I have said many times that 3 of the easiest things for a website owner to gain traffic to your site and help with search engine rank placement are Title, Meta and URL.
In this post I am going to focus on Meta Tags. Before writing this, I was thinking that maybe many site owners simply do not even know what a meta tag is and why or where it’s placed or important. Well, the basics… it’s the description people see on search engines Under your Title.
The Meta Tags are Very Important not only for SEO for the search engines to display relevant links for a user, the meta tags also can play a roll if a user clicks on your site listing!
Control is extremely important! Not knowing or not having control over your meta can greatly set you back! 1.) For SEO and 2.) User Clicks. Meta Tags are not just for your home page, they are for Every Page on your site.
Since I use WordPress for my site, I know that best and will explain what I use to help me. I use TWO plugs (you don’t have to, but that’s what I use). The first plugin you should consider is by Yoast and is simply called WordPress SEO Plugin. This is a Great plugin! It will not only help you with Meta Tags, it helps you with several SEO functions like Title (home page), Keywords and much more.
After installing the plugin, go to Settings/Wordpress SEO Plugin. You will set your Home page meta and keywords from this point.
Meta tags are not only important to Search Engines, they also can play a key roll of the site owner “inviting in” the user (searcher).
Your Title, Meta description and URL are the only 3 things you have to grab the attention of a search engine user when your site ranks for the users search. I think the meta description (tag) is a Vital One, when it comes to the user and what it says.
If your meta has text in it that doesn’t even come close to what the page they will see if or when they click.. it’s likely they will click back out right away.
Writing Meta tags is really an art! One, you have to contain keywords to please the robots that search your site. Matching keyword(s) you want to rank for in your Title, Meta and URL are important. Secondly, you have to keep the User in mind, so you want to be clear what they are going to see or read, which is also likely what makes up their mind IF they click. To top it off, you only have about 160 characters to do so.
Not using WordPress?
If you do not use the powerful WordPress for your website… maybe you should reconsider…. Ha Ha..
Well, it will be a little more work and code digging. Since there are so many different “systems” to build a website and I am not familiar with most, check out the Meta Element from Wikipedia. They explain several options based on HTML or XHTML, Meta Tags and Keywords.
Be a search engine user yourself! Just because you may think you have the meta tags in the proper place on your site, maybe you do not? Do some keyword searches on a couple search engines and see what you see. Compare your meta description to “others around yours”. Is yours better or more likely somebody would click?
You can also narrow down indexed pages on search engines by using a search like this: site:yourdomainname.com This will take away the “compare” function that I think is important, but will give you a good idea if you are doing things right.