Meta tags were originally created to help
search engines find out important information about your page that
they might have had difficulty determining otherwise. For example,
related keywords or a description of the page itself.
Many people incorrectly believe that good
meta tags are all that is needed to achieve good listings in the
search engines, which is entirely incorrect. While meta tags
are usually always part of a well optimized page they are not the
be all and end all of optimizing your pages. In the early days of
the web people were able to get great listings from optimizing just
their meta tags, but the increasing competition for good search
engine listings eventually led to many people spamming the search
engines with keyword stuffed meta tags. The result is that the engines
have changed what they look at when they rank a web page.
The search engines now usually look at a
combination of all the best search engine tips to determine
your listings, not just your metas - some don't even look at them
at all! What this means is that your page should have a combination
of all our tips implemented on your page - not just meta tags. That
being said, there are two meta tags that can help your search engine
listings - meta keywords & meta description.
What they look like:
<META NAME="description" content="This would be
your description of what is on your page. Your most important keyword
phrases should appear in this description.">
<META NAME="keywords" content="keywords phrase
1, keyword phrase 2, keyword phrase 3, etc.">
Where they belong:
The correct placement for both meta tags
is between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags within the HTML
the makes up your page. Their order does not really matter, but
most people usually place the description first then the keywords
Meta description tips:
Make sure you accurately
describe the content of your page while trying to entice visitors
to click on your listing.
Include 3-4 of your most
important keyword phrases. Especially those used in your title
tag and page copy.
Try to have your most
important keywords appear at the beginning of your description.
This often brings better results, and will help avoid having
any search engine cut off your keywords if they limit the length
of your description.
Meta keywords tips:
Aside from what we mention
in the other tips below you should only use those keyword phrases
that you also used in the copy of your page, title tag, meta
description, and other tags. Any keywords phrases that you use
that do not appear in your other tags or page copy are likely
to not have enough prominence to help your listings for that
Don't forget plurals.
For example, a travel site might have both "caribbean vacation"
and "caribbean vacations" in their keyword meta tag
to make sure they show up in both searches.
If you know of a common
misspelling of a popular keyword that could be used to find
your site you should enter it in your keywords meta tag. For
example, a travel site might use "caribean " in their
keyword meta since it is a common misspelling for "caribbean".
Watch out for repeats!
You want to include your most important phrases, but when doing
so it can be difficult not to repeat one word many times. For
example, "caribbean vacation" and "caribbean
vacations" are two different phrases, but the word "caribbean"
appears twice. This is okay to do in order to make sure you
get the phrases you need in there, but becareful not to repeat
any one word excessively. There in no actual limit, but we recommend
that no one word be repeated in the keyword meta more than 5
If your site has content
of interest to a specific geographic location be sure to include
the actual location in your keyword meta.