Once upon an Internet, meta tags were very important tools to help make sure a website was found by search engines. Today, the tags don’t serve much of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purpose but they still have an important place in website strategy. When your site is found in a search engine, the meta tags give the user valuable information about your site.
Meta Title TagsYou see the results of the meta title tag every time you do a search. If there is no tag, the URL will be listed in the search results. If there is a tag, a more descriptive link will be listed – often one that entices you to click on it. The title tag appears in browser tabs and search engine results. You need to keep these short, fewer than 70 characters is ideal, and descriptive.
Meta Description TagsDescription tags are the block of information seen below the link in a search result. If you ignore this, you are ignoring a free chance to market your strengths. We advise keeping these descriptions at less than 170 characters and ideally ending in a call to action to help guide the reader into clicking your link. It’s important to remember that each page of your site has different information and the description and title tags should both reflect those differences. If you use the same meta content on multiple pages, search engines will ignore it and you’re missing a chance to make an impact.
We think meta tags are important enough to put them on our Ten Must-Haves for Every Business Website.
Now, let’s take it a step further…
with Google Authorship
Create a Google+ profile with additional information about you and your company and you can link your web pages to that profile. Then when people pull up your site on Google they will see your picture and make an instant connection with you. Making your content more personal makes it more likely that people will click your links to learn more.
Learn more about Google Authorship.
with Google Places
Google Places let you enter your business location and will tie that to your search results. When people pull up your site on Google, they’ll be connected to a map and additional information about your company. It’s another way to give people more information up front and establish a stronger connection.
with Google AdWords
You’ve probably noticed Google AdWords and not even realized it. When you do a search on Google, the results at the top of the page or along the right column are often paid advertisements. Google AdWords provides a very targeted way to have your site placed higher than others and there are options for all budget levels.
We’re highlighting Google because they are the leading search engine for traffic. However, many of these options are available in some form from every major search engine. The key isn’t the brand behind the action – it’s in the action itself. Take advantage of meta tags and related search engine tools and you’ll build a stronger connection with your audience.
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