by Suzi Beaumont, BeauCreations Web Design – revised 5/10
There is plenty of discussion on this topic, but I thought I’d share a very simple set of recommendations that seems to work for my clients. This is just the basics.
Meta tags are part of the code that belongs in the “head” section of the HTML documents that comprise your web site. Their function is to identify the file (and the web site) to the browser and the search engines. The user at their computer doesn’t see them (except the title tag), but the search engines do.
Normally, you’d have to know something about HTML and modifying web files to insert meta tags, but many web sites and web hosts are making this easy for you, allowing you to do it with a web-based user interface. I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of HTML here – I’m confining my discussion to what to put in the tags.
KEYWORDS: You’ve probably heard that search engines have reduced the use of the keyword tag due to fraud. And it’s true. But don’t get confused: Keywords themselves are important! You should identify your keywords on a page by page basis, then use them throughout the text in your pages.
But what about the keyword meta tag? Well, I wouldn’t spend much time on it! Despite strong evidence that search engines practically ignore it, most SEO experts still use it – just in case. I put my best keywords first and make sure they are used in the copy of the page I’m working on. I use no more than 200 characters. Keywords are not case sensitive but they are sensitive to singular v plural.
Here are some keywords currently used on my web site:
Marietta web design
Web page design
creative web sites
TITLE: This is currently THE most important tag from the standpoint of search engine optimization. It is used to display the page title that appears in the top-most bar in the browser. As such, it often starts with a word or phrase that describes each particular page (IE About US). Since the title tag is used by search engines to index your web site, it should contain your most important keywords (probably not more than six).
Here is the title text for my About Us page.
About Us | BeauCreations Web Design | Custom Websites | Marietta Georgia
In fact, some people actually omit the title of the page or the website to put more keywords in this tag. So, it might look like this:
Marietta Web Design | Custom Websites | Affordable Web Services | Atlanta Georgia
DESCRIPTION: This will be used by search engines to describe your web site to users doing a search, and also to test relevance (IE Is your site’s content really about what you say it’s about). It should be loaded with keywords / phrases (shown here in red, bold), but also succinct and free of “hype”.
BeauCreations Web Design is a Marietta Georgia based web design company specializing in creative, affordable custom websites for small businesses and organizations.
If you do only one thing to optimize your website, makE sure the meta tags are done correctly! This alone can make a noticeable difference in your search engine rankings!