How To Use Meta-tags
You can control how search
engines catalog your site with two types of HTML tags. These meta tags are part
of the HTML code that search engine crawlers look for but visitors to your pages
1 - Title tag: This is the
text that you normally see in the top left hand corner of the browser when you
visit a WebPages. It is also used as the highlighted link that you click on in
search engines. It should be about 5 to 15 words in length and include your most
important keywords / key phrase.
2 - Description tag:
This lets you specify a short summary that appears below the WebPages title on
a search engine listing. This is what the person sees to decide if your website
is worth visiting. Again, your most important keywords / Key phrases as close
to the beginning as possible. You should expand the title concept here. The description
should be no longer than 160 characters.
name="description" content="Short description of your WebPages.">
- Keyword tag: Lets you specify the keywords that a search engine should give
precedence to when cataloging the page. Keywords are typically given less importance
than words in the title, but more importance than words found in the page's body.
name="keywords" content="this is where your keywords go, separated by commas.">
are some guidelines and tips for selecting keywords:
- Make a list of relevant keywords that you think people will search for when
they are looking for a website like yours.
- Make sure your keywords include both general and specific words related to your
site. Your keyword meta tag should be less than 1000 characters in length, including
spaces and commas.
3 - If you are finding
it difficult to think of keywords that people will enter in their searches, then
use a thesaurus and copy some from your competitor's Web sites. By the way, I
didn't tell you that!
4 - Make your keywords
plural, where possible. Add a "s" to the end of keywords. Otherwise if someone
searches for, lets say "forms", it will not match the keyword "form" in your meta
tag. But if the person searches for "form", it will match it with "forms", as
the whole word is contained with your keyword.
- List the most important keywords first as some search engines give precedence
to keywords near the beginning.
6 - If
your keywords are difficult to spell, list various misspellings of the keywords.
People will often misspell a search word. So if the misspelled words matches your
misspelled keyword then your website will appear in the listing, whereas your
7 - Some search engines
are case sensitive. So, if you some of your keywords are names, such as London
or Michael, and people are likely to enter in the keyword, with the first letter
capitalized, list them with the first letter capitalized.
- Don't repeat keywords too often. Only repeat it about 3/4 times, otherwise you
may be penalized.
9 - Don't hide keywords
in the background. In the old days, people used to hide keywords by displaying
it the same color as the background. So you can not see it on the screen, but
it is listed in the page.
worked when search engines were unsophisticated and judged a keyword's relevance
only by the number of times it appeared on a page. Now, most search engines know
about this trick and count only the first few occurrences of a keyword or phrase.
engines will penalize your page, by placing it further down the list or not listing
it at all.
10 - Go to the search engine,
www.goto.com, and use their free keyword suggestion tool.
Enter in a search term and it will return similar search
terms that their visitors have entered to search with.
It also gives the number of times that it has been entered,
so you also know how popular it is.
Do These Meta-Tags Go?
tags typically go between the head tags of an HTML page, like this:
<meta name="description" content="Short description of your WebPages.">
<meta name="keywords" content="this is where your keywords go, separated by
<body> Main body.
people list the keywords tag before the description tag. I haven't found any evidence
that this matters too much, although it is said that keywords found nearer the
beginning of the document have more importance attached to them.
Are The Rules For Effective Search Engine Cataloguing?
Max. 60 characters (including commas, spaces, etc.) Description: Max. 160 characters
Keywords: Max. 1,000 characters
of characters allowed by the various search engines vary, and the above figures
are only a general guideline.
you are allowed anywhere up to 1,000 characters in the keyword tag, I don't recommend
that you use up all 1,000 characters. As too many keywords can dilute their effectiveness.