Meta Tags Optimization – Part 1

Posted by

Meta Tags

If you are familiar with Search Engine Optimization techniques, it is most likely that you must have already come across a lot of information on Meta Tags. In this article, we simply talk about what Meta Tags are, their importance, the important Meta Tags and useful tips on how to optimize your Meta Tags for a better ranking with the search engines.

What are Meta Tags?

Meta Tags are the information inserted in thearea of the HTML code of your web pages, where apart from the Title Tag, other information inserted is not visible to the person surfing your web page but is intended for the search engine crawlers. Meta Tags are included so that the search engines are able to list your site in their indexes more accurately. A typical Meta Tag would look as given below. Here is what this page contains; you can see this if you click on the view “Page source” from your browser menu.

<TITLE>Creating Successful meta tags, list of all meta tags, title tag limit, href tag, meta tag
<meta name=”description” content=”Successful Meta tags: What are meta tags? Meta tag
analysis, list of all meta tags, title tag limit, creating meta tags, background meta tags. This article
covers the most important aspects of meta tags in relation to website optimization or SEO. “>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”meta tags, meta tag refresh, meta tag optimization, meta tag
analysis, meta tag keywords, what are meta tags, successful meta tags, using meta tags, html
meta tags, common meta tags, author meta tag, alt tags, list of all meta tags, meta tags html,
meta tag description, about meta tags”>

Using Meta Tags in HTML is not necessary while making your web pages. There are many websites that don’t feel the requirement to use Meta Tags at all. In short Meta information is used to communicate information to the search engine crawlers that a human visitor may not be concerned with. Infoseek and AltaVista were the first major crawler based search engines to support Meta keywords Tag in 1996. Inktomi and Lycos too followed thereafter.

Why are Meta Tags used?

Meta Tags were originally designed to provide webmasters with a way to help search engines know what their site was about. This in turn helped the search engines decide how to rank the sites in their search results. Making Meta Tags is a simple process.

As the competition increased, webmasters started manipulating this tool through spamming of keywords. In turn most search engines withdrew their support to Meta keywords Tag, which included Lycos and AltaVista. From being considered as one of the most reliable and important tool, Meta Tags are now often abused. In the present day scenario a vital feature that the Meta Tags provide to the websites is the ability to control, to a certain extent, how some search engines describe its web pages. Apart from this, Meta Tags also offer the ability to specify that a certain website page should not be indexed.

Using Meta Tags, however, provides no guarantee that your website page would rank highly in the search engine rankings. Due to the rampant abuse and manipulation of the Meta keywords Tag by webmasters, most search engines don’t support it anymore.

Types of Meta Tags

The more important Meta Tags are discussed below in detail. A list of several more Meta Tags is given at the end of this article.

The Title Tag

The Title Tag is not a Meta Tag. However, since it’s a very important Tag, we thought it necessary to discuss it here. The Title Tag is an HTML code that shows the words that appear at the top title bar of your browser. The Title Tag is not displayed anywhere else on the page. It is these words or phrase that appear as the title of your page in the hyperlink listings on the search engine results.

The users in-turn click on this hyperlink to go to your website from Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Therefore, the significance of the Title Tag is evident as all search engines use the Title Tag to gather information about your site.

Syntax for the Title Tag is:

<TITLE>Creating Successful meta tags, list of all meta tags, title tag limit, href tag, meta tag

Useful Tips for Writing the Title Tag

The Title Tag plays a vital role in determining your site’s search engine rankings. One needs to pay attention to the words that appear in your Title Tag and the order in which they appear. As the tag suggests, Title Tag announces the summary of the content appearing on the page. Think of it as a crisply worded sales phrase and include your most relevant and specific keywords or key phrases in the Title Tag describing the content of the page.

You could put the product or service you are offering in the Title Tag, instead of your firm or company’s name. For example, if you have a site offering kitchen appliances, instead of having a title like “www.cooking.com”, you could have a specific keyword rich Title Tag like “Bar Blenders: Waring Kitchenaid Hamilton beach Cuisinart bar blenders and blender”. This title would cover several keyword phrases like- bar blenders, bar blender, Waring bar blenders, Kitchenaid bar blenders, Hamilton Beach bar blenders, Cuisinart bar blenders, blender etc

Most users search for specific products and services, not company names. If you do wish to include the site name, then you can add it at the end of the Title Tag. Having your most important keyword phrases towards the beginning of the Title Tag helps display your title in bold in the SERP (search engines results page). Title Tags are also the text that gets captured when users bookmark your page.

Google usually reads about 90 characters of your Title Tag. So, leverage this length to cover prominent keywords relevant to the page. A common mistake webmasters make is to have the same Title Tag throughout the site. You must leverage different Title Tags for each page and customizing it depending on the content theme of each page. Also read our detailed article on Title Tag Optimization.