Our Blog

03 Nov 2008

Meta Tags Enhance Your Link Building Efforts

Meta TagsMeta tags can help improve your placement in search engines and can increase quality traffic to your web site.  Unfortunately, unless your website developer has a fundamental knowledge of search engine optimization, or you have an SEO professional review your site, many websites lack some of the fundamentals needed to enhance your site and increase traffic.
Even those who have a basic understanding of the importance of meta tags may not do everything required to optimize your site. Creating effective meta tags is a lot of work. However, the long term payoff is well worth it, especially in your link building efforts. Even with the most effective link building campaign, if your meta tags are not well-written for your specific web page, you can undermine your link building efforts. Search engine optimization success relies on these two factors to work together for ultimate effectiveness.

So what does your website meta tags need to have in order to garner the best results? Below are a few tips and guidelines for your website:

Title Tag.  Each page should have its own title tag.  Try to use 5 to 8 small to medium sized words and include one complete incidence of your keyword phrase.   This is important to all three of the major search engines and is what normally shows up in the listings displayed on the search results. Title tags for all of your webpages are extremely important. Make sure each is unique to the page on which it appears.
 
Meta Description.
  Start this tag with an incidence of your keyword phrase and then produce a short 15 – 18 word sentence clearly describing your web page. Keep in mind that the description tag is often viewed as the description for any rankings you achieve so it is best to make it as alluring as possible to potential site visitors.
 
Meta Keyword.
  Keyword tags have long been considered ineffective and no longer have any importance on Google; however Yahoo does still consider the keyword tag so include it. The keyword tag should start with the main keyword phrase. The maximum size of a keyword tag should be 250 characters, using commas to separate each phrase. Only use keywords that appear on that web page. As with title tags, this is important!
 
Keywords in URL.
  Create keyword-based filenames that closely represent the content within the file. Search engines tend to reward keyword-based filenames a small amount – perhaps enough to push past your competition. It’s worth the extra effort.
 
Headings.
  Heading 1 and 2 tags should be applied on every page where appropriate to embolden the relevance of the page. In other words, use the page’s keyword phrase within a Heading 1 tag to further enhance the visibility of the keyword phrase on the page.
 
Alt text for images.
  Don’t forget to provide appropriate ALT text for each image on your website. Adding an incidence of the keyword phrase or a portion of the keyword phrase is totally appropriate which can add slightly more credibility to your page score when the search engines index the page. 

While meta tags are no guarantee that your site will make it to the top of search engine results, they do serve as a way to offer the website owner the ability to control how pages are described on search engines. Quality link building is quite simply one of the most important activities you can undertake to get higher search engine rankings but with inferior meta tags, your website is working against itself to achieve these rankings.

[tags] meta tags, SEO, search engine optimization, link building [/tags]

11 Comments

  • Frank-BMW Tails Nov 03, 2008

    Nice Post.One thing I would like to suggest more make sure your title contain prominent competitive keywords describing your page.

  • Daryl Clark Nov 04, 2008

    Yeah….I read this article in 1999! Great job!

  • Vertical Measures Nov 04, 2008

    Wow Daryl – you are amazing. But there are still many, many website owners who still do not understand the proper us of meta tags. That’s the person we are trying to reach with this post.

  • willb@dog training Nov 05, 2008

    I think the most important tags are title and description so I always do magic with them. One of my customer’s site doesn’t show any tags in my SEO software(Analyzing). He has “id” in the tag as well, is that some kind of problem which is hiding it?

  • Purple Widget Nov 06, 2008

    Excellent overview of some core basics that too many websites don’t do very well. Nothing ground breaking but still a good reminder of the basics.

  • online savings Nov 07, 2008

    I totally agree with you, meta tagging is as important as other off page factors. Get it wrong,as the foundation of a house, if not solid then the house is bound to collapse with time.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Internet Marketing Consultant Dec 13, 2008

    Great post .. I like the fact you touched on heading or hx tags. A lot of folks concentrate on the title, keyword and descriptions and completely forget about this so very important aspect of on-page optimization.

  • website optimization Mar 13, 2009

    A meta description tag is supposed to be a brief and concise summary of your page's content. It is designed to provide a brief description of your site which can be used by search engines or directories.When you write a meta description tag, you should limit it to 170 characters or 200 characters at most. Meta tags have never been a guaranteed way to gain a top ranking on crawler-based search engines.

  • Say it Green - Organic, Fair Trade Shirts and Apparel Jun 06, 2009

    Thanks for this post. We are not currently using meta tags effectively, I am pretty sure of that (we have about 10-15 pages with duplicate meta tags, which probably isn’t good).

    I will go review our meta tags to try to make them unique to each page. Thanks again for posting this – it may be basic to some, but for newbies like me it is quality information!!!

  • Tony Oct 27, 2009

    Great post .. I like the fact you touched on heading or hx tags.