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How To Write Title And Description Meta Tags

Oct 11, 2007
This article goes over the basics of the title and description meta tags and how to write them.

Meta tags are information inserted into the "head" area of your web pages to tell search engines about your pages. In the early days of the internet when the engines databases were small, meta tags were a quick way for the search engines to determine which keywords might be important on a site. Then spammers started to put keywords into the meta tags that had nothing to do with the content of their site. Today much less weight is given to meta tags. Search engines go to the actual content of the web pages to look for keywords.

There are many factors search engines use to rank your pages. Optimizing your pages to rank high involves title and description meta tags, external links, content, keywords, image alt text and design. All play a part in determining how your web pages will rank. Since the search engines use a wide variety of factors to determine site rankings, you need as much help as you can get. You should use the title and description meta tags, along with every other appropriate, lawful technique available. The meta keyword tag is hardly worth the trouble, it has little if any relevance.

How to write keywords for your title and description meta tags.

Most people will write the content of the page and then try to pull out keywords to add to the the meta tags. Before writing content for a page on your web site, pick out 3 or 4 keywords. Then write phrases from those words you can use in the title and description tags. Then you can write the content for the page around the keywords. Put yourself in your potential customers shoes and imagine what words they will type into a search engine to find your site.

Base your keywords for each page on your business.

The first step towards writing a page's meta tags is selecting keywords that best reflect your business. You want to focus your efforts on keywords that describe what you sell. If your site sells car stereos, your keywords could be, "car audio receiver", "in dash CD Player" and "car speakers system". Also use brand names in your content like, "boss audio", "soundstream speakers", and "visonik subwoofer".

How to write a good title tag.

There seem to be some misunderstandings about the title tag. The title tag on each page is the title of your listing in any search engine. Some web masters think that the title tag should be all keywords. You do not want your title listing to show up in a search engine to consist of a list of keywords, people will not take the site seriously. The title tag should be the name of the site and a brief description of the site. For example, you could put "Car Stereos at (Company Name)" or "(Company Name) - Car Stereos At Bargain Prices" or "(Company Name) is your Car Stereo Online Resource".

The title tag should never be more than 80 characters. Generally, the briefer the better.

How to write a good description tag.

To write a good description tag, you need to write a concise description of your site. You are limited to 200 characters or less in the description tag so make it brief but comprehensive.

Let's use the car stereo example again. Your site is based on car stereos. So your description tag should say that your site is about car stereos. The search engine robot will see this and will place your site pages in relevant search results. So if someone searches for car stereos, they should see your site somewhere in the search results.

These principles can be applied to any site. Use the these simple techniques and you will create meta tags that to some degree control how your web pages are described by some search engines.
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By Harvey Lew Robinson:
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