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Adding Meta Info to your website for SEO
8 years, 8 months ago Posted in: Blog 0

I get asked by clients all the time what metaI do to optimise their websites as I build it.  In all honesty, there are a huge amount of factors that need to be applied for effective SEO to work, and adding in meta info to the web pages header is only the start.

Before I show you which are the most beneficial pieces of info to add, I’ll first explain what meta tags are and what they do:


Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header on a web page, after the title tag. In the context of search engine optimisation, when people refer to meta tags, they are usually referring to the meta description tag and the meta keywords tag.

The meta description tag and the meta keywords tag are not seen by users. Instead, these tags main purpose is providing meta document data to user agents, such as search engines. In addition to the well-known meta description and meta keywords tags, there are other useful meta tags, including the meta http-equiv tag, meta refresh tag, the meta robots tag, the meta copyright tag, and the meta author tag, etc. These tags are used to give web browsers and search engine spiders directions or data on various information.


See below how I apply meta info to my clients sites.  For the purposes of this example, I’ll replicate the meta tags used on this website.


Open a new HTML browser or text editor.  The area we’re focussing on is the bit between the arrows.

step-1---blank-html-doc

 

Then, we come to adding the right info.

This is what I added to my own meta info and it’s exactly the right info I need to guide the Search Engines and inform them as to what my page will be about and where best to index it in their search results:

step-2---adding-the-meta-info

 

Looking at each one seperately:

 

<meta http-equiv=”content-Language” content=”english” />

This informs the default language of the site. Not 100% needed, but can help display your site in a specific language at all times.


<meta name=”description” content=”We are a web design and SEO company based in Stockport with a creative online experience in designing websites that work. Whatever your web requirements, I offer online solutions at affordable prices.” />

This describes your website and is displayed in search results in google:

googledescription


<meta name=”keywords” content=”web design stockport, web design cheshire, stockport web design, stockport seo,  search engine optimisation, OwenDevelopment, Owen Development, phil owen” />

This meta tag highlights the keywords of your site. Keywords you want your site to be indexed for in Google and other results go in here.


<meta name=”rating” content=”Safe For Kids” />

Some people don’t stipulate this, but I always add it in.  It basically tells Search Engines that your site can be accessed by any audience age and that it shouldn’t restrict users from viewing it.  Obviously only apply this if your site is kiddie-friendly.

 

<meta name=”Robots” content=”all,index,follow” />

This steers the Google spiders (search engine bots) to various pages.  Some sites like forums and Government sites have nofollow, none etc, to prevent any pages being scanned and indexed.  I believe this meta tag is becoming more obsolete and unused, but it can’t harm to include it just incase.


<meta name=”copyright” content=”OwenDevelopment” />
<meta name=”author” content=”Phil Owen” />

These 2 state your copyright ownership and who designed/wrote/developed your site.  Some sites use it, some don’t.  Personally, I like the credit for the site design and work put in.

 

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”dhqfgH5KvJs5V8M3kOtXU7SjY4EGSlVI5R-5HiM4n5I” />

This is where you can place your Google verification code after submitting it in Google’s Webmaster Tools.


After this, all you need to complete is the Title tag.  It’s best to have different titles for each page to maximise optimisation, and try to add keywords into the titles as well to rank higher for those key search terms.

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