How To Use Meta-Tags In Your HTML To Increase Traffic

If you had done a little bit of looking around before you started working on developing your website, you would have come across the term Meta tags. Many websites recommend that you use them when you develop your website. These Meta tags are nothing but HTML tags that are not visible on the page itself and are usually included inside the HEAD tag of the page.

Most of the advice will be towards you stuffing all your keywords within these tags. You can even put in keywords that do not occur within the body of the article itself. For example, if you are setting up a cooking website and plan on introducing various recipes and if one of the recipes have to do with making chicken dumplings, you can add this plus combinations of the same keyword like for example, good chicken dumplings, or best chicken dumplings or any other search string that you feel you want to add, but which may not necessarily sit well within the body of the article.

They don't work for keyword stuffing

Unfortunately most search engines just ignore this tag and anything within. They started doing this nearly a decade back and nowadays even the use of this tag is highly debated in certain circles. The reason for this is because many web-masters started stuffing in keywords that did not have anything to do with their sites at all just to start directing more traffic there.

Anyway the bottom line is that if you use this tag to stuff in keywords you may even be doing yourself harm because some search engines actually penalize sites that do this.

Where do I use Meta Tags?

This does not mean that Meta tags are totally useless. Some search engines use what is inside the Meta tags coupled with what is within the articles to get a better idea of what the site contains. This is why the initial advice was to only include keywords that are related to what you are writing about.

Another thing that you can do is to put in a short description of what the site is about within this tag. If we take the same cooking website as an example, you could write a short one-liner like this "A simple recipe to make chicken dumplings within 30 minutes". Usually this line would be incorporated to some extent in the summary that is given below your website in the search results page. This does not mean that all search engines will start to display what is within these tags but you at least have some amount of control over what is said about your site. Even Google that has come out a few years back and said that they ignore Meta tags, nowadays incorporate at least some amount of what is available in the Meta tags in their summary.

Other uses

There are also other uses for Meta tags like if you do not want to index certain pages in your site, or if you do not want the search engines crawlers not to follow certain links in your site. Using Meta tags with the noindex or nofollow options will give you this. You may wonder why anyone would even want to not index their site, but there are cases when it is helpful. For example, if you have written an article on a certain subject, but over a few years you find that things have progressed and that this article may not be relevant any more, you have the option of removing that page, or archiving it. Unless you specify that you do not want this page indexed it will continue to show up on searches, and because it has been around far longer than the updated page will be higher in the rankings.

You can also use the tags to specify the content type, like if it is text or graphics, and the language used. Although this does not make that big a difference, it is really helpful, especially for those sites that offer a number of language options. The search engines will be better able to index each page separately, instead of taking everything to be duplicate content.

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Article Written By: Brian SD Scott

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This Article Has Been Published on Fri, 1 Apr 2011 and Read 6130 Times

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