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Inserting Meta Tags Into Your Web Pages

Meta tags are identifiers that are included in the HTML header of web pages. They do not appear in the visible web page through the browser. Meta tags are not required for your web pages to work, but some (not all) search engines consider them when placing your site in relation to the search terms (keywords) used. The meta tags that are of primary concern are the keywords and description.

Meta Tags Of Importance To Search Engines

Meta Keyword - The purpose of this tag is to define what keywords apply to your page. However, only some search engines will read this tag, and those that do often do not place as great importance on it as keywords found in other areas of the page. Still, you should generally include a META keyword tag on your page within the <HEAD> area.

Example of a META keyword tag:
<META name="keywords" content="blue widgets,green widgets,red widgets, Jerry's Widget Emporium">

Commas should separate each keyword or keyword phrase. In general, list keywords in lower case. Avoid repeating keywords more than 3 to 7 times, and never list the same keyword twice in a row.

Meta Description - The text found in the META Description tag will be displayed to the user in the search results for many engines. Therefore, it pays to craft a good description so that you not only rank well, but so people will actually click on your link once they see it.

Example of a META Description tag:
<META name="description" content="Place paragraph text here.">

How to Write a Compelling Description:
The following title and description may get you a high ranking for a keyword search on the word "mortgage":

! AAA Mortgage banking, the Mortgage money lenders - Mortgage, lenders, money, mortgages, mortgage money, mortgage loans, home equity loans, mortgage money.

What it says, however, is unappealing. Instead, look at another site description, which would also be ranked high, and see which site you would be more likely to visit:

Mortgage Applications Approved Overnight!! - Mortgages and mortgage financing techniques that the larger banks just can't offer. Learn the 8 important things to include on your application so that your mortgage can be approved in 24 hours, even if you have poor credit.

The listing above has the word "mortgage" as the first word of the title, the first word of the description and repeats the word "mortgage" 4 times. The difference is that this description is compelling, solves a problem and offers "8 important things" or pieces of information that could be valuable to consumers who visit the site.

The direct response businesses - those companies that make infomercials and run classified ads in papers across the country - have studied and mastered the art of writing headlines. What they learned is that headlines are most effective when they accomplish 4 things:

1]

Solve a problem

2]

Solve that problem quickly

3]

Solve that problem for what appears to be a small or reasonable amount

4]

Make the reader curious to learn more...

With that in mind, the following headline is acceptable, but not as effective as it could be: I can help you to get out of debt and get a good credit rating - I've done it for others I can do it for you!

A better approach and a headline that usually draws more inquiries reads:
Correct your bad credit in under a week for less than $49!

It solves a problem, does so quickly and shows how much money is involved. People relate to this appeal because it has a fundamental basis. Remember the many adages about goal setting, "A goal without a deadline is a wish!" Or, how about what they teach you in business school about proposal writing, "Never offer a plan that does not include both time and money."

The direct response model is effective because it addresses these things, especially time and money. Think about this when writing your page description and title before you submit them to the search engines. Ask yourself:

· Is my headline compelling?
· Is it interesting?
· Will it make someone curious to learn more?
· Would I read it and want to visit the site?
· Does it include time and money?
· Does it solve a problem?
· Does it suggest that it solves that problem quickly?
· Does it show a price? (only emphasize the price if yours is very attractive)

Be careful, you don't want to offend anyone's intelligence. Many direct marketers write headlines that underestimate readers. Read it yourself and see if you would find the title interesting. If you don't, others won't.

This direct response model does not apply universally in its purist form. Many websites are not selling things directly, or are informational in nature, or support what ad execs would call image advertising. However, do not overlook the fundamental truth:

Being first in the search engines is great! - Being first and compelling is better.

Your listing in the search engine should be compelling. If the description of the site right below yours is more compelling, you lose. That prospect just passed over your site.

For more information about meta tags check out

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