’s use it in their search results. Search on ANY search engine, and you’ll see the content of this tag used in the anchor text of the links for each web site. Here is a little experiment. Follow the Google link (opens in a new window) and take a look. Google Experiment
There are 28,100,000+ pages in Google with the title tag
So most of the web page links displayed are Untitled. Why? Because who ever built these web pages used an editing program that adds the title tag, and they never changed the title text.
So what should be in the title tag? The name of your business or web site with the “keyword phrase” you are targeting. For example, your business sells “watches”. This is a broad search term and using it alone my not work out for you. There are 42,500,000 estimated search results in Google. However searching for the term “Swiss watches” I get 2,760,000 estimated results. The likelihood of your site appearing in the first 3 pages of Google is much more realistic using “Swiss watches”. Plus, the keyword “watches” is still present, so you are actually targeting both terms.
Here is a good title tag using this example:
<title>Search Engine Optimization Inc, SEO Tools</title>
Keep it short and to the point. Targeting too many keywords can “thin out” your website’s relevance.
2: The DESCRIPTION Meta Tag
Here is an example description meta tag which should appear in-between the tags of your web page(s):
<meta name=”description” content=”A Description of My Business”>
The description meta tag is less important for optimization, but it is still utilized by the search engines. Google for example, will use the web pages body text, image alt tags, and yes even portions of the description meta tag will show at times. The body text and alt tags will be discussed later on in these articles.
So in my opinion, it is important enough to use. The best way to use it is to place your keyword phrase inside this meta tag “once”, then split up the phrase and add the keywords again separately. But keep it readable, and avoid too many comas. This can be viewed as “spam”, so don’t do it or your site could be black listed and ignored by search engines all together. Also, use two sentences maximum and avoid “sales pitches” like “The best shop ever”, and so on.
Here is a good description meta tag using the “watches” example above:
<meta name=”description” content=”SEO Tools from Search Engine Optimization Inc. Browse through our large selection of SEO software and tools”>
Notice that “SEO” and “TOOLS” appear twice, but the second time is split with the term “SOFTWARE” (SEO software being a secondary targeted keyword phrase).
3: The KEYWORD Meta Tag
Here is an example keyword meta tag which should appear in-between the tags of your web page(s):
<meta name=”keywords” content=”my,keywords,and phrases,separated by,commas”>
The keyword meta tag is believed one of the LEAST recognized meta tag by search engines. It carries very little weight when it comes to search engine optimization. However, it is not ignored by all engines. For example, through my own experiment, I have used a single keyword (like spaloof – which means nothing) that had very little if any results when searching for it. After being indexed, SearchBliss had appeared at the top of MSN. The keyword was NO where else on SearchBliss. Only in the keyword meta tag. This says to me that some search engines DO give the keyword meta tag some weight. So as a result, I still use the keyword meta tag.
I suggest adding your target keywords 3 to 4 times without REPEATING THE SAME TERM. This is viewed as “spam”. Spam example: Swiss watches,Swiss watches,Swiss watches,… This is more commonly know as “keyword stuffing”. It also applies to everything else being covered is these articles.
Here is a good keyword meta tag using the “SEO Tools” example:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”SEO Tools, search engine optimization tools, website ranking, SEO software, webmaster tools, search placement, SEO articles”>
Notice that the keywords listed 3 times (SEO & tools) are not only split up using other key terms, but are also never too close together. I do this by adding other keywords/phrases in-between the ones with the target terms. The term “SEO tools” only appears together one time.
There are also several other meta tags like the “abstract”, “robots”, etc. But I feel that there is no need to cover these. I believe they are not an important part of search engine optimization and have no use in these articles. Build title and meta tags now, then optimize your meta tags.