In the big world of internet websites how can a particular website be found? What good is extremely good content when there are no readers or viewers?
The answer is the lack of SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Meta Tag Optimization is a very important part of this. Meta tags are little tags that you can add to your website to show search engine robots and other web applications what content is in a certain page and other identifying information.
In this article I will tell you what Meta Tags you can use and how you can optimize them.
What is a Meta Tag?
Meta tags are little tags that you can add to your website to show search engine robots and other web applications what content is in a certain page and other identifying information. They give your webpage a title, description and keywords that are preferable used to help boost search engine rankings and in time increase traffic to that page.
Meta tags go within our <head> section of our webpage. They go after the <head> and before the </head>. Preferably directly after the <title></title> section.
Example of a Meta Tag
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />
This is an example of a meta tag. This particular meta tag calls your web page as a strict html page.
Meta tags are in the format:
<meta name=”NAME” content =”CONTENT”>
Where ‘NAME’ and ‘CONTENT’ can be one of many identifying tags.
Different types of Meta Tags
<meta name=”title” content=”a specific page’s title”>
This tag defines the title for the page. However this is not required as developed search engines including all major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing automatically detect the title from the <title></title> section. While it won’t hurt to include this as a meta description is certainly is not needed unless if you wish to have a customised title for search engine results for a particular reason.
<meta name=”description” content=”description of webpage”>
This description is displayed along side your title and link in a search engine result when indexed. Your content should be of a medium length that accurately describes the content of your webpage using as little words as possible.
<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword2″>
Keywords are exactly what you think they are, keywords. They are short, accurate keywords reflecting the content on a particular page. No two pages should have completely identical keywords as this is commonly marked as spam by search engines. Keyword are comma separated and should be a reasonable length. Do not spam keywords as it will only harm your webpage.
<meta http-enuiv=”refresh” content=”5, url=index.html”>
This above meta tag refreshes the page after the specified number of seconds (5 above) and redirects the user to index.html which in this case is the base home page for this website.
<meta name=”resource-type” content=”document”>
The above meta tag states that the webpage is a document and is commonly used for indexing purposed and sometimes validating purposes. This is not widely used and should be ignored if not needed.
<meta name=”robots” content=”all,index,follow”>
<meta name=”googlebot” content=”index,follow” />
<meta name=”msnbot” content=”all,index,follow” />
The above meta tag states what search engines should do with the content of a page. The first meta tag showing ‘robots’ tells use search engines that find the site to do ‘all’, ‘index’ and ‘follow’. It tells the search engine to index the page on the search engine website, it also tells it to follow links on the page and index them as well.
You could also use the following values : noindex, nofollow. This will tell the search engine to not index the webpage and to not follow links on the page. You could also use index, nofollow which tells the search engine to index the webpage but to not follow links on the website and index them. You can use any combination however ensure you don’t use index along with noindex and follow along with nofollow as that will cause error’s and will lead with your websites optimization decreasing.
The other two meta tags with names “googlebot” and “msnbot” are exactly the same thing, however the only different is that they target specific search engines, in this case Google search engine and msnbot for Bing search engine. This is useful if you would like to be indexed by one search engine but not another.
Anything else I need to know?
If you follow the above meta tags as a guide you should be able to grasp the concept fairly well. It will take time and effort to be noticed in search engine results but by doing your own research on meta tags and meta tag optimization you should be able to get a very good idea of how it works. Be sure to check pages meta tags for other ideas by right-clicking on a page and pressing “view source.”