The SEO Series – META Tags

30 03 2010

So, hopefully you enjoyed Part 1 of the SEO series, which was about Title Tags. In this post, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the META tags.

META tags aren’t your usual, run-of-the-mill SEO tool. Most of the SEO tools you have access to increase your rankings in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), but META tags, while they may still increase it slightly, has no where near as much power as the Title Tag or links in your body. They are located just below the Title Tags in Search Results, as shown in the picture below.

SEO, SERPs,

So, let’s start on META description tags, which are used for a few main reasons;

SERPs – As mentioned above, META tags don’t influence the SERPs much, but every little helps!

Enticing – You should look at your META description tag as an ad; the reader is looking at it, trying to decide whether or not to click on the link. Use your Description tag to persuade the reader to click your link.

Description – This is obviously the sole purpose of this tag, hence it being called a META Description tag. Try to give the reader a short, 20-40 word description about the contents of your page. Be careful to align this carefully to the Keywords that are promoting your page. For example, if you had a page optimised for the word ‘Accountant’, but you had a Description tag for something different, chances are that the visit will result in a bounce, meaning that they enter and exit on the same page, without browsing around your site, which is obviously what you want them to do.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to have a description tag; if, for example, you are going after what is called ‘Long-Tail’ Keywords, it could be better for you to leave the Description empty, and let Google pick up words from the content on your page. It is important to remember, however, that for any pages you have created a Description tag for that they are unique, and accurately describe the contents of your page.

And now onto the META Keywords Tag;

There’s not really a lot to say about the META Keyword Tag; it doesn’t do much, but people still ask ‘Do I use commas or full stops? Spaces or separators?’ The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re going to use the Keyword Tag, just put a few in there, and don’t pay too much attention to it, because major Search Engines don’t give the Keyword Tag much authority.

I hope you found this useful. As usual, if you would like to add your view, or any more information, please leave a comment below.

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