META Tags Optimization

META tags optimization is about creating web pages with the right HTML “META tag” code to give you optimal placement with search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and What you want is for these search engines rank your page favorably based on your site's theme-specific keywords.

If you need help with META tags optimization then you may be interested in my Search Engine Optimization Consultant services where I can create high value web pages for you using high demand keywords and expert copywriting. I combine "HTML And Words That Sell" to give you the best of HTML coding and writing.

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Step 1: Keywords

I have covered most of what you need to know regarding META tags optimization in various sections about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The starting point is choosing keywords related to the them of your website and then building pages around specific keywords.

META tags optimization is about creating web pages that rank highly with the search engines for your keywords of choice. A “keyword” is usually a phrase and not one word. It is that search term a web surfer enters into a search engine that will hopefully turn up your page. How you construct a page around keywords affects how they are ranked by search engines.

Most people use tools like Google's Keyword Tool and other keyword search tools like Wordtracker in order to research high demand keywords. I use and recommend Site Build It! by SiteSell Inc. which is a powerful solution that allows you to create a traffic-generating website by using both the demand and supply of keywords to find high value keywords.

Step 2: File Name

The first step in META tags optimization is not a meta tag but the file name of the web page you are creating. Search engines will rank your page higher if the keyword you are designing your page around forms part of in the file name. Remember that each page is designed around a specific keyword which you can then include using dashes (-) or underscores (_) to separate each word.

As an example, let's say we are creating a web page based on the keyword “discount used cars”. The file name for this page should ideally simply be discount-used-cars.html and the URL or web address for your page would be:

If possible your keyword should be the file name and you should use only letters, numbers, dashes (-) and underscores (_). You can create additional pages for the same keyword by using numbers – e.g. discount-used-cars2.html – or using a plural form of the keyword. You cannot use the same file name twice as the URL for each page must be unique.

Your site structure should also be search engine friendly and META tags optimization in itself is not enough to ensure your success. It is best to have keyword-based file names right after your main domain name as shown above and not nested several layers deep (www.../.../discount-used-cars.html). You should also use the following template for site design:

META Tags Optimization website structure

An optimally designed website should follow this 3 Tier Structure in addition to being constructed around meta tags optimization. Simply put, your homepage should link to 5-15 Tier 1 pages which comprise your main topics. Each of these should then branch out to 5-15 sub-themed Tier 2 pages. Thus your site is logically designed and never more than a 2 clicks deep.

Step 3: Title

META tags optimization really really starts with the HTML Title tag, although technically this is not a “META” tag. Enclosed in the tags <title> and </title> in your HTML code, the title is the heading that will appear at the top of the browser window when a visitor reads your web page. It is also the link provided by search engines when displaying your page in a list of results.

META Tags Optimization search results

Here are some tips for creating an optimized page title:

• Include your keyword early in the title
• Your keyword should preferably be the second or third word
• Your keyword should appear just once and twice only if absolutely necessary
• Keep your actual title under 85 characters (under 65 is best)

Here is how the Title tag might look based on the keyword “discount used cars”:

<title>Your discount used car source for the best deals in automobiles!</title>

Remember not to “stuff” your title tag with your keyword or variations of your keywords as you will be penalized by search engines for doing this. Optimizing META tags is no longer about putting your keyword into your HTML code as many times as possible. Rather, use it sparingly and weave it in compellingly.

Step 4: Keywords

Working with keywords is an integral part of building a successful web site and, of course, meta tags optimization.

Here are some tips for constructing your Keywords META tag:

• Each web page should be built around a single central keyword
• Enter your main page keyword first
• Add 1 or 2 variations of your keyword and 1 or 2 general keywords
• Do not use more than 5 keywords
• Limit the number of characters of your keyword to 100
• Separate each of the keywords by commas

Remember not to fall into the trap of peppering the Keyword META tag with countless variations of your keyword as, once again, this will cause you to be penalized by search engines. The name of the meta tags optimization game is not to throw as many keywords at your page as you can, rather use a handful of keywords and weave them into the META tags and body of your page.

Here is how the Keyword META tag might look based on the keyword “discount used cars”:

<META Name="Keywords" Content="discount used cars, automobile deals, pre-owned, cheap">

The primary keyword “discount used cars” goes first followed by the synonym / variation “automobile deals” as well as a couple of more general related keywords. A keyword usually consists of 1, 2 or 3 words – rarely 4 or 5 – and you should never repeat your keyword – or a root – in this META tag (that is a good rule to follow with all meta tags optimization in general).

Step 5: Description

The final HTML tag to deal with in the process of meta tags optimization is the Description META tag. Although your visitors do not see the page description you provide on the page itself, it is featured on the search engine results page under the page title:

META Tags Optimization description tag

It goes without saying that your page description is the advertisement that will compel visitors to choose your website over other results the see when they search for keywords related to your website. Always use common sense as well as following the rules of meta tags optimization.

In addition to being informative and persuasive, use your primary keyword once and not more that twice and keep your actual description to under 200 characters (under 150 is best). Also, do not use quotes or non-standard characters within the description.

Here is how the Description META tag might look based on the keyword “discount used cars”:

<META Name="Description" Content="While there are plenty of websites offering automobile deals, buyer beware! If you are looking for quality discount used cars then this is the place to shop.">

Notice that meta tags optimization here does not require that your keyword appear early on within the description but that you do include it once.

Step 6: Body

Once you are finished with meta tags optimization of your HTML code there are guidelines to follow with regards to keywords within the body text. Site Build It! provides a powerful web page analyzer that checks your page against over 50 search engines heuristics in order to create an optimized page.

Begin your page with a headline that contains your primary keyword. You can use the <h1></h1> HTML tags for this as in the following example:

<center><h1>Your Discount Used Car Source</h1></center>

One way of handling headlines is to divide your page description from the Description META tag into two parts. The first sentence should then comprise your headline and the remaining part of the description then forms the first few lines of your main body text under your page headline.

Once you get into the body of your page you should sprinkle your keyword and synonyms throughout the page but do not overdo it. As a general rule you should try and follow an “egg timer” pattern with more at the beginning – 1 or 2 keywords per paragraph - and end and less in the middle.

As a final couple of points, it is worthwhile to include your specific keyword once or twice within a link on your page that users click on to visit another page or site. Also, when using graphics try and name the image using your keyword and include this in the ALT tag as well:

<IMG SRC="discount_used_cars1.gif" ALT="Some Discount Used Car Models">

That brings me to the end of this section on meta tags optimization. Be sure to read my related pages in SEO section and feel free to ask about my SEO Consulting or SEO Copy Writing services.

Get help with META tags optimization!

Improve Search Engine RankingSEO Copy WritingHow To Make A WebsiteHow To Build A Website (Interview)META Tags Optimization Consultant

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