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Search Engine Optimisation Basics – Meta Tags

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Some see search engine optimisation (SEO) as a dark art, others a precise science. As is often the case with such endeavours, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. However this is commonly dependant on who you talk to and how far into the Friday night post-work drinks you’ve stumbled up to that point.

Whatever way the whisky is flowing, meta tags are usually a great place to start. Meta tags are not obvious when looking at a page as they’re embedded into the HTML code. However, they’re important because crawler-based search engines will be scanning the information and using it to affect the rank of your page. Simply put, the better your meta tags, the better the effect on your page’s rank. Meta tags are one of many tools in your arsenal to positively effect your search engine ranks, and they should be used as a result.

Factory SEO has developed a free free meta tag analyser tool to help check the quality of the meta tag formatting on any given webpage. To use the meta tag analyser, all you need to do is punch in or copy and paste the address in the url field and hit the analyse button. The different types of meta tags will appear below and how many of them there are for each type. You can learn more about the different types of meta tags in Factory SEO’s meta tags information page.

If you analyse a page with the meta tag analyser and you find it’s missing header tags then you know that you’ll need to put them in. Likewise, if you know that a page has a lot of photos on it but the meta tag analyser says that there’s no alt tags on the page, you know to add them too. It will also tell you if there are any strong keywords on the page. Another important part of your strategy should be to highlight words (using <strong> in the source code) to further boost the effectiveness of your chosen keywords in that page.

This really is the first step in attracting more visits to your webpage and there’s nothing like a good bit of SEO work to feel like you’ve earned those Friday night bevvies.

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About Jim Loxley

  • http://www.markrushworth.com/ mark rushworth

    wow… Meta tags dont influence your search position… they havent since before 1999 (i know i was an SEO back then) sure they work on meta search engines but who uses them? the only benefit is found in a meta description… again it wont improve your search ranking but it can influence click throughs of your listing in googles organic search… make sure its impacting, friendly, informative and includes your sales messages. every meta description needs to be unique so dont just copy and paste the same one throughout your site

  • Gayle

    Again I agree with Mark meta tags are pretty much dead having been abused by companies for so long. Good SEO comes down to great content and esteemed link building.

  • Gene

    Search engine optimization basics – provide great content. Stop worrying about all the other stuff that Google is working so hard at making irrelevant aka rewritten content.

  • Jim

    I’d strongly recommend ignoring these unhelpful comments. The fact is that no one, lease of these people, knows exactly how Google’s algorithm works. Metadata, as the title suggests is basic content formatting SEO. It doesn’t take a genius to point out that the better the content, the better it will do.

    Do everything that’s considered good SEO practice which is within your grasp. Don’t leave ANYTHING to chance. This is includes proper formatting of metadata and the above article will tell you how. You’ve got the CMS. Do everything you can to make your content accessible to people and to the bots.