This is the kind of technical stuff that can drive you crazy. In the Navy, we had to learn our aircraft systems inside and out. Imagine, in an aircraft like the E-2C Hawkeye, how complex that is! There were at least 7 main systems and then subsystems. Tons of technical jargon, crazy diagrams, and wires going everywhere. How do you even know what is important to know?
The same rings true with search engine optimization. It looks like there is so much to know, and you really do not know where to begin. You certainly may feel overwhelmed by the technical jargon of SEO (search engine optimization). Let's get started:
– The appropriate steps for meta tags
Getting optimized for search engine traffic is a process. There is no one single thing to do that suddenly turns on masses of targeted traffic or skyrockets you to the top of the search engine results. Completing your meta tags is just one of the things you should be doing for your search engine optimization efforts.
– Meta tags will not guarantee your way to top ranking in search engines.
What they do is provide a search engine spider (the digital robot reader) a way to have a good idea what they will find when they go to your web page. The meta tags also have fields to prevent your web page from being indexed. This can be useful as well.
Meta tags appear just after your (HEAD) tag on your page and then end with the closing (/ Head) tag. This is all at the top of your HTML document. You can not break anything by changing the meta tags, just affect what search engines and people will get when they receive search engine traffic.
So the most important is the title tag
(title) Your Title | What's it About (/ title)
That's it, tell your reader what it is all about. Use a key word phrase in your title. Make it relevant to your page content. Use of a significant keyword phrase tells the search engine what it is about, and is the first factor in determining where to place your page in the searches.
Next is the meta tag description
(Meta name = "description" content = "a short description of the content of your page")
This short description is what you see in the search engine results under the title. It needs to be less than 160 words, and very relevant to your page content. It should contain at least one keyword phrase, two if possible (and it makes sense to the reader).
Do not leave your meta tag description empty. If you do, the search engine will pull random text from your web page to fill it in, and it may look totally irrelevant.
The final one I am going to discuss is the meta tag keyword
(Meta name = "keywords" content = "keyword phrase 1, keyword phrase 2, keyword phrase 3?)
There is a lot of debt as to whether this tag matters at all. The reality is, that the search engine crawler is primarily going to determine your content by the keywords used in the actual text between the body tags ((body) (/ body)).
This tag just reinforces what is found in the content. So put keyword phrases you focused on in your content within this tag. Do not waste your time filling it up with tons of keywords, especially if they are not even used in your content. Nothing in this will improve your ranking. It just reinforces what is found.
OK, I lied, here is one more, the Meta Robots tag
(Meta name = "robots" content = "noindex")
This is how you tell the search index when or not to index your page. By putting "noindex" in the field, you tell the search engines not to list your page. It does not stop a search engine from looking at your page. They will still look.
Leave this tag out if you want to be indexed.
Like in my many aircraft systems in tactical combat aircraft, there are many more little things in a meta tag. Honestly, they do not really matter much.
Do not get hung up or go haywire if you look at one web page and see tons of meta tags. Then you look at another web page source code and see different ones. There are still people that think this tons of meta data is making everything better for them. It is not. So do not worry about it!