How Meta Tags should be used for SEO

Meta tagsIn my previous post ‘What search engine crawlers do with your Meta tags’, I talked about it’s depreciating usage. It’s not as powerful and useful as it once was. Some say that it’s still handy and some say otherwise. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how SEO experts nowadays use Meta tags for their websites.

Meta tags are words in your code which users will not be able to see. It’s effect on SEO has become less and less over the years due to the abuse of webmasters in stuffing keywords inside the meta tags. It used to affect rankings, now it doesn’t. It used to be a factor in the retrieval of the indexed site, now only 2 search engines are left practicing that. But SEO experts, according to Danny Sullivan still do use it for things we might not have been able to think of. So how does SEO experts use Meta tags?

SEO Experts use Meta tags for Misspellings

Since we already know that Yahoo and Ask uses Meta tags to at least retrieve or recall indexed information, you would want to use your meta tags to target people who might misspell your keywords with their search engine query. Putting misspelled keywords in your site’s visible content would be embarrassing and would look quite unprofessional. Here’s your chance to get those misspellers into your website – put the misspelled keywords in your meta tags.

Misspellers are most probably looking for the right thing any way, it’s just that they didn’t do too well in their english spelling subject. Which means that they are still potential conversions for you! You just need to exert a little extra effort in helping them out with their spelling bee score in Google.

SEO Experts use Meta tags for Synonyms

Using synonyms in your site is something that we all do. But we try to minimize using it because we want to focus on our keywords and try to populate our content with it. SEO experts sometimes leave the synonyms in the meta tags in order for them to get traffic from people who aren’t directly using their keywords but are probably looking for the same thing. Although it would still be much better if you use these words inside the body of your content to enable all search engines to read it.

SEO Experts use Meta tags for textless pages

There are still websites which are design and entertainment oriented. These are the kind of sites which packs a lot of flash and pictures and very few to no text at all. In cases like this, meta tags would be helpful. 2 search engines being able to find you is better than no search engine visibility at all. That is exactly why we want content in a website – although that’s another topic altogether.

So there you have it, these three are some of the ways that an SEO expert uses meta tags. It’s not much, but you’d want every little detail to help in SEO.

Tips for keeps: Study any possible misspellings with your site’s keywords and try to experiment with the meta keywords and see what happens. It won’t hurt to go the extra mile to get a little more targeted traffic.

This entry is part of the SEO Hacker School series: Using Meta Tags for SEO

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    • says

      Thanks Yantchill!
      Yep it is still quite handy. Doesn't do too much with Bing and Google but it helps with Yahoo and Ask. And if you're an SEO, you'd still want to consider those 2 search engines for your site.

  1. says

    Good to know how much meta tag is important to website. I only knows some stuff on Off page, It's very nicely defined all things…thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    BRILLIANT idea! I see misspellings come up a lot of phrases come up during keyword research with virtually NO competition… no one wants misspellings on their site and Google DOES “see” long meta descrip tags, I’ve done the testing and seen. GREAT idea!!! Passing along to our team.


    • says

      Hey Keli!

      Yeah it’s one of the tricks still available to most SEO practitioners out there. I’m not so sure about Google using it for rankings through – retrieval and indexing yes, but rankings I think it’s a ‘no’
      But if it works for you, hey, do it! :)

  3. says

    The Danny Sullivan article, on which some of this post is based, is over 3 years old. That’s a lifetime ago in the world of search engines. I don’t think there are many SEO experts that still subscribe to this strategy. I’m not prepared to try it on any of my sites.

  4. says

    This is new to me. Thanks Sean for sharing this. I really like to read your blog and I learned a lot from you in SEO. I never thought meta tags could be used in many ways like these. Thank you once again!

  5. says

    so which other ways would you suggest to get my blog up to the first page on googles as when I was speaking with web developers 2011 they were saying I had to repeat the description and tags and cover some of them again in the tittle.. after reading the information and the comments Im still alittle confused as to if the meta tag is still needed or not, is it if you hav wordpress you need it and if you do not have wordpress you do not need meta tags.. Sorry..

    • says

      Hey Mark,
      Meta description and Meta keywords are useless in helping you directly with your rankings. Only the Title tag is useful as of now. But the meta description tag can help attract users to click on the search result of your article since it appears as the search engine results snippet’s description (140 characters).

  6. Jim says

    Hi – i’m fortunate enough to have found this website on Google Search
    I’ve purchased a XML Driven Flash Website which i’d like to do some SEO on ? Any useful tips anyone ?
    I’m a complete newbie to this kid of stuff but not new to techie aspects, since i’m an Oracle Programmer by profession. I’ve read some material from the NET, but i just don’t know where to start.


  7. Jayesh Pau says

    Thanks for your efforts to create lovely post, it will help to many webmasters, you’ve explained in the right direction., cheers. Jayesh

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