Are Meta Tags Dead?
(Using meta tags to improve search engine
Do You Want More Traffic? Everyone who has ever built or marketed a website
should know what Meta tags are, yet I am constantly amazed by the number of
sites we are called upon to analyze that either have no Meta Tags at all or they
consist of just a couple of words...
With the wealth of information that is available on this subject I am shocked
webmasters don't take the time to develop better Meta tags, if you could boost
both your rankings and amount of traffic from search engines wouldn't you do it?
There seems to be a conflict concerning Meta Tags that I want to address
before going on to show how you can benefit from quality Meta tags. There is an
on-line rumor that meta tags are dead, that search engines ignore them because
too many people are spamming the engines by filling their meta tags with words
that don't have anything to do with their site to bring in traffic. The truth is
meta tags work better than ever, just the search engines have gotten smarter!
They compare the appearance of words in your title, keywords, description with
the actual content of the page. Imagine they actually look for relevant content
The first part of this article is just to introduce meta tags to those that
may not be familiar with the concept, the second half talks about how to make
your pages relevant so you can actually benefit from your Meta Tags. They aren't
even close to dead as we prove daily with our customers who combine this simple
information with a couple of tools to routinely create pages that score in the
top 20 on major search engines. Most people are simply targeting the wrong
keywords or aren't using them effectively! Also with the long amount of time it
takes for Search engines to get around to indexing your site many people give up
before seeing the results...
Meta Tags are the first step to integrating marketing with web development.
Meta tags are vital to search engine ranking success. Not all search engines
treat Meta tags the same way, some will give them more weight than the content
of your pages while others barely look at them. Most of your traffic (free
traffic by the way) will come from search engines so take a little time to
optimize your pages. Building the most beautiful site in the world won't make a
difference if the search engines don't recognize it!
For the sake of this article we will look at the three most important meta
tags used to score big on the search engines. Focus first on the
"title", "keywords" and "description". These tags
should be the first thing that appear after the <head> in your HTML code.
If you have used software to create your site you may have to go in and edit the
order of the tags manually.
The beginning of your HTML code should look like this, replace the bolded
text with your own:
<meta name="title" content="title of the page goes here.">
<meta name="description" content="description of the page goes
<meta name="keywords" content="enter,your,key,words,here">
Most search engines will use these meta tags in different combinations. Make
sure your title isn't just the name of your company but that it also includes
keywords. Some search engines will use your title as the link for your site. How
often would you click on a search engine link that says "no title"?
Also most search engines will search the title tag as well for keywords so just
adding this tag will move you up in the search engines (provided the keywords
are relevant and appear in your page as always!). You also need to think about
the directories and other places on the Internet that list sites in alphabetical
order. Did you know symbols appear before letters alphabetically? #1 Internet
Marketing Site will score before An Internet Marketing Resource Center
alphabetically. There are a lot of factors you need to consider, be patient!
The description tag is an opportunity to repeat keywords and add key phrases.
Try to create something that makes sense for human readers as again some search
engines will use that to describe your site but make sure your keywords are well
represented. It is a fine balance that depends or your specific niche. Don't
repeat the company name unless it has keywords in it! You are looking for words
people will actually use to find your site.
Another common mistake is sites use the same tags for all their pages, this
is a huge mistake we see repeated often. No-one page will score at the top of
every search engine. Allow the diversity of each page of your site to allow you
to blanket all the search engines. Each part of your website will likely have
unique keywords, apply them to your meta tags to maximize your sites
effectiveness. Yes it takes time, this is an opportunity to get free traffic. We
have used our own tools to market our site and we regularly see traffic coming
in from search engines for keywords we haven't even targeted! It will happen for
you if you take the time to do it properly!
Choosing the actual keywords you will use is more complicated, start with
what you have on your page for now, if you are serious sign up for access to our
Insiders Toolbox to be able to generate high traffic keywords and get
access to many other time saving marketing tools.
How to benefit most from your meta tags?
Align your meta tags as above for a start
Use our keyword
tools to see what keywords you want to target in relation to your
Add these keywords to your pages if they aren't already there
Search on the keywords and check out some of your competitors meta tags
placement and how they affect the search engines (for general ideas only!)
Use the content of your pages to create new effective Meta Tags as below
Submit manually to all the major search engines. If you sign up for access
to the Marketing
Insiders Vault we have been talking about you'll get access to a
single page with links to all the major search engines submission pages. You
can add your URL quickly and much more effectively than using automatic
submission software (which we do have as well)
Watch for the increased traffic to your site!
When you sign up for the Marketing
Insiders Vault you will find access to step by step
instructions on how to accomplish all this. It really is that simple, if you do
it right. It does take some time, that's all! If you choose not to use these
tools there are still things you can do, they just won't be as effective:
Explore the search engines and see similar sites that score high for your
keywords. Take a look at their meta tags, this will give you an idea of what
works. Remember copying one site is illegal and guarantees nothing! First
of all you don't know that the page you are viewing is what was actually indexed
by the search engine, (they may have made changes since the search engine last
visited) so you may be pirating a site for no reason. Look at the top 5 similar
sites, you are just trying to get a feeling for what works. You then need to
look at your individual pages, your keywords should be based on the content in
your pages. The best trick is to take a copy of the page, eliminate all the
small words that don't get indexed (a, and, the, of, etc...) then eliminate any
words that appear more than once, change the case on some words and you have
content relevant keywords you can copy and paste into your meta tags!
Watch the first dozen or so opening words on your page, some search engines
will use that as a description. Also, some search engines are case sensitive and
some search for complete phrases. If you have a site on Internet Marketing such
as this one use "internet marketing, internet, marketing" for that one
keyword, and repeat for the other most important ones. Don't go overboard as
excessive repetitive will have a counter effect. Make sure your keywords appear
liberally throughout your text (the first 250 words are the most important) and
that they agree with the title, description and keyword tags.
Some search engines add bonuses for text appearing in the body between
<h1> </h1> tags. There are many minor tips and techniques to learn.
If you have images on your site it is always a good idea to have an "alt
text" on them, a text description that will appear in case the image
doesn't load or while the image is loading.
Example in the actual HTML code:
<IMG SRC="logo.gif" ALT="keywords logo">
Take advantage of this to add keyword weight to your page. Some of the search
engines will read the tag and include it in their algorithmic pattern. That
isn't just your "logo", that is your "keyword here logo".
There are many little tricks like this we offer in our Marketing
Insiders Vault. This should be enough to get you started, as always I look
forward to your comments or questions. If anything isn't clear please let me
know. Just e-mail email@example.com
Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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