Meta Tag - You're It! How To Use Meta Tags Effectively
There are a number of online urban legends that suggest Meta tags and the use of them are dead and no longer necessary to build effective web pages
. Many people believe that search engines are too smart to look for Meta tags. This, however, is completely untrue. Search engines have gotten smarter, but tags are as important as ever. Search engines now compare the words in the title, the keywords, and the description of the article to help users find the best possible search engine results. Meta tags are vital to good search engine results.
For those new to the term, Meta tags are parts of HTML coding on websites that are used by search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and MSN, to index a website. Most tags are put in the header code of a website. There are a number of different possible Meta tags including the abstract tag, the author Meta tag, the copyright Meta tag, the description Meta tag, the distribution Meta tag, the expires Meta tag, the keyword Meta tag, the language tag, the refresh Meta tag, the revisit tag, and the robots Meta tag. The most important and most popular Meta tags are the title, description, and keywords Meta tags. Different search engines offer different rules about how the tags are used formatted, and how many characters they are allowed to contain.
Most search engines will use varying combinations of your Meta tags, so it is important to be patient with the entire process. The title tag should be both the name of your company and some keywords. Some search engines make use of the title as the link for your own website. That means if you don't include a title, customers won't see one. They might see something like "no title." Few people would click on a site without a title. Having keywords with your title will help to improve your search engine rankings. Since research shows that most people only deal with the first ten results any search engine sends them, having a better ranking can only be good for your business. It is also important to remember that many places list sites in alphabetical order. Typically these sites give symbols preference over letters. That means that, "#1 Dog Information and Product Site" would come before, "The Best Dog Site on the Internet". There are many things to consider with tags though, and there are many things to learn, so don't take a piece of information like that and focus only on it.
The description Meta tag is a good place to repeat the keywords you've used in your title Meta tag and add a few key phrases while you're at it. You not only want something that will catch the attention of a search engine, but you also need something that will be understandable for human eyes. Some search engines will use this Meta tag to describe your site to searchers, but if your tag is just garbage to catch the search engine eye, chances are good that users may not be inclined to click on a poor description.
In order to benefit the most from your Meta tag usage, follow these tips. First, use various internet keyword tools to find the best keywords for your website. Many different sites offer a keyword tool, and some of them are business oriented for pay per click advertising, but many of them are free. It is important to note, though, that these tools can be inaccurate, so you should pay careful attention and be sure that you use more than one tool to help you find the right keywords to include in your tags. Second, be sure to submit manually to the entire available major search engines. Some companies have created software to help you do this quickly and more efficiently, and if technology is not really your cup of tea, this may help you out. Finally, be sure that both your content and all of your pages make use of the keywords you have included in your tags. Remember that search engines are smarter than they used to be. If you have put keywords in your Meta tags that do not reflect your site content, your ranking is unlikely to be as high, and customers can be just as unlikely to click on your site.
Effective use of Meta tags can really improve your website traffic. This can only mean good things are in store for you and your business.
by: Gary Pettit
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