Meta Title, Meta Keywords, and Meta Descriptions

The title would be what you want the visitor to see in the browser bar. You do not need to enter any title tags like < title > as this is already done for you. The system inserts your wording into the < title > tag on its own. This field is probably more important than the keywords and you want to use as many descriptive words as possible. Here is an excerpt from a good article regarding meta titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords:

Excerpt from a helpful article:
Title Tag -
Perhaps the most important tag on a web site, as far as search engine rankings go, is the < Title > tag. This tag provides the description that appears at the top of the browser window in order to let an Internet user know where they are. Because this tag is also used as the official "Title" of your web site in most search engine results, it also provides one of your best chances to entice a web surfer to visit your site. For both search engine optimization and marketing purposes, the Title tag should be a richly-written, keyword dense sentence that accurately describes the content of that particular web page.

A common practice is to use the Title tag to list the name of the company or web site. Not only does this tell the visitor very little about the content of that particular page, it also does nothing to tell the spider what type of content your page contains. Each and every page of a web site should have a unique hand written title. The Title tag should be focused on describing the content of that particular web page in a keyword rich manner.

For example, the title "Joe's Sandwich Shack" for a deli in Manhattan is unlikely to be either informative to the casual surfer, or to deliver keyword rich text for the search engine to rank your site for. A much better title would be "New York City Deli Sandwiches & Desserts - Joe's Sandwich Shack" The new description not only provides keyword rich content to the spider, it also offers a much more detailed description to potential customers browsing through search results.

Meta Keyword Tag -
Once thought to be the golden key to high search engine rankings, the importance of the Meta Keyword tag has dropped dramatically over the last few years. Although most major engines no longer make use of the Meta Keyword tag, it is still worthwhile to include it for the smaller engines that do.

Using the same exact Meta Keyword on every page will get you nowhere. Each page should have a customized tag that reflects the content of that page. It's also important to remember that you should only be targeting a few phrases per page and that only those targeted phrases should be included in your tag. (Aim for 8-12 words total.)

There remains some level of debate on the use of commas within the Meta Keyword tag. I've found that leaving the commas out provides the most opportunity for multiple phrases with minimal words. Search engines will read a string of text and will break that string up into phrases as needed to provide search results.

Working off of our deli site above, let's consider that Joe wishes to optimize for the following phrases:

New York City Deli
Deli Sandwiches
Sandwiches & Desserts

If you planned to use commas in your Meta Keyword tag, you would enter the keywords as follows:

"New York City Deli, Deli Sandwiches, Sandwiches & Desserts"

If you remove the commas and allow the search engines to break up the text as they see fit, you can cut three words out of your description, thus upping the keyword density within the tag. For example:

"New York City Deli Sandwiches & Desserts"

It should be noted that several search engines are believed to penalize the rankings of sites that include irrelevant keywords within these tags. Even if this is not true, remember that adding the keyword "Brittany Spears" to a site about Jewish Genealogy is unlikely to either help out your rankings, or, to bring in targeted visitors.

Meta Description Tag -
Although it has fallen out of favor, much like the Meta Keywords tag, the Meta Description Tag still holds some sway over the major search engines. When used by the engines, this text is usually the basis for the description of the site on search engine results pages. A proper Meta Description tag should provide a brief, accurate, keyword rich description of the site's content.

Again, building on Joe's deli site, a proper description should look something like this:

"New York City Deli specializing in mile-high sandwiches, freshly prepared desserts, and other kosher treats."

Note that no search engine will display more than 250 characters of the Meta Description tag, so it's best to keep this one brief and to the point. One of the best ways to go about crafting this tag is to create the description that you will be submitting to the major directories and then us that for your Meta Description as well.

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