When people first look into optimizing their website in order to gain better placement in the search engines one of the first things that comes to mind is the web site’s meta tags. The meta tags contain information such as the keyword or keyword phrases that best describe the information or theme of a website as well as a short description about the site. But of the years the importance of meta tags has been downplayed or ignored because of the lack weight given to them by search engines for rankings. But there are reasons why you will still want to pay attention to them.
Back in the early days of search engines meta tags were often the most important and sometimes the only tool you needed to ranking highly for keyword phrases. This made it very easy for sites to rank highly for terms that had nothing to do with the actual content of the site thus making the search engine results pages full of sites that were not relevant to the user.
In a effort to show more relevant search results search engines had to add additional factors and criteria into the way they ranked a website. Since then search engines have been paying much more attention to the content of a site as well as a number of other factors. And even though these days some search engine such as Google pay little if any attention to meta tags in an effort to improve the quality of search results, there are still reasons why they should be an important part of search engine optimization.
1. Some Search Engines Still Give Weight To Meta Tags – Search Engines such as Yahoo and MSN still use meta tags as part of the determining factors for ranking a site. Although the amount of importance may be small, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) every little bit helps. Think of it as dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s.
2. It Can Help Increase Traffic To Your Site – Often search engines will use your title tags as the linked text for your site with either the whole or part of the description underneath it on the results page. A well written title tag and description can entice someone to click on your link. How many times have you searched for something and clicked on a result based on the linked text of description.
3. Help Optimize Individual Pages – Each page of your website should have different keywords and descriptions that reflect the content on those pages. This can help when trying to optimize different sections of your site for different keyword phrases. Search engines may then display that exact page in the results directing visitor to that specific section rather than just the home page.
These techniques for using meta tags will not guarantee search engine placement but when combined with a complete search engine optimization campaign can help. And when it comes to optimizing your site for the search engines every little bit counts.