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September 4, 2008

Meta Keywords Tags Are Back!!!

A stressed out young girl grabbing her hair while sitting at a desk with a keyboard and mouse

Don’t Freak Out—I’m Kidding
OK, Meta tags have never been more out and aren’t coming back. Why? One big problem, keywords Meta tags are not seen by the searcher. This makes them easy to manipulate which makes search results based on them highly questionable.

I hate the keywords Meta tag for another reason. It gives your competition an easy way to see what you’re optimizing for. All that being said, what things do factor into the search engine algorithms nowadays? The answer is many things, but each with a varying degree of importance.

Clients often ask us if we have a list of best practices for ranking well in all of the search engines. The answer is: You bet we do. Here is a list of 5 on-page strategies that, if done correctly, will likely get your site ranked higher for the keywords of your choosing:

1) Include your keywords in your Title. This is the hyperlinked portion of a search result and the text on the top bar of your page. (Remember, search engine spiders read top to bottom, left to right. The closer your keywords are to the beginning of the title, the better.)
2) Include your keywords in your H1 tag. Search engines place a lot of relevance on the H1 tag because it generally means the text is bigger and bolder. This tells the search engine that the text contained within the H1 tag is more important and more reliable.
3) Include your keywords in your URL. Have you ever seen a URL that looks like this: www.netmarkessentials.com/#849?39-ad87? This URL is not near as informative to the search engine as this URL: www.netmarkessentials.com/seo-company/. Can you see the difference?
4) Include your keywords in your text. Experts in the field of SEO say that keyword density is no longer an important factor to the search engines. That may be true, after all if it weren’t, a good strategy might be to continuously repeat keywords over and over again, but that makes for bad content. Our recommendation: Place your keywords in your text as if the search engines didn’t exist. Your keywords need to be there, but it’s best to keep them placed naturally, rather than artificially inserted.
5) Include your keywords in your internal links. If I were creating a link to www.netmarkessentials.com/small-business-seo.html from the home page, my anchor text would not say “small business services” or something to that effect. If I’m trying to rank that page for Small Business SEO, Small Business SEO should be in the anchor text of the link. Failing to do so is missing a big opportunity to tell the search engines what you think that page is about.

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