Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All About Meta Tags

Are you familiar with Meta Tags? If not, here's a quick definition: Meta elements are HTML or XHTML elements used to provide structured metadata about a Web page. Such elements must be placed as tags in the head section of an HTML document. Meta elements can be used to specify page title, description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.

The most common meta tag is your title tag which appears all the way at the top of your website browser window in the upper left hand corner. My recommendation for meta tags pretty simple and have worked for me when optimization my websites.

Title Tag
Begin with a well structured title tag that includes your keywords. Try to keep your title tag short as this provides more weight to the words you've included. Longer titles are less effective.

Description Tag
This tag is important because it describes your web page. More importantly, this description is seen in search results. So you want the description to be both accurate and catchy. It needs to encourage users to click through to your web site.

Keywords Tag
Don't put too many keywords in your keywords tag. I like to limit the number of keywords to around 12 which are the most important to your page. Focus on delivering only your most important keywords through the keywords tag.

Other Elements
Robots tag, verification keys, etc. can all be part of your meta data. Some webmasters include other information like authoring data and so on. Don't get carried away. I have found that by including the basic tags you're doing more than enough.


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