Meta Tags

Ok so now we are getting into SEO jargon, the sort of terms used by marketeers and ‘optimisation experts’ to impress and confuse you. Are they complicated? No, not really, getting them right can be, but any basic optimisation, or even making sure they are present will yield visible results, so let's go through the important ones.

\n<title>

The title tag, only the first 65-75 characters show up in search results, the closer to the front of the title your chosen keywords are the better, but ensure your title is readable and descriptive. If searching, it’s potentially the first impression a client will have of you.

The title element of a page is meant to be an accurate, concise description of a page's content
Tweet This
\n<description>

The description tag exists as a short description of a page's content. Search engines do not use the keywords or phrases in this tag for rankings, but meta descriptions are the primary source for the snippet of text displayed beneath a listing in the results.

The meta description tag serves the function of advertising copy, drawing readers to your site from the results and thus, is an extremely important part of search marketing. Making a readable, compelling description using important keywords (notice how Google "bolds" the searched keywords in the description) increases the likelihood of people actually clicking on your listing.

Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally will cut snippets longer than 160 characters, so it's generally wise to stay in these limits.

search engines generally will cut snippets longer than 160 characters,
Tweet This
\n<keywords>

The keywords tag had value at one time, but is no longer valuable or important to search engine optimization. Basically the old keyword stuffing and 200 word tag forced Google and other search engines to simply ignore it, although it can still be seen if anybody tells you it’s important treat their advice with suspicion.

There is one more important tag this refers to and deals with one of the biggest problems, duplicate content, often caused by Content Management System programmes or www. versus non www. versions. Engines are picky about duplicate versions of a single piece of material. To provide the best searcher experience, they will rarely show multiple, duplicate pieces of content and thus, are forced to choose which version is most likely to be the original. The end result is ALL of your duplicate content could rank lower than it should.

How to handle this will be dealt with in a future article.