If you have a website for your business, I can almost guarantee that at one time or another, you have been approached by a company to engage in search engine marketing. This is a type of Internet marketing that involves promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization and advertising.
One of the first steps in optimizing a website for the search engines is to add keywords to your website’s meta tags.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are simply words or phrases that describe a web page’s content. They are included in the HTML code for your website. You’ll typically see them at the “head” of the page. The two most important meta tags are the title tag and description meta tag. You can view them on your own website by right clicking your mouse and choosing “view page source”. If you still don’t see them, press ctrl + f to bring up a search bar and type in “meta”.
The title tag contains the title or main topic of the web page and is displayed at the top of the web browser. The meta description tag includes a sentence or two to describe the actual contents of the web page. When you do a search on Google, the search engine’s “spiders” crawl through millions of websites looking for a match to the keyword phrase you typed. If Google finds the keywords in the title tag and/or description tag of a particular web page, the meta tags will be displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).
Google won’t always use the information you include in the meta description tag on the SERP. Sometimes it uses another snippet of text from your web page that includes the keyword phrase in the search query. That snippet of text may not entice a web visitor to click on the link to your website. You’re much better off writing your own keyword-rich description tag that compels a searcher to click through to your website. You never know if Google will use it or not. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
That’s why meta tags are important for search marketing. They help your prospects find your website during an online search.
The “key” word in that last sentence was “help.” Title and description tags are just one piece of the SEO puzzle. It’s more important to concentrate on creating high quality content on your website that includes two or three keyword phrases. That’s what Google wants to see. You can’t get away with stuffing keywords into your website content anymore to get it on Page One of the search rankings. That type of behavior will only get your website blacklisted. The content must include keywords written in a way that is appealing to your prospects.
What about the Keywords Meta Tag?
There is another meta tag that you might see in your HTML code. That’s the keyword meta tag. This meta tag used to be an easy way to help websites rank on page one of Google. That’s when the problem started. It was too easy. Many people started putting dozens of keywords into the meta tag as a way to artificially boost the website’s search engine ranking. The search engines got wise and decided that it was in the best interest of everyone on the Internet if people concentrated on providing quality content. That’s why they stopped using the keywords meta tag as a ranking factor.
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