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How important are meta tags and meta keywords?

my2littlemunchkinsmy2littlemunchkins subscriber Posts: 3
I am so new to all of this, I have been selling on ebay for over a year and took the plunge (thanks to my dear husband) to start a website.  I am doing my best to learn about promoting a website and driving traffic.  How important are meta tags and meta keywords?  It seems like some things I read say they aren`t and then others say something different?  This is a whole new world to me and appreciate any tips or input?Hillary


  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    The placement of your targeted keywords/phrases is critical for good search engine results. This assumes that you have determined the keywords/phrases that are appropriate  - words that your target market/customer would use to find your site.
    Each search engine values the placement of keywords differently. Howerver, here is a general outline of the important places to use your targeted keywords:

    Your domain name.
    Web page url.
    Web page title meta tag (each page should have a different title).
    Web page description meta tag (each page should have a different description).
    Internal links (text based links to other pages) in your navigation and content.
    In-bound links - text based links form other websites/directories and posts and signatures on forums.
    H1, h2, h3... apply these styles to keywords in your content.
    Bold text... apply to keywords in your content.
    Alt image tags - have to each and every image in your web pages.
    Text content.
    Please note, when using keywords...try to limit the keywords to two or three on a web page. Do not put all your targeted keywords on one page. You`ll see that the above list talks about text not graphics... search engine do not see graphics (they see the alt image tag defined for a graphic). Also, keyword combinations of two or three words rather than a single word is more successful.
    Researching your keywords is an important step to take, before determining what keywords to use in your website. So, you`ll pick keywords that (1) people actually use and  (2) are not so highly competitive. Here are some keyword resources.
    ~Rolandvwebworld2007-8-26 21:52:41
  • ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Within the context of your own site (apart from your eBay listings), it makes sense to pay attention to your meta description for two reasons. There are still some engines that use the meta description in determining your site`s relevance for a particular phrase; and, much more importantly, the meta description can often be used as the text that shows up under the title for your site in a search engine results page (SERP). So it can be a good marketing tool in helping to distinguish your site`s results in search engines from others.The meta keywords tag is also used by some engines, but it`s value is minimal (and it provides no value for Google ranking). Given that, and the fact that you absolutely must have distinctive meta keywords tags for every page on your site, it`s likely not worth your time having a meta keywords tag. Especially if you`re going to have a site of some size, where the task of managing that tag across all of your pages could be immense.
  • DaleKingDaleKing subscriber Posts: 141
    Well, he beat me to the punch, but in my opinion, Chuck`s answer is absolutely, right on the money!
    Great answer, Chuck!
    Dale KingDKing2007-6-12 10:34:53
  • wordwarriorwordwarrior subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Everyone,
    This is the first time I`m joining this Forum. I`ve read all of your comments
    and I`m still confused. I have a Service business,I`ve had my business site professionally redesigned and copywritten. I believe mega tags have been addressed in my business name businessbuilderscoaching.com and my blog,podcasts,radioshows are connected for additional content--now what do I do to get traffic to my site.I give a 2 hr free business health analysis in L.A., so I think I should get some who want a free analysis.So far- 2 months-zero. What am I missing? I know it takes time, so is it a good idea to advertise my site to drive traffic?
    I`d appreciate all help.
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Leslie, I looked at your source and META tags were addressed by your programmers.  I searched Google using your primary keywords in your META tags and you come up in the first position.  This means that you are right, this has been done well for your keywords.  The big question is do you think people will use the keywords "Business Builders Coaching" to find your site?  That is what it has been set to by the programmers.
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    How long has your website been live?
    This may be more appropriate in the website review thread...but, looking at your site from a SEO view:
    While your site has been indexed by the major search engines you have few backlinks. You should work on getting back links...which can be as "simple" as adding a link in your signature here at SUN.
    Your meta description is way too large - too many words.
    You need to focus each of your web pages on two or three keywords/phrases. While your site has been copywritten.. it is not really written for the web.  People scan web sites rather than read them.  So, descriptive paragraph headings are important (incorporating targeted keywords).
    Your site uses java script to manage your navigation. While this provides some nice image affects, it can hinder search bots from properly indexing your site`s pages. For example, your menu is not seen by google`s search bot. You do have a site map which is good, but the links on the site map are not SEO friendly.
  • wordwarriorwordwarrior subscriber Posts: 1
    Bert & Roland
    Thank you so much for your feedback. You`ve both confirmed in different ways that the company that did my websites, which I like, still doesn`t seem to be SEO optimized. Their service was to include their Maketing abilities over and above web design. True I have professional copy writing, but not written for the web--and that`s what I`m dealing with. I`ve asked them for keywords, based on their work and I haven`t gotten an answer--more of trying to divert me..
    I was very enthusiatic at the beginning, even wanted to associate my business with theirs because they said they had a knowledge of the small business owner`s need to have encompassing services---that I`m very disappointed with from this company.
    I`ve talked to them about pay-per-click and I still haven`t gotten a reply.
    I`m not a techno person by any means--so should I tell them what you`ve said or what`s my course now?
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    I agree with Craig and Roland.  They both approach this from different angles but they do a much better job of making the points I was struggling to make.  (Maybe it is because I create sentences like the last one?)  Once again I would like to say META tags are only a small part of the big picture...
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    Craig, Google Analytics will tell you some of the keywords you have not included in your META tag keyword list.  Since they crawl your site they will pick up on words used in your page content (also important) and it will show up on the keyword list in the analytics.  You can then add those words in your META tag keywords and for pay per click advertising.  You are right again, it is a great tool.
  • HPSHPS subscriber Posts: 1
    I agree that meta tags have diminished value for Google but they do carry weight specifically for Yahoo and MSN. Solid content and well code pages (proper meta and html tags) will do very well in Yahoo and MSN on that basis alone. I recommend that meta description and keyword tags are used in a targeted fashion on every page of your site. Google as we are all aware is more difficult to rank especially for newer sites.  Granted my Google referrals are trending up but my site is less that a year old. I do very well with only 20% of my search engine referrals comming from Google. Google traffic will continue to increase as my site ages and I build additional inbound links.Best of luck,Howard
    HPS2007-6-13 16:36:7
  • wordwarriorwordwarrior subscriber Posts: 1
    Your suggestions were very good as it got my "mental juices" going. I do have STATS which they provided for June to date--my sites are up since 5/11
    Links from Internet search engine--google 25 hits-9 pages
    Direct address/bookmarks--328 hits--312 pages
    Robots/spiders--6 different robots
    googlebot--78 hits
    yahoo slurp--28 hits
    I certainly see what you mean by too many keywords--I looked at the sentences.
    My question is this--Am I being unreasonable to expect that when they did the copy writing that SEO friendly words would be in their focus---ESPECIALLY since they advertise SEO to make your website more search friendly--as their #1 item under How---can help me promote my site? ( I left out their name), It seems to me to me they did the opposite.Isn`t that false advertising?
    I respect your opinions.
    Thankswordwarrior2007-6-14 15:39:24
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    My question is this--Am I being unreasonable to expect that when they did the copy writing that SEO friendly words would be in their focus---ESPECIALLY since they advertise SEO to make your website more search friendly--as their #1 item under How---can help me promote my site? ( I left out their name), It seems to me to me they did the opposite.Isn`t that false advertising?
    Unreasonable? Maybe not... it is hard to answer without knowing what the agreement/arrangement/contract you had with the web developer.
    If they were to incorporate targeted keywords in their copywriting then they should have asked for or determined with you what keywords/phrases you should target. Did you go through that process with them or at some point identify your targeted keywords?
    Technically, your site is search engine friendly to some extent - in that is does not employ code/technique that block search bots. It is not search engine optimized - in that is could be more effective in presenting targeted keywords to bots AND your viewers.
  • bertbert subscriber Posts: 12
    I totally agree with Roland.  I will say that keeping a web site in the view of the public is nearly a monthly, if not daily job any more.  It is a never ending process.  You will have to decide if you got what you paid for by the terms of your agreements.  I will also say, it should not take a lot of work to make some major improvements.
  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    I`m trying to market a book about fishing.  Fishing is a huge subject.  I am looking to make my sales more local as I only have a first run of 2,000 copies.  Would it be better for my tags to have them names of local areas?  For example--fishing Saratoga Lake?  Does it help to search google for keywords that don`t seem to come up?  
    If the content of the book covers a specific area, then yes certainly include that in your page title, description, link(s) and content.
  • Ziyapathan0143Ziyapathan0143 subscriber Posts: 150 Silver Level Member
    Meta tag are labels utilized as a part of HTML and XHTML reports to give organized metadata about a Web page. They are a piece of a website page's head area. Numerous Meta components with various characteristics can be utilized in agreement. Meta components can be utilized to indicate page portrayal, catchphrases and some other metadata not gave through the other head components and characteristics.

    The meta portrayal is a ~160 character scrap, a tag in HTML, that abridges a page's substance. Internet searchers demonstrate the meta portrayal in query items for the most part when the looked for expression is contained in the depiction. Improving the meta depiction is an essential part of on-page SEO.
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