On-Page or On Site Search Engine Opimization (SEO) – Meta Tagging Issues

Last post I wrote about your web sites on-page visibility and this week I want to dig deeper into the meta and title elements (tags) on your site.

According to Wikipedia, “Meta Elements are tags used in HTML or XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page. They are part of a web page’s head section. Multiple Meta elements with different attributes can be used on the same page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.”

Meta Tag in search result sample
Image Cred: https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

The most commonly known meta elements are keywords and phrases.  Many would argue that keywords should be the foundation upon which you should build your web site.  The strategy of optimizing each page on your site for a specific keyword or phrase is considered to crucial to the best practices of proper SEO.

If you have been paying attention, you’ll know that back in 2009 Google confirmed that they were not using meta elements in determining page ranking so why should we care about them today?  Meta tags provide a written summary of what appears on a given web page and at Google’s discretion, this information may appear in results shown on a search engines results page (SERP) along with the link to the specific page.

A properly optimized Meta description will enable a search engine user to determine whether your site is worth investigating in their search for the answer to whatever information they seek.  In other words, meta tags become your on SERP marketing tag line which is your chance to tell potential visitors to come and see your site.

Ok, so how do we get the most benefit from properly adding meta elements to our web pages?  

First, to be most effective, each meta tag should be unique and not duplicate another meta description on your site.  Thus the meta tag should be specific about each page content and never generic such that a user would not think the page was right for them to click on.

A meta tag should also not be too long or too short and should range between 50 and 156 characters approximately.  I say approximately because not all letters are the same width so you need to test your meta tag to make sure what you want people to see fits in the space available on a SERP.

Title elements aka title tags define the title of the page.  The title tag appears in the tab on your browser page as well as on the SERP above the active url part of the search result.  Many believe the title tag contributes more than any other single element to search engine optimization success.

In any evaluation we do for a clients web site, we look closely at meta and title elements on each page to ensure these aspects of their page are optimized.  If you have any questions, please use the comment feature below and I will respond asap.  Thanks Robert Dunford

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