For those of you who find a distinct lack of creative inspiration when it comes to writing meta tags you are not alone. I also feel slightly perplexed when it comes to writing meta as common knowledge will tell you that the tags need to be unique and not duplicated across a site it can be quiet a challenge, especially on larger websites.
I have also read various “guides” on writing meta and all seem to suggest that the keywords meta tag is now of little importance and not reviewed by some search engines. So that leaves the title tag and description. I can understand that the description tag is important as I have seen it used as the excerpt on SERPs so this needs to be thought about.
So here are a few of my thoughts on writing meta tags – hopefully it is helpful
Title Meta Tag
Include the keyword or phrase the page is trying to be optimised for as the primary keyword followed by any secondary keywords which will reinforce it i.e.
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keywords | Brand
Brand | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keywords
If you are trying to rank for a very competitive term, I have found that it is best to include the keyword at the beginning of the title tag. If you are competing for a less competitive term and branding can help make a difference in click through rates, it is best to put the brand name first.
Description Meta Tag
Acknowledged by all search engines so this is important and needs to be included on all pages and be unique per page.
Summarise the page as best you can using the pre-defined primary and secondary keywords and limit it to 170 characters or 200 characters.
This requires using the most creative juices and you need to ensure it is coherent.
Keywords Meta Tag
This is more important for Yahoo then Google or Bing – try and limit to no more than 10-15 keywords to a page.
Include the keyword of phrase the page is trying to be optimised for first.