Meta Tags: Don’t Forget the Basics

Meta TagsRecently we were working on a site for a Fortune 500 company and we were shocked to see the lack of interest in meta tags. A quick look at the source code of the company website left us aghast. The web designer for the company, had created beautiful pages, but had also created generic header and footers which were used on every page.

Before we delve deeper lets explain what meta tags are. Meta tags, are found in the source code of a page, are found in the between the of the source code. A visitor will not see them, but the search engine robots do. The three main meta tags we want to focus on are: keyword and description. Each has an importance to play in SEO and site engines displaying your site properly. Not paying attention to what you put in the meta tags, or using generic meta tags for every page is a major SEO mistake. Imagine if you will that you own a bookstore. Instead of having category sections, every section is called books, and every book has a description that says “book”. This is the equivalent of using improper meta tags.

Each page you have from the index to the last page, should have a relevant title, a concise description and proper keyword selection. Here are some things you should consider in each of these areas:

What is the page? Is it the index, is the page About Us or is it a Contact page. Make sure the title reflects this info

If you had one sentence to describe your webpage, this is it. Keep is concise, and keep it accurate. If the page is about balloons, don’t write that it’s about clowns.

The point of the keywords is to include those that reflect information found on the page. The keywords should be connected to the description. Do not include a laundry list. Five concise keywords will always be better than 50 words.

Below are examples:

<meta name=”description” content=”Place you description here”/>
<meta name=”keywords” content=” Place, your, keywords, here, with a comma, between, them, here “/>
<title> What is the title-place it here </title>

If you need more help with meta tags, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Adrian Speyer

About The Author: Adrian has over 12 years experience in Digital Marketing and Analytics. He currently works as a Marketing Manager at Vanilla Forums, a modern forum software platform that allows clients to connect and engage their communities and customers. He lives and works in Montreal.

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Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 21:16