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Searching with Head Tags

Friday, August 10th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Searching with Head Tags

Need a little help getting your Web site noticed? If so, try these tips!

Search engine traffic is the best traffic a Web site can get and obviously, the higher your site is in the search engine listings, the more visitors your Web site will get. Most people will perform a search and then click the very top result. This means, if you are at the top of the list, you’re guaranteed hundreds and thousands of unique visitors each and every day, depending on your site’s topic.

Now, getting to the top of the search engine results depends on a few factors: the number of people linking to your Web site, the quality of the content on the page and the tags that appear in the head section of the code for your Web page. Those tags are known as head tags or meta tags.

Most search engines will mainly base the searches on those meta tags, but some search engines, such as Google, will look at the content of the page first. But either way, it’s important to have those tags present, because they tell other Web sites exactly what your site is about.

There are a number of main tags you should add to your site and those are:

  • Page title
  • Page description
  • Page keywords
  • Search engine robot instructions

Plus, there are a number of extras you can add, which will give out even more information about your site. But all in all, the four above are the most important and they are what we will be looking at today.

Now, you must add all meta tags in between the <head> and </head> tags code on your site and they normally go near the top. So, when you’re ready to add them to your site, make sure you put them on the next line after <head>. Okay, let’s check these different tags out just a tad bit more. Here we go!

Page Title

The page title will appear on the title bar of the Web browser and it will also appear as the title for the result within search engine searches. You should try to make this one short, but make sure it’s informative as well by using as many keywords as possible, without making it sound like a simple list of words.

The page title should be written like this:

<title>TITLE GOES HERE</title> (replacing TITLE GOES HERE with your chosen Web page title).

Page Description

The page description will be used to show a description of the page under the title in most search engines. The Google search engine, for example, looks at the content and displays that, rather than the description tag, but other search engines do it differently. As with the title, this should be informative and use a lot of keywords. Again, don’t make it a simple list of words, because people want to see an informative description of what your Web site is about before they click on the link.

Your description tag should look like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”DESCRIPTION HERE”> (replacing DESCRIPTION HERE with your own Web site’s description).

Page Keywords

This is where you can use a list of words! You should use as many keywords as possible that are relevant to your site. You must also separate those with commas and you should choose keywords that are likely to get you to the top of the search results. For example, using a keyword such as Google or Microsoft isn’t likely to get you to the top of the results. Whereas, using keywords such as Microsoft Office Word Tutorials may get you a little higher up.

Your keyword tag should look like this:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”KEYWORDS HERE SEPARATED WITH COMMAS”>

For example, <meta name=”keywords” content=”free templates, web templates, download free Web site templates, open source Web templates, Web page templates, free Web layouts”>, etc.

Search Engine Robot Instructions

A search engine robot is a piece of software that search engines send out on the Internet to crawl (look through) your Web pages. They then allow your Web site to be indexed properly in their search engines.
This tag can get complicated, so I will show you a few examples and tell you what they mean. You can then choose which one you would like to use.

<meta name=”robots” content=”index,follow”>: This means the robot will index (add your pages to their search engine) and it will follow all the links, as well as, do the same on all your other pages.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>: This means the robot will not index your Web site. However, it will look through your Web pages, so make sure this one is on all of your pages.

<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow”>: This means the robot will index your pages, but it won’t follow any links off the page. This one is perfect if you just want certain pages to be indexed.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex,nofollow”>: This one will tell the robot not to index a certain Web page and not to follow any of the links on the page.

Once you’ve decided, just choose the tag you would like to use and then add it to the <head> section of your site’s code.

That’s it. Four simple tags that should help you in getting plenty of free traffic on your site. Now, it is important to remember that almost everyone else will be doing the same thing as you, so make sure you get a good niche. At first, don’t try to get such high positions on popular keywords, because you will fail. In order to do that, your Web site must be popular and have a lot of incoming links, so find some specific keywords and you will find that you get plenty of free traffic. Just be patient, follow these tips and your Web site will get more recognition than you ever thought possible!

~ Simon North

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