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The Importance Of Meta Tags
by Donna Snyder -- December 1, 2004
Meta tags are used to add information to the HTTP header of a webpage. It also contains hidden information in the coding that the search engines will pick up on.

Example: author's name, title of web site and "keywords"

Meta tags can help improve your placement in search engines and can therefore help increase traffic to your Web site.  Most likely, if your site does not have "keywords" in the head of your html code, the engines will not find your website.


Donna Snyder

Choosing your keywords carefully: Choosing the keywords used in your meta tags are very important. If you don't choose the proper keywords, submitting your site to the search engines will be useless, because those keywords are major factors in determining how a site visitor will locate your site in the engines. Lets take a look from the searcher's point a view...

A searcher goes to Google, Yahoo or Excite, looking for topics or products relating to what your company (or site) is offering. He comes up with 10 to 20 search results on the first page of the engine. Your company listing is no where to be found. After skipping to the next 3 page results . . . Your company is still no where to be found. Why? Most likely you have not inserted the most effective keywords relevant to your website. Example: You've decided to insert your companies name in your "keyword" meta tags, instead of listing your products or services in your keywords. Searchers do not look for company names, unless they are looking for a specific major company on the web.

Tips on choosing the most effective keywords or phrases for your webpage.

  • Start with using General Keywords, then by adding specific keywords.
    Example: Your company is selling CD's. Take the general keyword of "CD's" and add a specific title or word to it, based on the CD's your are offering. So, your keyword phrases may be "CD's for Clay Aiken" or even the title of the CD "Measure Of A Man"

    <META content=" CD's, Clay Aiken, Measure Of A Man, Music, Clay, Aiken" name=keywords>

  • List your main products, services or purpose, that surfers will use in their keyword search.

  • If not selling products, then list a specific topic relating to your sites content in your keywords.
    <META NAME="CD's, Music, Recording Artist, Records">

  • On your website index or home page, be sure to include specific phrases or topics, that a searcher may use to look for your site in the engines. (The engines may pickup on these words in your sites content).

  • Consider regional keywords- If your company or site only caters within specific locations, you may want to list this in your meta tags. Example: If you have a company only sells products within your state or city, be sure to list the city or state in your meta tags. If your site ships products anywhere in the world and example would be...

  • Choose the most effective title for your webpage. (keep in mind that visitors will be searching for specific topics in their search, not the name of your company). Exception: (If they are looking for a major company or name brand item, song, book, etc.).

Meta Tags with Frame pages: Did you know that search engines often times do not pickup "keywords" used in frame sites? Most engines do not support frame sites. It is suggested that you have an "Introduction or home page" (for your index page), which does not use frames, before entering a site with frames. This way the search engines will pick up on your meta tags and you will have a higher chance of your "intro/index page" showing up in the search engines.

Complete Meta Tag Example:

<TITLE>Johns Music Store</TITLE>
<META NAME="Keywords" CONTENT="CD's, Albums, Music, Recording Artist">
<META NAME="Description" CONTENT="CD's, Recording Artist, Music, DVD's, Albums, Madonna, Clay Aiken">
<!-- META Tags generated by -->

Click on Free Meta Tag Generator . . . to generate a free meta tag for your website. Be sure to optimize each page (meta tag) separately. Create separate content-rich pages and utilize your other keywords for those pages.

Donna Snyder
Copyright © 2004
All Rights Reserved
About the Author
Donna Snyder is the CEO of The American Association Of Webmasters  and the World Wide Web Awards™ .  She has been a website designer for more than five years and owns / operates two full service web related companies - including DDD Web Designs headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

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