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  What Are Meta Tags?


Meta tags are HTML tags used by a web page to offer descriptive data about the page's content. While there are actually several different attributes available for use in the meta tag, the description and keywords attributes are of particular interest to those of us looking to improve our landing page's search engine rankings.

<meta name="description" content="Description of your web page using your targeted keywords" />

The above code is the actual HTML code that you'll use to build your web page's meta tag (don't forget to place it inside of the <head> tags). The meta tag's "name=description" attribute is read by some search engines to provide a brief summary of what the web page is about. More recently this attribute is being used less since the search engines are retrieving this data from the actual body of the web page instead of this meta tag, but SEO experts still suggest that we take advantage of this tag.

 

<meta name="keywords" content="comma separated list of your targeted keywords" />

The above code is the actual HTML code that you'll use to build your web page's meta tag (don't forget to place it inside of the <head> tags). The meta tag's "name=keywords" attribute is read by most search engines to provide a direct summary of topics to be covered on the web page.   

 

COMMON FAQ'S ABOUT HOW TO USE THE META TAG IN A WEB PAGE


How many words should I use in my meta description tag?
Answer: It depends.
Some "SEO Experts" will tell you that you should have (some random number here) of words appear in your meta description tag. Here's the truth: The number of words that should appear in your meta tags is not at all random; it's a very specific number and it's based on the keyword(s) you're pursuing, your competition, the activity of search for those keyword(s) and a few other things as well. So how do you know how many words you should use in building your meta description tags? Do SEO With Data and find out.

How many times should my keyword(s) appear in my meta description tag?
Answer: Again, it depends.
By researching the data surrounding your keywords, your competition, the number of searches for those keywords and a few other pieces of data you'll get an exact amount of times your keyword(s) should be present in your meta description tag.

Should my meta keywords tag only include my targeted keywords?
Answer: ...maybe.
Once again, we do the research needed to determine the exact amount of times your keyword(s) should be included in your meta keywords tag.

Search Engine Optimization with Data

Every day we research our clients' keywords and provide them with invaluable data like:

  • The number of times their keywords have been searched for
  • An exhaustive list of web sites currently competing for those same keywords
  • The exact length of their meta tags & the number of times their keywords should appear

Daily Commitment

Every day the Google-bots are scouring the internet looking at web sites and specifically, they're reading landing pages just like yours. But they're constantly collecting data about your competition and how popular each of your competitor's landing pages' have become. So it's natural when your competitor's landing pages achieve their high ranking that the Google-bots carefully look at exactly how their web pages are constructed and how often they used the keywords in their meta tags. Google doesn't necessarily dictate the terms or rules about how you should build your web pages to rank highest among your competition, but they do report on just how your competition did it, showing you why your competition's landing page is currently ranking higher than yours.

Why Daily?

Over time (remember, internet time is measured in milliseconds) your page ranking may increase or decrease. It's common to see that you need, let's say, 2 instances of your keywords and 19 total words to appear in your meta's description. It's equally as common to see - just after a day or two- that you now only need 1 instance of your keywords but perhaps 22 total words in your meta's description. It can, and does change that often....

Competition & Search Activity

Your competition is only one part of the SEO equation. On the other side of the math lies the number of times users are searching for your keywords. A keyword isn't necessarily considered effective just because it registered 3 million searches in one day; the best keywords are those words that have high search values but low competition. So we provide our clients with keyword analysis too, making sure they've selected the most efficient keywords to pursue.    

As you can see the need for properly constructed meta tags is very important for the "SEO well-being" of your landing pages. Additionally you'll need to do much more than simply answer the question, "what are meta tags?" You should know exactly how many words and how many keywords need to be present in your meta tags, and you should be keeping up on this important data every day.  

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