This is Part 6 of the series, “Six Quick & Easy SEO Tactics Anyone Can Do.”
If you’ve done much research about how to blog, you’ve heard about tags. There are Title Tags, H1 Tags, Meta Tags, NoFollow Tags, Alt Tags — basically, there are enough tags floating around your site to make it look like a retiree’s suitcase.
Are tags important?
Yes. Some more so than others. The most important tags in your blog are the Title Tags, followed by the Meta Tags. Each page of your blog has its own Title Tag. You can see what the tag looks like in HTML by right clicking (or control clicking for Mac users) and selecting “View Page Source.” If you use this blog as an example, the code you’ll find looks like this:
<title>On Blogging Well - Blogging tips to take your site from stagnant to stunning</title>
The Description meta tag looks like this:
<meta name="description" content="Blogging tips to take your site from stagnant to stunning." />
And here is an example of the Keywords meta tag:
<meta name="keywords" content="blogging tips, Internet marketing, blog traffic, personal branding, community, writing tips, product promotion" />
Tips for Using Title Tags
Think of the title of your website’s home page as you would the title of a book. The title is concise and explains what the book is about. The individual pages within your blog, whether they be post pages (your blogging platform automatically creates a new “page” for every post) or archives or any page you’ve published, are like a book’s chapters. These titles still fit within your book’s overall subject, but are broken down into more precise topics.
The Title Tag is what displays in the upper left bar of your browser. This phrase also shows up as a hyperlink in the search engine results pages, so it’s important that it contains keywords that describe what the page is about but also that it makes sense. The phrase you use to title your page should be both relevant and compelling so searchers will want to click and read your post. Some bloggers do little more than string a bunch of keywords together for their page titles. Watch the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) or take note of the browser’s title bar and you can easily see the difference between effective and ineffective Title Tags.
Some people never change their Title Tags. That’s why you’ll periodically see pages that read “Home Page,” “Untitled,” or “MySite.com” in the browser. You should only use one Title Tag per page in your blog. And each page should have a unique Title Tag. Using your website’s name or URL will cause all the pages within your blog to compete against each other for rankings in the search engines.
What are Meta Tags?
Today the Meta Tags don’t carry the weight with search engines that they once did, but they are still important because the paragraph of text that displays directly under the Title Tag in the SERPs is the Description meta tag data. Again, you want this text to make sense and entice searchers to click through to your post. Think back cover copy of a book, only shorter. Google currently displays 65 characters of the description meta tag, so be creative but concise.
Keyword meta tags consist of a list of up to 10 keywords and phrases that are relevant to each page of your site. Back to the book analogy, this list would be similar to a mini index.
How do you create a unique title and meta tags for every page and post in your blog?
This can easily be accomplished by installing and activating the All-in-One SEO Pack for WordPress. You can code this by hand, of course, but this plugin is free, effective, and easy to use. It automatically creates fields with your New Post screen to enter the page’s unique title, description, and keyword/key phrase list.
There are other tag types that we’ll discuss in future posts, but this article has already grown long.
Until next time,