Meta Tag Optimization – Don’t Confuse Meta Tags With Seo

When it comes to optimizing your website, there seems to be some confusion surrounding the differences between meta tags and SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

For starters, meta tags and SEO are not the same; let me explain.

Meta tags are those tags that reside on your web pages that tell the search engines certain things about your site. Your website visitors don’t see these tags, but the search engines do.

Here’s what just a few meta tags actually look like and what they do:

**************************************************

THE META KEYWORDS TAG

**************************************************

What it looks like:

META NAME = “KEYWORDS” CONTENT=”Keyword one, keyword two, keyword three”

You can get more free LinkHelpers Seattle SEO Company Tips by signing up to our newsletter at.

What it does:

The meta keywords tag (shown above) is a meta tag that many website owners use in order to attempt to rank well in the search engines.

While using lots of keywords in the meta keywords tag used to be an excellent way to get your site ranked for the keywords you chose for the page, the meta keywords tag is no longer employed by many search engines (Google in particular) as an indication of what your web page is about.

It is useful however to you or to the person who creates your web pages in the regard that it can help you to remember what keywords you’re optimizing that page for.

**************************************************

THE META DESCRIPTION TAG

**************************************************

What it looks like:

META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”The description for your web page goes here.”

The meta description tag, unlike the meta keywords tag, is used by the search engine as a brief synopsis of what the web page is all about. The description is directly below the link on any search engine results page.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using the meta description tag is that it gives you the opportunity to “sell” your web page over your competition. Whatever you do, do not use keyword after keyword in your description. Instead, use it as a way to compel visitors to come to your site over your competitors.

**************************************************

THE META ROBOTS TAG

**************************************************

What it looks like:

META NAME=” ROBOTS” CONTENT=” NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”

What it does:

The meta robots tag is underused by a vast majority of web pages but is vitally important if you want to instruct the search engines on how to handle your web page.

For example, the “index” content portion of the meta robots tag tells the search engines to not index (or add to its database) that web page. While this might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, consider that you might have a private page that you don’t want the general public to access on your website. If this is the case, you’d add the “noindex” content to the meta robots tag.

Additionally, the “nofollow” content to the meta robots tag tells the search engines to “not follow” ALL of the links on the page.

So say for example that your web page was a resource area that linked out to several recommended websites. You may not want to show the search engines that you’re following all of these links and so you’d add the “nofollow” content to the meta robots tag.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to use them together, you can use the “index” only or the “nofollow” only within your meta robots tag.

There are a wide variety of meta tags available to you when you’re designing your site, but what’s important to understand is that none of these nor any other meta tags will help your website rank better in the search engines.

Of all the meta tags available to you, the meta description tag is perhaps the most important since it will describe any potential search visitor that searches on the keywords you’ve optimized that web page for.