Monday, May 22, 2006

SEO-Title and Meta Description Tag Optimization

Title Tag and Meta Tags are the author-generated source codes that are positioned in the segment of your HTML document. Apart from the Title Tag, other information inserted is not visible to the person surfing your web page, but is visible only to the search engine crawlers. Title and Meta Description Tags are especially important as they can be used to influence the ranking of your site (to a certain extent) and the way it appears in some search results. There are several Meta Tags like Meta Description Tag, Meta Keywords Tag and more, but out of the existing Tags the most important and popular ones are the Title Tag and the Meta Description Tag. Though the Title Tag does not belong to the Meta Tag family (click for more information on Meta Tags), yet from the Search Engine Optimization point of view, the Title Tag is the most significant tag on your web site, followed by the Meta Description Tag. What is a Title Tag? The Title Tag is an HTML code that shows the words that appear in the Title bar at the top of your web browser. These words do not appear anywhere else on your web page. For instance, the Title Tag of this page appears as ‘ Meta Tag Optimization: Title and Meta Description Tag Optimization ' at the top bar of your web browser. This is because these words were entered into the Title Tag of the web site's HTML code. Usually, the Title Tag is the first element in the area of your site, followed by the Meta Description and the Meta Keywords Tags. Before, we discuss the Title Tag in greater detail; lets see how it looks in your web site's HTML code: Why is the Title Tag Important from Search Engine Optimization perspective? Title Tag is an important Tag amongst other SEO related options, as it not only communicates the theme of your web page to the human visitors but is also considered very important by the Search Engine crawlers. Title Tag is not a Meta Tag, but nevertheless it is the most important of all Tags. Almost all crawler based search engines use the Title Tag to gather information about your web site. The search engines use the words or the content of the Title Tag during the ranking process to analyze the relevance of your web page. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL, AltaVista, and AlltheWeb use your web page's Title Tag to evaluate its relevance. Title Tag is the hyperlinked text title that is displayed in the search engine results page (SERP). The users, in turn, click on this hyperlink to go to your web site. The Title Tag is also used as the text when you 'bookmark' a page or add a certain web page to your 'favorites' list in your browser. A carefully constructed Title Tag is very important for your page's ranking with the search engines. Of late, a large number of articles have been written with differing views and opinions regarding the relevance and benefits of various Meta Tags. Most experts, however, agree that the Title Tag is a significant tool in any search engine optimization campaign. Working with the Title Tag Since the Title Tag plays a vital role in determining your site's ranking in the SERP, you need to pay a lot of attention to the words that appear in the Title Tag and the order in which they appear. You need to develop a crisply worded Title Tag that includes your most relevant keyword phrases and performs the function of announcing the summary of your web page's content. Title Tag and Keywords Amongst all the places you can use your important keyword phrases, the usage of keywords in the Title Tag gives the highest weight. While using your keyword phrases in the Title Tag, it is important to be highly focused. You should use the same keywords not just in your Title Tag, but also in your page content and the Meta Description Tag of your web page. If the keywords you intend using in your Title Tag do not appear anywhere else in your page's content, then avoid using them in your page title as the weight of the keywords in the Title Tag gets diluted. It is essential to sequence your keyword phrases correctly in your Title Tag. The order in which they appear is of great importance. Having your most important keyword phrase towards the beginning of the Title Tag helps display your title in bold in the SERP (search engines result pages).
Other Do's and Don'ts
Consider using both singular and plural forms of the important words in your Title Tag. For instance, you may use both 'loan' and 'loans' while making the Title Tag. Google is still experimenting with Stemming (interchange of singular and plural terms); however, it is fluctuating in its deployment frequently. A word of Caution: Do not overdo it.
Title Tag length : Google usually reads about 90 characters of your Title Tag. Therefore, a Title Tag of about 80-90 characters is good enough.
Do not use keywords repeatedly as the density of your keywords does not matter in your Title Tag.
The sequence in which keywords appear in your Title Tag is important. Try using natural phrases for your Title Tag, which read better and will likely conform to your Keyword Phrases.
Avoid using the same Title Tag throughout your site. Try using a unique Title Tag for each web page and use keyword Phrases that holds theme relevance to that page. You also get to leverage more keyword phrases if you individualize the Title Tag in all pages.
Most search engines are not case sensitive ; therefore, you can write your Title Tag in a way that looks most visually appealing.
Title Tag should ideally read like a phrase that makes some grammatical sense, not just a collection of keywords. This is all the more important as the Title Tag usually appears as the text when you 'bookmark' or add a page to your 'favorites' list. Therefore, it should make sense when a person reads it later. For instance, if you want to include the keywords Home Loans, fast clearance, No credit check in your Title Tag, you can write a Title Tag that reads: Home Loans: fast clearance with no credit check. What to Include in your Title Tag? You could put the product or service you are offering in the Title Tag, instead of your firm or company name. This is because most users when searching for, information search for specific products or services, not company names. Also note that search engines read about 80-90 characters in your Title Tag. This is prime Real Estate for your important keywords. If you strongly feel like putting your company or domain name in your Title Tag, then, do so at the end. Wasting several characters by inserting your site name does you little good. In a nutshell, the basic ingredients of a good Title Tag are :
It should announce the summary of your web page content.
It should read like a crisply worded sales pitch that is enticing enough to make the users click on your entry when it is displayed in SERP.
It should include your most important keyword phrases or search terms.
The sequencing of the keywords should make logical sense.
Each page of your website should have different and customized Title Tag relevant to the context of that page. The Title and Meta Description Tags are very important aspects of your search engine optimization campaign. This exercise begins with carrying out a thorough Keyword Phrase research. Keyword phrase research forms the most essential and important aspect of any SEO initiative. After selecting your most relevant keyword phrases and writing a keyword rich copy for your web page, you can now work these important search terms into your Title and Meta Description Tags. Read our detailed article on Keyword Phrase Research . The Title and Meta Description Tags are very important aspects of your search engine optimization campaign. This exercise begins with carrying out a thorough Keyword.
Phrase research. Keyword phrase research forms the most essential and important aspect of any SEO initiative. After selecting your most relevant keyword phrases and writing a keyword rich copy for your web page, you can now work these important search terms into your Title and Meta Description Tags. Read our detailed article on Keyword Phrase Research.
What is Meta Description Tag? The Meta Description Tag is a part of HTML code that allows you to give a short and concise summary of your web page content. The words placed in this Meta Tag, are often used in the search engines result pages (SERP), just below the Title Tag as a brief description of your page. In the Search Engine Results Pages, after reading the Title, a user usually studies the description of the page and decides whether she wants to visit your site or not. Some Search Engines prefer to ignore your Meta Description Tag and build the description summary on the basis of the search term for the SERP on the fly. They usually pick up parts of the text on your page wherever the search terms appear. The only exceptions are the Flash, Frame or All Image sites that have no content, and some high importance websites, where the search term is not found in the text. In such a case, Google picks up your entire Meta Description Tag and displays it.

Importance of Meta Description Tag All search engines do not give very high prominence to the Meta Description Tag and may generate a description on the fly while listing your web page in SERP. However, in some search engines, a good Meta Description Tag might help a page to rank higher for your targeted search terms. This holds true for Flash, Frame or All Image sites that have no content as well as some high importance websites, where the search term is not found in the text. In such cases, some search engines pick up the exact Meta Description Tag and display it in its SERP, just below the Title Tag. Hence, it is important to write a crisp and enticing Meta Description Tag that includes your important keyword phrases and manages to interest your user, thus making her click on your entry. Working with Meta Description Tag Keyword Phrases and Meta Description Tag: Include your most relevant and important keyword phrases in your page's Meta Description Tag. As in the case of Title Tag, focus on the same keyword phrases as you used in your page's Title Tag and body text. Fewer and highly targeted search phrases can boost your web page's relevance in the search engines results. Hence, stress should be on writing a brief yet informative description for your web page. The Meta Description Tag of your web page should not read like a collection of keywords, but should be written as an informative and interesting summary of your web page. Do's and Don'ts of a good Meta Description Tag:
Excessive keyword repetition should be avoided. Instead, pay attention to the sequence in which your keywords appear. Your most important terms should be placed in the beginning.
Make sure each page on your web site has a different and a unique Meta Description Tag using the keyword phrases that are relevant to that web page.
A Meta Description Tag of 25-30 words should do fine.
The most important keyword phrases should, ideally be placed at the beginning of your Meta Description Tag, which increases your chances of better Search Engine Rankings

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