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ION's Search Engine Optimization Training: Instructions for using meta tags optimization service

SECTION SIX - Creating effective META Tags

        META Tags are alive and as important as ever. Well, kind of. Yes, META tags like your Keyword Description are still important to most Search Engines, but not vital. Think of them as a starting point to let the Search Engines know your intentions, although if you forget to tell them, many Search Engines are smart enough now to figure out your intentions for themselves... But don't skip this step, not only are there are plenty of search engines that are not smart enough, but you will miss out on other helpful functionality that you can't access anywhere else. Just don't pay any money for a meta tags optimization service either, it's all completely free and easy to do!


SEO terms you might want to review for this step:
               META Tags                Description

How to Generate effective META Tags for your site:

  1. Decide which pages your Tags should be on. This should again be your landing or main content pages. Any page that you've set aside your 5 keywords for, let's put a META Tag section there. That way we best promote the Keywords it will use.

  2. Time to generate some tags. Sure, you could type them all out by hand, but what fun would that be? Download and use one of the two following free tools:

    • (For beginning users who only need the basic options, and full explanations:) Meta Maker Wizard 2. (762 kb download)
    • (For advanced users who want more options and fewer explanations:) META Tag Expert. (162 kb download)

  3. For each page's output of META Tags, open up your actual web site page's code in the HTML editor of your choice. Between the <HEAD> and the </HEAD> tags in the top part of your page, cut this code out of your META Tag Generator and paste it in here. You can save and exit your HTML file at that point, because you are, in effect, done.

    NOTE:For further 'tweaking' of your META Tags, or to fix problems with any existing ones, use this meta tags optimization service analysis tool:


The most useful Meta Tags for all site landing pages:
Keywords. Although this isn't used by all search engines anymore, it's still a powerful ally for those that do. (Like Google!) Don't make it any longer than 1000 characters, but try to include 5 full keyword phrases.
Description. Your searchers need to see a compelling tagline when they find your listing among others in the search results. It's best to keep it under 150 characters because that's all they have room to show in most search results.
Language. Many Search Engines sort by Language first, so this is a great line to use, as it tells them up front which language(s) your site is designed for.
Robots. A secondary way to guide your spiders, this line tells SOME Search Engine robots what to index and which links to follow. If you want maximum exposure, it's best to not use this line.
Revisit After. This tag is your request to the Search Engine spiders how often you'd like for them to come back and index your site again. It's often ignored, but some Engines will pay attention to it.
Author. Take some credit for your work! If you are the topic your site is about, it's a very good tag to use, as well.
Refresh. This cool tag isn't for the search engines, but how else can you make the page automatically re-direct the user to a new page of your choice in a desired number of seconds?


Why META Tags are important in SEO

        Back in the dinosaur days when SEO wasn't really known about yet, (oh, 3 or 4 years ago...) META Tags were about the only thing the public had heard of that would allow people to optimize their pages. To this day, there is no other way to "assign" your keywords to the Search Engine Spiders, although it can be argued that the phrases found the most frequently on your page are automatically assigned. Still, nothing else exists to declare your SEO intentions like a META Tag, and many Search Engines factor that in highly in your ranking. In fact, not all Search Engines use META tags, but most do in some way, and those that do will use the keywords that you enter in the <Meta Contents="Keywords"> tag to help determine relevance.

        That's not the only META Tag that you must take advantage of, however. All the major Search Engines use the <Meta Contents="Description"> tag to state your website's description to your searchers, and as you can see in the chart above, many other tags are just as valuable.


The TITLE Tag

        The "Title" tag is usually the first line of your heading, (before your body begins, like your METAs) and is usually associated with your META Tags, but it isn't a META at all. We usually include it with them however simply because it is useful in SEO in a similar fashion to your METAs. It is simply the line that should appear as your page link text in a search engine result listing, and of course at the very top of your browser window, as well. Putting a Keyword or two in the TITLE area is a great idea, but try not to let your TITLE go over 60 characters, the most that Search Engine results will display.


META Tags are NOT 'dead!'

        People who think that META Tags are no longer useful to the SEO process are missing out on some functionality that they can't access elsewhere such as the description, author, page refresh, revisit after, language and distribution tags that all make your site easier to index for the search engines. So simply put, don't throw this step out yet when it's still so helpful. It's also really easy to do now with our free programs!

        So why do people keep spreading the rumors that META Tags are no longer helpful? It's my best guess that they've had some success without them, by working very hard to build their Keyword density up, thus replacing the <Meta Contents="Keywords"> tag with sheer repetition. Add to this their success in a link exchange program and they feel that they have been wasting their time on META Tags... And maybe for some Search Engines, they have.


Keyword tips for 'assignment' in your META Tags:

  • Only use three to five keyword phrases in your keywords tag on each page.
  • Always separate each keyword phrase with a comma-followed-by-a-space.
  • Never put quotes around the words (ex., "penny stocks") inside your tags.
    (It messes up the engine's interpretation of the words.) For example, here's a perfect entry...
    "investing penny stocks, penny stocks, investing, stock strategies, trading"
  • Only enter from one to five keywords in this tag, and try not to enter more than 100 characters in all.
    (Including the commas and spaces.)
  • If your five keyword phrases with commas and spaces run over 100 characters, consider only using four of them.

        Perhaps the most distressing thing I see on the websites of others is the fact that most webmasters are using more than five Keywords in their Meta Tags. The large websites with PageRanks of 8 or 9 can get away with this, of course, but us "little" guys, with a PageRank of 5 or less, we just can't do that without suffering some down-the-road type consequences. This practice will simply reduce or dilute the effectiveness of all of your keywords, so that it's harder to compete for those that you do choose.


With your META Tags done, you're page code is nearing completion. The next section, which covers Keyword Tips and Keyword Density, is the essence of what SEO is all about. Get ready to go over your website with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that the spiders find all the tasty food they could ever eat on your site.
Click here to continue on to Section Seven.


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