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Importance of TITLE and META tags

"Search Engine Basics: Title And META-Tags"
by Marketing Basics

Your Title-tag and META-tag are simply lines of text inserted into the HTML code of each of your web pages.

The Title-tag is one of the most important pieces of information for a search engine. The Title-tag should describe exactly what the web page contains. It should contain keywords, but not repeats, of terms you hope to be found for. It should also be as readable as possible. The Title-tag will be the first thing someone sees in a search result.

The Title-tag should be no longer than 70 characters and should contain words and phrases that accurately describe the content of a page. Try to make the Title-tags located throughout your site unique and relevant. Every word in the Title should be contained somewhere on the page they are used for. Research has also shown that a strong call to action will usually produce more clicks than a basic description.

The META-tag is used to store information about a web page but is not actually displayed in a web browser. For example, META-tags provide information such as what application was used to create the page, a description of the page, and keywords that are relevant to the page. Many search engines use the information stored in META-tags when they index web pages.

As I stated earlier, META-tag information is not displayed in a web browser. However, if you view the source code of any web page you will see the HTML code behind that page. To see the code, simply go to any website using Internet Explorer and click "view" then "source."

NOTE: It's okay to view, but please don't steal someone else's source code. Imagine how you would feel, if someone did that to you.

For quite some time now, META-tags have been the focus of a particular field of marketing research known as search engine optimization, or SEO. In the mid to late 1990s, search engines were heavily reliant on META-tag data to correctly classify a web page.

Webmasters quickly learned the significance of writing META- tags correctly, as it frequently led to higher rankings on search engines--and thus, more traffic to their websites.

As search engine traffic achieved greater significance in online marketing campaigns, SEO's who were well-versed in how search engines perceive a website exploded onto the scene. These SEO's used a variety of techniques (legitimate, and otherwise) to improve search engine rankings for their clients.

Over the last few years, however, search engines have become much less reliant on META-tags, as many webmasters cheated by using inappropriate tactics and keywords to direct as much traffic as possible to their sites.

And while not nearly as important as they once were, some search engines, still take META-tags into some consideration when delivering results.

In addition, search engines have become smarter, penalizing websites that cheat by repeating the same keyword(s) several times in order to get a boost in the search engines.

Make no mistake, cheaters pay a heavy price, indeed. Instead of ascending in ranking, cheating websites actually descend in ranking or, in some instances, are deleted from the search engine's database altogether.

A word of advice: Because search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, don't spend a lot of time on search engine optimization. That should just be one part of your overall marketing strategy. It's much more important to form alliances with businesses similar to yours, and increase the number of links to your site.

About the Author
Marketing Basics specializes in writing articles that teach, explain and define basic marketing principles and techniques. http://marketingbasics.blogspot.com http://allsearchengineoptimization.blogspot.com

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