One of the more important aspects of an SEO campaign is the development of effective HTML title tags and description meta tags. Why is this so important? The answer is simple. The words in the title and description for a Web page that appears on a search engine results page (SERP) will either convince a user to click on your link or ignore it for another.
But my site has very high rankings
Getting listed in top positions is only the first goal in your SEO campaign. Getting users to click on your link rather than another is really the ultimate goal. Without a tile and description that indicates a potential source for sought-after information or an answer to a question, you may never receive the user traffic that you desire. How many times have you passed over a top listing because there was no title for the site or the description contained gibberish? This is an all-too-common occurrence and a problem that is easily avoided.
The title for a Web page that displays in most SERPs is the same title that displays at the top of your browser. This title originates in the title tag found in the HTML code for a Web page. If you know how to read HTML scripting code, the title tag is easy for you to maintain. If you don’t work with HTML, this tag is best maintained by your SEO partner, your Web designer or your Web developer.
The title tag for each page in your web site should be unique and needs to accurately describe the product, service or information found on that web page. The worst thing that you can do is to forget to include a page title, because the page title plays an important role with search engines algorithms and needs to include the primary keyword phrase that describes the contents of the page. It is also important that the keyword phrase be the first words on the left of the title, because the first words are weighted as having the most significance.
A common mistake is to use a title that looks like this:
Fuzbud.com Home Page
Most Web searchers are looking for a product, a service or a source for information. The title should therefore be an immediate indication that your page provides a solution for their search. If Fuzbud.com sells hydraulic jacks and they want to attract users searching for those products to their home page, a much better page title would be:
Hydraulic Jacks from Fuzbud.com
Or better yet:
Hydraulic Jacks – largest selection in the USA
When developing titles, focus on the fact that you are targeting searchers who are looking for hydraulic jacks. You need to let them know that you sell these products AND give them a reason to pick your site.
There is another title that should be on almost every Web page that also adds weight to your keyword phrase. This is called an H1 heading tag. A heading tag is intended to display a title for an area of content on a web page. The blue title on this page is contained in an H1 heading tag.By default, heading tags are large and fairly ugly-looking, but can be spruced up nicely using cascading style sheets (CSS), as is the heading tag on this page. Once again, if you are not familiar with Web languages, this is a job for your SEO partner or another web professional.
Meta tags are one more type of HTML command that are imbedded in HTML code. Meta tags are not visible on Web pages but are visible to search engine spiders. The purpose for meta tags is to provide additional information to search engine algorithms. There are a number of different meta tags, but only two that are useful.
The first, the keywords meta tag, was originally included in Web pages to provide search engines with a list of keywords that best represent the content on a web page. Due to excessive abuse, all major search engines have abandoned the keywords meta tag, but there are still a few smaller engines who use it. If used properly, it may be beneficial to include it on your Web pages.
The keywords meta tag should only include keywords and phrases found on that web page. Repetition of keyword should be avoided. At one time, “blue cars blue cars blue cars” would award the page a higher ranking in a search for blue cars. Today, excessive repetition may be penalized and the keywords are virtually worthless unless they appear in the content on a page.
The more important meta tag is the description meta tag. Although it will not influence your search engine rankings, it can be an important marketing tool. With most search engines, this tag contains the description that appears in the SERPs under the title for a web page. The description should therefore be unique for each page, should summarize the page content and should reinforce the title.
Some search engines have strayed from consistently using the description meta tag. Google, for instance, tends to use the description meta tag when it does not find other content on a page. More often, Google displays snippets of text that surround the searcher’s keywords found in the content on a page. This tends to give searchers a little more information about the page, may not be the most ideal. There is a theory that we are testing that says Google will tend to use your description meta tag is it contain at least 60 characters and the keyword phrase used in the search. It might therefore be a good idea to try to include your keyword theme for the page in the description meta tag.
When creating text for title tags, heading tags and description meta tags, always remember that you need to think in terms of providing a resolution or answer to a user’s search. When that is accomplished, you not only drive more traffic to your Web site; you drive more qualified traffic to your site, which almost always translates into stronger sales.