How to use meta tags in your website

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Meta Tags
Meta Tags

The META tags in a website are used to help provide extra underlying information about a web page to search engines. There are a lot of different types of META tags, but we will focus on the two most important in this article which are; the Keywords META tag, and the Description META tag.

Things You'll Need

  • your own website
  • computer
  • HTML editing tool such as notepad, Microsoft Frontpage, or Adobe Dreamweaver.

WHERE CAN YOU FIND THESE META TAGS? First, we will discuss where to find these META TAGS. If you are building your own website, have built a website, or are about to build a website, then you might be familiar with HTML editor tools such as Microsoft Frontpage or Adobe Dreamweaver. These programs have a basic set of META data already populated. If not, all you have to do is add the following data (NOTE: The parenthesis are carrots in code, but since you can not post HTML code on eHow, I had to compromise to show you an example):

(title)YOUR WEBSITE PAGE TITLE HERE(/title) (meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1") (meta name="keywords" content="ENTER YOUR KEYWORDS HERE") (meta name="description" content="SITE DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH.")

If you do not get what I just wrote up above or if you are just starting out building a webpage, go to the "TOOLS" of your internet browser, select the "VIEW" button, then the "SOURCE" button, and you can actually view the META TAGS for this very page you are on. The META TAGS are always right at the top and look similar to the examples I provided above.

WHAT IS A KEYWORD META TAG AND WHAT IS A DESCRIPTION META TAG: So now that you know how the search engines read the META TAGS, and you know where they are, lets figure out how to use them. I stated in the intro of this article that we will focus on the Keywords META tag and the DESCRIPTION META tag.

The Keywords META tag contains all of the keywords relevant to a page separated by commas. Search engines used to only use these, but people abused them and added all kinds of stuff to a page keyword just so that they would rank higher. DO NOT DO THIS! You will be banned from search engines, and it is just plain wrong. Stick to relevant keywords only! I can not stress this enough.

The Description META tag information is basically that paragraph you see when you search for a site. This information should be a brief paragraph that is descriptive of the page or site that you want people to go to. Simple enough. Try to keep it to 25-30 words, or two sentences. Include two to three top keywords in this description.

WRITE YOUR OWN: So, now you are going to write your own Keyword and Description META tag. Follow my example here at all times in all of your webpages, as it has all of the basic and most relevant set of info you need to write - (NOTE: remember to replace the parenthesis with carrots so that the HTML code will be read correctly, and only change the areas that I have in ALL CAPS):

((title)YOUR WEBSITE PAGE TITLE HERE(/title) (meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1") (meta name="keywords" content="ENTER YOUR KEYWORDS HERE") (meta name="description" content="SITE DESCRIPTION PARAGRAPH.")

OPTIMIZE YOUR KEWORDS: Once you have taken a crack at writing your own, check out my article entitled "How to Optimize your website keywords" to learn how to make even better keywords that help you in site search rankings.

Tips & Warnings

  • META tags play an important role in a search engine search, and should be carefully thought about. Keep in mind that META tags help search engines determine the relevance of your sites content, so stick to what is important and do not try to add extra fluff.
  • The Keywords META tag consists of generally 15-20 keywords. Research the best keywords out there relevant to your content and use these.
  • include misspellings of keywords and phrases that you think people might type in when searching for your content.
  • The Description META tag consists of 25-30 words, or at least two sentences, and can include your top two to three keywords.
  • DO NOT TRY TO ABUSE META TAGS BY ADDING A LOT OF EXTRA NON-SPECIFIC KEYWORDS
  • YOU WILL GET BANNED FROM SEARCH ENGINES FOR ABUSING META TAGS

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