The SEO Value of Content and Meta Content
In order to properly organize the massive volume of information on the web, search engines need to use what are known as “spiders” to reach out and search websites for relevant keywords. In order to make sure they are “seeing” what you want them to, it’s important to include short, easy-to-understand text in the places they are searching. Those areas of interest include the title tags and what are known as “meta Tags”, or brief descriptions that describe a website’s purpose. Your general content should also be concise and to the point, though not necessarily short.
Search Engine Spiders Read Title Tags
The first element of a webpage that a human visitor looks at is the title; it’s no different for a search engine spider. “Title Tags”, which explain in a few words what is on the particular page they are attached to, are used so that spiders can easily “see” information at first glance. That information is used to determine page rank, so your titles should explain in a few short words what your business is all about.
Be specific. If your website sells a specific brand name or type of product, make sure you state that in your title. A good example would be “Nike Basketball Shoes for All Sizes” as opposed to simply “Basketball Shoes”. If you sell multiple products, the title tags on your interior pages should clearly state what is available on that page. The more precise you are in the title, the better your chances of achieving a higher search engine page position for your industry keywords.
Keep Your Meta Tags Clear and Concise
Meta Tags are another element of your website that search engine spiders use to index your pages. Unlike the title tags, they do not appear at the top of the browser window, but they are searched for during the spider’s journey through your web pages. If they’re not found, or if they are in some way inaccurate, you may not attain the search page position you need to be competitive in your niche market. For example, if your website is the one listed above that sells Adidas basketball shoes, your meta tags should read something like “Buy Adidas basketball shoes for all sizes.” On search engine page results, your site will show up like this:
- Our Adidas Basketball Shoe Outlet
- Buy Adidas Basketball Shoes for All Sizes
Meta Tags aren’t visible to the naked eye of your human visitors, but their presence or absence is glaringly apparent to most search engine spiders. Make sure that they are clear and concise. Here are a few tips:
- Use keywords in the meta tag description. An unintelligible string of repeated keywords will be seen as spamming by the search engines.( Not Important These Days)
- Keep the description short. 250 words is optimum length for search spiders.( Not Important these days)
- Write for your human visitors, not for search engine spiders. Any good content writer will tell you that writing in a natural tone will automatically include your keywords in meta tag descriptions.
Creating Your Home Page
There are some search engines that look at the first few lines of text on your home page to index your website instead of your title and meta tag descriptions. To make sure you’re covered in either instance, it’s important to incorporate the tags and write quality content that includes your specific industry keywords. It is recommended that you use those keywords three to four times on an average home page. Include some catchy phrases and remember, you’re writing primarily for human visitors. The spiders will read the keywords and index you in the appropriate place. Humans will read what you have to say and either buy or not buy what you are offering.
The Importance of Category and Subcategory Pages
The more concise and direct a page is, the easier it is for a search engine spider to index it. Category and subcategory pages are a good way to organize your website to give the search engines specific sections on each element of your product line. For instance, in the example above, you could further specify one type of Adidas basketball shoe on a category page, like “Adidas high-top basketball shoes” or “Adidas basketball shoes for girls”. Category pages add another level of accuracy to what your website is saying. You can also use them to promote special offers, like “Buy One Pair, Get another Half Off”. Make sure when you do that you use basic HTML for the search spiders. They can’t read flashy graphics or flash banners.
Search Friendly Content is the Key to High Page Rankings
You want to make sure that whatever you place on your website is written or designed with your human customer in mind. They are, after all, the visitors who will make your business successful or not successful. At the same time, it’s also important to remember that meta tags and titles enable the search engines to direct that human traffic to your website in the first place. Both the visible written content and the mainly invisible to the human eye meta content are equally important.