If you have a rudimentary knowledge of SEO, this post may be review for you. But if you are a local business owner trying to optimize your website, than this page will teach you “SEO 101: How to use Meta Tags”.
First off, what are meta tags? Meta Tags are bits of information in the code of your website that are used to label or tag groups of text or pictures. They do not affect the appearance of the page, but yet tell the computers what your page is about. This makes it very easy for the search engines to read, so if you are trying to get to the top Google like everyone else, one of your first on-page SEO steps are to make sure your Meta Tags are set up properly.
Now I will go over some of the most important meta tags and how to set them up in the best way.
<title> Your title tag is your most important tag for the search engines to read. This is the information that gets populated to the bar at the top of your browser when you enter the page, and what the search engine looks at first to determine the information on your page.
Use this to your advantage by putting your major keywords in your title, with the most important first. The order is also important, so concentrate on your wording. Keep your title to about 65 characters or so. Use geo terms and main keywords to optimize results.
<description> Your description tag doesn’t help your search rankings, but it does show up as the small blurb about your business below the link on the search engine results page. Put a few sentences together that summarize your focus to the reader. The description should be utilized to increase your click through rate when someone sees your ad.
<keywords> This tag does not function anymore with most search engines to affect results whatsoever. I would actually avoid this meta tag all together. Why would you want to put out all of your keywords that you’re focusing on for all of your competition to see? Leave this one alone.
<h1> The heading tag can be used multiple times across your pages to note a title of a topic or new section of your page. Search engines know to weigh this text as more important than the rest. Use this as another chance to sprinkle in some of your major keywords that you are focusing on.
<strong> Use this to accentuate any keywords in the text throughout your page. Search engines put a little more weight on the words inside these tags
<alt> Use your alt tag to name your images with keyword rich text… another strategy is to combine your alt tag with use of <h1> tag by treating the whole keyword rich picture one of your headings.
This should give you a great start towards your on-page SEO goals for your business of being #1 for all of your keywords. Don’t stop there though… Definitely check out my post 9 SEO tools to help your local business organic ranking to keep going and develop your off-page SEO strategy.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me for a free consultation. Thanks!