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Adding Meta Tags to your site

By John Karnish
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Presently it's hard to tell if meta tags will help you achieve a better ranking. There are so many criteria in determining a site's placement that meta tags are never going to be the ultimate factor in deciding whether your site gets placed in the top ten. Some search engines do not even support meta tags.

I always like to add meta tags to my site, because I know they usually help. I also know they won't harm my chances of achieving a good listing if they're made correctly.

If you're unfamiliar with html, you might want to have someone help you add your tags to your webpages. However, it is pretty simple and you really don't even need any experience coding pages.

I suggest that you open your coding in a text editor like Notepad. You always want to place your tags in-between the tags. This is what it will look like:

Your Site's Title
Enter meta tags here.

Quite simple. Now you want to add your tags. I like to start with the keyword tags. You should spend some time finding the best keywords for your site. One great place to look is GoTo's keywords suggestion page. Type in your main keyword and it will return a large list of relevant keywords and a number of how many times the term was searched in the past month.

The first step you want to take is to choose a good title. Most search engines index between 80 - 120 characters, so make sure you don't go over 120. Most engines give good weight to the title in determining your placement, so be certain to use your best keywords in your title. I would use one or two, but I wouldn't recommend repeating them.

Keyword 1, Keyword 2

Now it's time to create your description tag. Always include title and description tags. If you don't, a title and description will be made for you and it could make your page sound unappealing. Most search engines will use about 150 - 300 characters of a description tag, so 200 characters would be a good size.

Remember that your description tag should make sense! List your main keywords, but just don't repeat them endlessly. Search engine surfers will think your site is garbage and won't visit it, and you most likely will receive a lower ranking.

Do include two, three or even four good keywords and phrases, but make sure your description still sounds normal.

When creating your title and description tag, pretend that you're creating a classified ad. That's basically what you're doing. You title tag is your headline. You want to gain your viewer's attention as he's scanning the page and interest him to read further. Your description should make him feel that he has something to gain from visiting your site.

Your description tag looks like this:

In your keyword tag, you want to list your main keywords people will use to find your page. Since some search engines are case sensitive, you might also want add your keywords in caps and maybe even some spelling mistakes some people might make when searching for your site.

Here is what your keyword tag will look like:

It is disputable whether it's better to separate your keywords with commas or to just leave a space between words.

Although meta tags help position your page, they won't determine the success or failure of a top 20 ranking. Some search engines don't even support meta tags. That's why it's important to use your keywords in the certain areas of your page.

It usually helps to have a keyword place in a heading tag at the top of the page. You also want to use your keywords in the first few lines of the first paragraph. A good amount of weight is usually placed here in determining your ranking. These first few lines are usually what are displayed as your description, so you also want to compel the reader to stay at your site.

The determinations of search engine rankings are constantly changing. Since algorithms are hard figure out, software is usually helpful. The three biggest I know of are "Web Position," "Position Agent" and "GRKda GRSoftware Keyword Density Analyzer."

Since this article only focused on meta tags, here are some sites that will give you more detailed information on search engine placement:

(http://www.bruceclay.com/web_rank.htm) (http://searchenginewatch.internet.com/webmasters/rank.html)

You may also want to seek help from some experts. Here are a couple of cool search engine forums:

(http://www.seektronic.com/forum/board.cgi?) (http://www.marketposition.com/)

About the Author
John Karnish of the Internet Marketing Professional website. Visit his site for a QUICK And EASY Way To Build A Profitable Business On The Internet. Start Today! Visit: (http://internet-marketingpro.com)