A small business should take the time to review their website meta tags and also research the best keywords for their industry and target geographical markets. Meta tags have limited impact on search engine placement, but attention to the top three meta tags; title, keyword and description, will help maximize your SEO strategy.
- Title tags remain the most important meta tags that are used by all search engines. The title tag appears at the top of a browser and is also the default phrase that appears when a page is bookmarked.
- Be clear and concise with the wording of each page’s title tag.
- It is best to begin with primary keywords that describe the page content, then a secondary keyword/phrase followed by the website name such as “Webinar Training | Virginia Web Meetings | The Ink Blog.” WordPress creates a a page name blog name style by default, e.g. Page Name | Blog Name.
- Limit the title tag to 70 characters which is the maximum shown in Google search results.
- Limit each page to 10 keywords and/or key phrases.
- Having more than 20 keywords could be a red flag to search engines who think you are trying to keyword spam your page which is a ‘black hat’ web design technique.
- Make keywords specific to the content of each page. Don’t use the same set of keywords on every page. Making them unique to each page will increase the relevance of the keywords and increase the validity of your site for search engines.
- Separate each keyword or phrase by a comma which indicates to a search engine that the keyword or phrase should be seen together
- Shy away from the use of single keywords such as a city name, state or event the primary service you provide unless it is incredibly unique. People seldom use a single keyword in searches and single keywords usually have millions of results making your site rank high for it next to impossible.
- Google ignores meta tag keywords so it is best practice to ensure the content on the actual page contains the information and keywords you are hoping show up in a Google search.
- Use the Google Keyword Tool to choose the best keywords for each page.
- Many websites often have many keywords which have little relevance for your site. Just having a city or county name as a keyword will not increase your site’s SEO ranking for those words since someone typing in “Philadelphia, PA” in a Google search is most likely not looking for a specific business or servie. If they were , they would most likely type in the name of the service they are searching.
- Description tags are still relevant since many search engines including Google sometimes use this tag to begin the description of your site in search engine results. Facebook also used the description tag of a site when a URL is pasted into a status update.
- Limit the description to one or two sentences that best describe your website. Google displays about 140 characters of text in the search results so the first 15 words in your description are critical.
Header “H1″ Tags
H1 tags are the header descriptions found on a web page. This blog article’s header tag/title, ‘Meta Tags for SEO” is assigned an H1 tag by default by WordPress. Make sure there is only one H1 tag on each page and include the most important keywords that describe the page content in this tag. Google and other search engines look for this tag to help determine if the content of the page is relevant to a search.
Meta Tag Coordination
Another best practice is to coordinate keywords across metatags. If the title tag, description tag, keyword tag and H1 tags all contain at least one word in common, search engines will determine that your site is highly relevant for the keywords being searched!
There are many other ways to increases your SEO rankings. One of the most effective ways is to increase the number of other websites linking to your website. This can be accomplished most effectively by listing your business in local directories. Here is TheInkBlog.net’s article on the subject: http://theinkblog.net/2011/11/04/promoting-small-business-on-the-web/
For more information about Basic SEO strategies, visit our blog article on the subject here: http://theinkblog.net/2011/12/09/basic-seo-ideas