Let’s take this from the ground up! I put up my first website over 15 years ago after buying a book on html, an html editing program and a lot of goofy mistakes. Back then the search engines were not very sophisticated and the amount of available teaching on SEO was limited. Meta-Tags were just beginning to be used and most of us newbies had no clue as to why and what for.
One of the cool features of the first browser (Mosaic) was the ability to see the code of the page you were visiting. It has been this way ever since. So to build your site you would look at the source code of a cool looking page and try to copy the language on your page to get the same look and feel. Like everything else it did not take long for the commercial elements to get involved and begin trying to improve the visibility of their pages. Meta-tags were born to describe what the page contained.
For a brief period the search engines used this data to grade your rankings… until some people figured out that adding some reference to “sex” in your tags would increase the traffic to your site. Needless to say, meta-tags lost their importance in a hurry!
Today, the tags are not given a lot of significance (who knows), but according to a few of the people I have listened to, they still play a role in helping the search engines to know what your site is all about. The spiders look at everything you put on your site so you can’t fool the system by saying something that is not true.
Most of us are not coders and the modern blogging platforms are based on editing your content on the server. WordPress and other blog formats make it super easy to simply put up pictures and descriptions with out having to get in and mess with the code. With a basic html page you can add your descriptions directly, in the blog formats the only way to do this (without editing code) is to use plug-in’s like All in One SEO (AI1SEO) or other plug-in’s.
There are really only three tags that are important. Meta-title, meta-description, and meta-keywords. If you have AI1SEO this is simple to do. At the bottom of your posts page, those three fields are available for you to describe your product or service to the world. When you finish putting in your post, you simply scroll to the bottom of the page and insert:
- Title: Your (Catchy, Fascinating, Controversial) introduction to your post that the world will see in the search engines.
- Description: Google will use (Maybe) 160 characters of this in the actual search listings ( I find that it is most often a combination of both title and description)
- Keywords: These are the words that people will be using to search for your post, and here you are telling Google which keyword/keywords most accurately describes the information you want to get out. Important to note is that you should have used these words in your post 3or4 times to reinforce the significance of what you are saying.
As far as Site SEO goes this is all that you really have to do. Now it is time to get busy and do the other hundred things you have to do to get your site noticed.