Get your site found on the web: editing site META tags
- On 13/01/2011
- In SEO - search engines
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When you make a website, your pages contain both visible and hidden information. Behind the scenes, browsers and search engines use your site’s hidden page code to find out important information about it.
Understanding the basic META tags will help you create a website successfully, by optimizing the way its hidden code is presented to search engines.
META keywords tag
Search engines used rely on information provided in a site’s keywords META tag to help link the site with appropriate search terms. Unscrupulous webmasters soon realized that adding hundreds of key words would help improve their position in search engine results. As a result, many search engines reduced its importance, and some (such as Google) eventually dropped it altogether. Other search engines and many web directories continue to use a site’s keywords META information, so it’s important to add a selection of essential, relevant key words to your website.
Choosing which key words to add is important, and the more you add, the less important each one becomes. Be selective with your META key words, and only add the most important and relevant ones to your website. To add key words to your website, just head to the Settings > Global Settings > Site info. menu.
Some useful key words for a bed and breakfast website in Bath would be “accommodation”, “bnb”, “bed and breakfast”, “bath”, “guesthouse”, “holidays”, “bath holidays”, “weekend breaks”, “bath weekend” and “minibreaks”.
META description tag
Two important pieces of information are displayed for sites on search engine results pages: a title and a description. Both need to be written with care, as a well-written title and description will help attract visitors to your site. Search engines generally extract site descriptions directly from their description META tag, though they can also display a portion of the page content if it’s more relevant to the search term used. It’s important to get the site description right, as it needs to capture people’s attention, and give them an idea of the site’s content.
Try to avoid using strings of key words when writing a site description, and instead write a couple of succinct, descriptive sentences that capture the attention of potential visitors, and summarize your website’s content or purpose accurately.
For a Bath bed and breakfast site, the following description would be appropriate: “Affordable rates and a warm, friendly welcome await at the Bath Bed and Breakfast: the ideal setting for a relaxing weekend break, surrounded by Georgian splendour.”
You can edit or add META description tags for any site content from their editors.
Though not technically a META tag, your website title is a vital part of its visibility on the web. The site title is displayed at the top of a browser window, and is used as your site’s backlink text on search engine results pages.
Search engine algorithms pay particular attention to site titles, so it’s important to think about your site’s key words when writing a title.
You’ll find your website title text under the Settings > Global Settings > Site info menu.
Our Bath website wouldn’t benefit from a meaningless title like “welcome to our site”; it wouldn’t have helped potential visitors or search engines learn anything about the website or its content. Instead, it would benefit from a few appropriate key words in the title: “Bath Bed and Breakfast – an intimate BnB, a relaxing weekend break”.
Though your site’s keywords, title and description are the main META data fields, if you create a website consisting of more than a couple of pages it’s important each one has personalized META information. Adapting the page META data to the page content will go a long way to optimizing your different pages for search engine result ranking. We’ll take a look at how to optimize your site pages using your free website builder tools in the next article.