Optimizing the Title and Metatags
the meta tags for keywords and description no longer carry
the weight they once did (Google pretty much ignores them
when it comes to your placement) they are still used by
some search engines and should not be ignored.
tag, on the other hand, remains one of the most important
elements of optimization for search engines.
before we can optimize these tags, we need to choose the
keywords. Keyword research is critical. Be as specific as
possible. There is probably a lot of competition out there
for most single words you think of, but when you combine
keywords into phrases, you improve your chances of good
example, let's say you sell web services. The keyword 'design'
or even 'web design' is going to get a huge number of responses.
But what about 'affordable web design'? And even fewer pages
are indexed under 'cheap web design' or 'budget web design.'
a list of 50-100 words that describe your site and your
services or product(s). Next, narrow that down to the top
ten words which best describe the page you want to submit.
Now look at combinations of these words to find powerful
to think like your customer or target audience. What phrases
are they likely to type in to a search engine when looking
for a site like yours?
keywords should be found on your page, too, in your text
and headings! Don't repeat them too many times -- an overall
density of 2-5% seems to get the highest ranking in most
search engines -- though many SEO pundits say keyword density
is a myth. Perhaps, but you can overdo keywords. It's called
keyword stuffing and must be avoided.
Hint: Check out your competition. I like to do this later
in the process, weeks or months after a site launch or the
publishing of a new page to tweak my rankings, but for those
who are new at search engine placement, this is a useful
technique. Using your keyword phrases make a search. Examine
the pages you find in the top ten. What keywords did they
use, how have they used those keywords in their page? See
how you can adapt these ideas to your site. I am not advocating
stealing anyone else's work. I am suggesting you can learn
from looking at how others do things and adapting their
ideas in your own unique style.
hint: You can view your competitor's meta tags --
and all their HTML code -- in most browsers under the drop
down menu View.
have written and optimized
your copy, you
are ready for the title and description. Both should be
keyword rich. Try using your most powerful keyword phrase
as the first words of your title and description. And remember
to be enticing. This is the first impression a searcher
will have of your page. Choose these carefully. Use no more
than 80 characters in 6 to 12 words. Write your description
tag solely to entice visitors, using 200 to 225 characters,
and a keyword tag, if desired. For more on meta tags see
Search Engine Watch's article How
to Use HTML Meta Tags.
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