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Search Engine Optimization
Keywords and Meta Tags for Top Search Engine Placement
Meta tags are embedded descriptions in your website's HTML (Hyper-text markup
language) code. Think of them as tiny electronic bar codes which contain critical
information about your website. Search engines scan these codes to find out
what information is on your website, and where your website may be found. Websites
with meta tags have a much better chance of being listed on search engines
- and listed higher in the rankings - than websites with no meta tags.
Use meta-tags on EVERY page of your website. For the meta tags to be effective
and consistently attract search engines, the meta tags must be placed on each
and every page of your website no matter how many you have.
Two Important Meta Tags: Keywords and Description
There are several meta tags, but the most important for search engine indexing
are the description and keywords tags. The description tag returns a description of
the page in place of the summary the search engine would normally create. The
keywords tag provides keywords for the search engine to relate
with your page. These allow the search engines to easily index your page using
the keywords you specifically tell it, along with a description of the site
that you create.
For a site concerning the meaning of magic you see might see the following.
You use the keywords attribute to tell the search engines which keywords to
use, like this:
<META NAME ="keywords" CONTENT="magic, black arts, warlock,
witch, magician, powers, unknown">
Using the META description attribute, you add your own description for your
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="This site is dedicated
to the study of magic and all forms of the black arts.">
Make sure that you use several of your keywords in your description.
Why Have Them?
About 80% of web users find websites using search engines, and the key way
search engines find these sites is through their meta tags. Meta tags provide
a useful way to control your summary in some, not all, search engines. Having
meta tags will allows you to receive higher rankings on many search engines.
Higher search engine placement results in higher site traffic and more customers.
Do not think you can spike the keywords by using the same word repeated over
and over, as most search engines have refined their search techniques to ignore
A Practical Example
If you sell baseball cards on your e-commerce site you will want your site
to be listed on search engines when people search baseball, sports card trading,
and baseball cards. Assume you have a page without meta tags. Your site will
not be listed very high if a search engine looks for baseball cards. Unless
your key words are listed many times throughout your home page, meta tags are
the way to get a high search engine listing. The title of the site is not enough
to earn a high search engine placement. Let us call the site BASEBALL CARDS
ONLINE and the description of the site is, "selling baseball cards online".
An example of some keywords for the site would be, "baseball, cards, baseball
The meta tags go inside the header tags, so that everything looks like this:
<TITLE>BASEBALL CARDS ONLINE</TITLE>
< META name="keywords" content="baseball, cards, baseball cards, ">
< META name="description" content="Selling baseball cards online">
The description matches what is in the description tag. That's what the description
meta-tag does; it lets you control the description that appears in a search
result. The keywords meta tag gives your page a chance to come up if someone
types in any of the words listed. For example, someone might enter "baseball
cards," which will match with one of the keywords in the tag. Without
that tag, there would be no chance at all, unless "baseball cards" appeared
a number of times throughout the web page. Meta tags are an easy way to increase
the chances of getting a higher search engine placement.
How to Get Meta Tags
You do not have to be an Internet guru to generate meta tags for your website.
There are a number of sites online that will do this for you. For example,
WebIgnite.com (www.web-ignite.com) provides a service that creates custom meta
tags based on your web page title, a description of your site, and keywords
related to your online business.
Top Ten Search Engine Placement
What Does it Mean?
Top Ten Search Engine Placement means that your website will be listed as
one of the top 10 sites that most closely matches the search request made by
the user. Each search platform will use its own particular searching criteria
to compile their top 10 list of websites.
Why Have a Top Ten Placement?
People will not generally look past the first 10 sites listed on a search
engine; therefore, a Top Ten Placement will increase the number of potential
customers that visit your site. Users want results as quickly as possible and
if your site is not in the top ten there is a good chance they will never find
it. A Top Ten Placement will increase the visibility of your site, ensuring
Search Platforms Differences
Each search platform utilizes unique search criteria to determine the top
10 sites. For example: AltaVista (a search engine) uses crawlers (robot programs)
that continually scour the Internet for information on your topic. While Google
(another engine) uses a system based on software called Page Rank which looks
at the number of links to a particular website, while Directhit measures the
number of times a web page is visited. Each platform will return a search with
a completely different list of top ten sites. No two search platforms are the
same. Having a Top Ten Placement on one site does not mean it will show up
on all of them. Because of the different methods of ranking sites it is near
impossible to have a Top Ten Placement on numerous search platforms at any
one given time. It is a better idea to tailor your site to meet search criteria
for a small number of search platforms.
Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Top Ten Placement
Having a focused website is essential.
To help distinguish the focus of your site you should choose keyword phrases
that describe your theme and include your keyword phrases throughout your site.
Include them in the page title, the description and the keywords meta tag.
Register your website on search engines.
The vast majority of web users use only 20 or 30 engines at the very most,
and the key is to register your website on these top, high-traffic websites.
This can be done through resources such as INeedHits.com (www.ineedhits.com).
You should re-register your website every two or three months, unless otherwise
instructed by the search engine service.
Get other websites to link to yours
The more links that link to your site, the better. You'll receive more visitors,
get higher rankings on the search engines, and also increase your credibility.
The simplest way to develop links is to find complementary websites to your
own, link to them, and then request that they link to you. Complementary sites
could include those of customers, suppliers, industry associations, trade publications,
or industry e-zines.
Register your website in an e-marketplace.
e-Marketplaces are online exchanges where many buyers and sellers from all
over the world meet to share information, compare prices, and do business in
a specific industry or sector. Many e-marketplaces provide free online business
directories in which companies offering a product or service may register.
Register your website in geographic directories. Geographic directories spotlight
companies in a specific geographic area, say, a city, county, state. Locally
focused, these directories are an excellent way to spread the word on your
organization, especially among customers in your area.
Publish an email newsletter.
A great way to keep in touch with those who have visited your site, provide
updates about your organization and new products, and even sell advertising
is to publish your own online newsletter
Site maintenance is essential if you want to keep your much-desired Top Ten
Not only do search platforms change their search methods periodically, the
number of websites (many could be similar to yours) is also growing exponentially
every day. To combat this you or your Webmaster must keep abreast of the changing
search engine criteria and tailor the site to match these criteria.
Keep in mind that many search platforms charge for a Top Ten Placement.
There are many search engines that do not charge to register your site, but
an equal number that do. Sites like Yahoo and LookSmart will charge you to
register. Costs depend on the different sites.
Pitfalls and Drawbacks
Top Ten Placement is not necessarily as good as it sounds. Having your site
come back in the top ten is an advantage, but the cost of maintaining your
site to consistently have a Top Ten Placement may not be worth the benefits
received. To ensure Top Ten Placement week after week requires constant site
maintenance by you or your Webmaster. Constant maintenance might not be enough
to get a Top Ten Placement. Even with all the effort and money it takes to
get a Top Ten Placement, within months or even weeks your site could easily
end up not being listed in the same position.