The 101 on Meta Tags

Joseph ComoWebsite Tips, Website Tools, Website Traffic

What meta tags do you have on your website?  While they are not as highly valued as they used to be, meta tags can still gain you some recognition by search engines.  Meta tags are HTML codes that you insert into a header on a page of your website, right after the title tag (this is done in your site’s coding, and is invisible to your readers).  There are two main types of meta tags: meta keyword tags and meta description tags.  Let’s take a look at each of them, shall we?

A meta keyword tag is simply a list of the 10 – 15 most important ideas or themes on a specific page of your website.  When choosing these ideas, make sure that they are the most important aspects of your page, and not smaller details relating to the bigger ideas.  Your list should have each word or phrase separated by a comma, and no word or phrase should be repeated in the list.  The most important ideas should go at the very beginning of your list, as these will be noticed by search engines first.

This is an example of what a meta keyword tag looks like:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword 1,keyword 2,keyword phrase,etc.”

A meta description tag is a brief summary of the content on a page of your website.  This description is used by both search engines and directories; it is what people will see on the search results page, and what will grab their attention and have them visit your site.  When writing a meta description tag, you can use up to 160 characters (any more than that will get cut off in the search results).  Try and summarize your website as concise as you can, while staying within this range.  Remember to describe only what is on the specific page you are working with.  Don’t have something in your description about internet marketing, if the page is really about web development.  Be honest.  This goes for meta keywords, too.  Use only what is relevant to what you are talking about.

Here’s an example of what a meta description tag looks like:

<meta name=”description” content=”Comstar – Internet Specialists offering internet marketing, website design, web applications, search engine optimization, graphic design, ecommerce, web hosting, colocation, and internet access services.”>

Here is how this would show up on the search results page:

At Comstar, we provide SEO services that include the implementation of meta tags on your website.   Visit for more information on these services!

Stay tuned  next Tuesday and Thursday for a 2 part mini-series on keywords: how to choose them and where they go!