Tip #4 – Use Meta-Tags
Once upon a time, meta-tags are everything for search optimization. Today, it’s not as powerful and useful as it once was. Some say that it’s still handy and some say otherwise.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags give search engines more information about a web page. This is implicit information, meaning that it’s not visible to visitors of the web page itself. Meta tags can be found in the <head> element of a web page. Often, meta tags will contain a name attribute, which sets a type of metadata. The value of this metadata is expressed through a content attribute. There are all kinds of valid name-value pairs you can use within meta tags, but there are only three which should be most important for search optimization and search ranking.
The meta description tag is probably one of the most useful meta tags. As the name suggests, it gives search engines a short description about the page. It looks like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”We sell widgets of the finest quality”/>
This tag used to have a lot more ranking power, but algorithm updates have diminished its effect. It won’t improve your ranking, however, the meta description tag can still be useful because it is used on search engine result pages.
This means that it can still improve the click-through rate of your pages. After all, words that match the user’s search query are highlighted in bold. That’s why a good page description (which leverages keywords) can appear more relevant to the user, improving the chance of him/her clicking on it. The recommended length of a description is 160 characters.
Technically, the title tag isn’t a meta tag but it’s often put into the same basket. It’s included in this list because it’s very important for search engine optimization. The title tag is required in all HTML documents and it defines the title of the document. The markup looks like this:
<title>Title of the page</title>
The title shows up in two different places; in the top of a web browser and in the search engine result pages. This means that the title tag has a heavy influence on the CTR and your ranking. A good title should include keywords and it’s best to use these keywords in the beginning of the title. Remember that if these keywords match a user’s search query, they will be displayed in bold. Another thing that you should keep in mind is the length. Google will limit titles to 70 characters, so keep your title short.
It is widely recognized that this tag has no value anymore to search ranking results. No major search engine uses meta keywords to judge the content of a page nowadays. In the meta keywords tag you can store a couple of keywords about the content of the page. However, it won’t improve your ranking. To implement it, use use the following format:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”soul searching, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SEO, SEM” />
Tip #4 – Use the appropriate meta-tags to improve your search rankings.
We are exploring different ways you can do to improve on your page ranking on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Follow us on Twitter @EvolutionPoint to get more tips on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).