This week I read a great article on Meta Tags. I have practiced some of the things that were covered in this article, but not all of them. One of the things that stood out to me was when the article discussed how meta tags can help in building a brand name by including them in the title tag itself. The three main points of creating title tags were:
- Try to put your main keywords/phrases towards the front of your title tag. Search engines (especially Google) will place more emphasis on the beginning of the tag.
- Depending on your current brand and position in the market, you will want to put your brand name at the beginning or the end of the title tag. If you have a well known brand like Nike or Apple, it is best to craft a tag that is more for branding than for search engines. The reason is that you probably have a lot of domain authority and tons of inbound links, so you don’t have to mess up your tag with lots of keywords. If your brand is not as well known, putting your brand name at the end of the tag will help in starting to build that brand.
- Keep the title tag short, don’t stuff it will tons of keywords just to try and optimize for every term you want to rank for. I personally try to rank for no more than 2-3 keywords per page (actually most of the time 1 main term per page).
Then, the article discussed how to create effective description tags. The main points of creating description tags were:
- Use your description tag to sell the user to come to your page. Explain what that page is about, some selling points and even a special offer that will entice the user to click on your link.
- Utilize different variations of the primary terms you are looking to rank for. For example, if you used the word “Nike Golf Club” in your title tag, you may want to change that phrase to “Golf Clubs by Nike” in your meta description tag.
- Keep it focused to what the page is talking about, not necessarily what the entire website does.
Looking back now on the searches I have performed on search engines, I can see all of these points and how they were used, abused, or totally ignored. I can really see the point of building a brand that is not yet known by including it at the end of the title tag, but when you already have a brand, be sure to include at the beginning, then people will see it quickly and click on it. It also helps to have call-to-action statements in your description to help pull users into your website. Not only that, but craft your description tags so that they are creative and stand out from the rest of the crowd. We all know that advertisements must stand out and the description allows for some valuable advertising space, especially if you are ranked high in the organic search results.
Reading these articles and points has made me reflect back upon the clients we have served and look at their meta data. Some of them we have followed the things discussed in the article, but there were some that needed to be changed and improved. So, I have changed some of our client’s meta tags to more closely follow these points as well as take advantage of the advertising space they provide.
I have also learned that meta tags do not have a huge impact on Search Engine Optimization, but they do play a role in how your page is ranked. However, the real advantage they play is that they are what the user sees, reads, and is exposed to. Thus, if you can effectively write and construct these tags, more users will click on your “organic ad” in the search results and visit your website.