Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meta Tags Explained

Wanted to get back to a few basic meta tag principles for some of the newer Build A Niche Store builders. Meta tags are troublesome for many, so I wanted to touch on a few things. whatever you do, do not leave the default meta tags in place. Change them up.

Title tag:

Limit the length of your title tag to about 65 characters including spaces. A little more or a little less is fine, but try to stay under that number. Use keywords or keyword phrases you are targeting for that page. It doesn't have to be the first words, but should be near the beginning. When writing titles for your stores, keep in mind the search terms your surfers will use to find your site or particular page. Try to avoid your store name if it is not related to the search. I see a ton of Joe Bobs iPod Store in titles. Unless you are a well established Joe Bob and known for selling iPods, your store will never be found that way. People tend to think just because a certain word is in their domain name that they have put it in the title. This is not needed. You can use a separater such as | - > if you need to break up phrases.

If you sell red widgets on a page your title might look like this.

Red Widgets For Sale | Fuzzy Red Widgets | Antique Red Widgets
Buy red widgets, fuzzy red widgets & antique red widgets here.

Description tag:

Meta descriptions have three main characteristics. They describe the content of the page. They act as a small advertisement of your store in the search engine results. They are also used to show your targeted keywords, not so much for ranking, but to sell the page to surfers. I like to think of it as the selling tag. Make sure to mention your keywords or keyword phrases in your description and it should be no more than 160 characters. Great selling description tags can make a difference in someone clicking your site versus another in search engine results.

If you sell red widgets on a page your description might look like this.

Find all of the best deals on red widgets here. We also carry all of the hard to find fuzzy and antique red widgets. We update our red widget inventory daily.

Keyword tag:

While most search engines do not take into account the keyword tag, it is always great practice to still include one. You never know what new or old search engine might start recognizing it again and it takes only a few seconds to complete and implement. Make sure to use all of the instances of the keyword or keyword phrase for that particular page and separate the words or phrases by a comma.

If you sell red widgets on a page your keyword tag might look like this.

widgets, red, fuzzy, antique, red widgets, fuzzy widgets, antique widgets, widgets for sale, buy widgets

I hope this has given you a little clearer picture of the meta tags. Do them right the first time and never leave them to the default settings. Research your keyword phrases and build each store page around a phrase or keyword set.

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Bunny on June 19, 2008 at 8:48 PM said...

Thanks so much for this post, Soggy! I was needing some direction on meta tags and was going to ask about it on the BANS forum. Your article came at the right time!

soggy on June 20, 2008 at 8:32 AM said...

bunny, thanks for stopping by. i try to jump back and forth for newbies and advance people. I try to post a little something for both groups at least once a week. Keep at it!

Jamie on June 21, 2008 at 9:54 AM said...

Excellent training soggy! I've heard that it is important to begin and end the description with the targeted key words for that page. Is that true or not?

soggy on June 21, 2008 at 4:37 PM said...


i have stores ranked well without doing that. so it is not a must.

better-sex on June 21, 2008 at 10:19 PM said...

Soggy, as usual, your explanations on various internet marketing tips are spot on. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Rhiannon on June 24, 2008 at 8:39 PM said...

Yay! This was just the post I needed to get some clarification on meta tags. Thanks for a great blog!


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