META tags are found in the code of a website and help search engines index your site and to decides where your site appears when a search is done.
Several components make up the META tags. The three most important are: title, description and ALT tags. The keyword tag use to be important but site owners started abusing it, so the search engines now ignore it for the most part.
META tags will also appear in the upper left hand corner of your browser and will appear for your search result listing.
META tags are found between the head tags of your website and will appear as:
<title>your title here</title>
<meta NAME=”Description”CONTENT=”your description here” />
<meta name=”keywords”content=”your keywords here” />
TITLE: should be less then 10 words and include your most important search phrases. Generally this does not include your company name. You want people who do not know about your company to find you.
DESCRIPTION: should be about 30 words and read much like a classified ad that is full of your search phrases. Include your company name and a “trigger” to get someone to click on your listing.
ALT Tags or Alternative Text is associated with images. Rather then label your image “1.jpg”, add some search terms to it. It will look like this
<img src=”images/logo.png” alt=”Apartments in Appleton Wiscosnin” />
KEYWORDS: Though the major search engines do not look at the keyword tag, it is still helpful to have. Generally keep it to 40 words or less. Don’t spend a lot of time on this tag.
If you don’t have META tags on your site the search engines will use the first sentence or two on your home page. Sometimes this works ok, other times it doesn’t.
Take a look at your META tags to be sure they are there and correct. To do this, go to your home page. Then click on “view” in your browser. This will open a drop down menu. Then click on “source” or “page source”, this will open another window. The META tags should be at the very top of the page. If you do not see any or they do not include your search terms, contact your web designer to correct, or give Virtualtech a call – 800-474-7001 for a review of your website.