Designing Meta Tags Correctly For SEO

By: David Notestine & Gail Notestine, CGAP

In our first lesson, we taught you how to find the correct keywords for your site using the Google keyword tool and told you we would teach you to apply them into your meta tags and into your page content. Its important to use the Google tool as these keywords and phrases are actually what visitors to Google are actually searching for.

In this, LESSON 2, we are going to teach you how to apply them into your meta tags and into your page content. You'll learn how to divide them into categories, adding Title and META tags to your home page and using a META tag analyzer to check your work.


Take the general keywords that you have found for your site and divide them into applicable categories.

For instance:

Say your site is about Pet Supplies, the 20 most searched-for terms, regarding Pet Supplies, would be (using the Google keyword tool, we suggested, in Lesson 1) :

1. pet supplies

6,120,000 searches/mo

2. dog supplies

1,830,000 searches/mo

3. pet dog

1,830,000 searches/mo

4. aquariums

1,830,000 searches/mo

5. pet store

1,220,000 searches/mo

6. pet services

1,220,000 searches/mo

7. fish supplies

1,220,000 searches/mo

8. store pet

1,220,000 searches/mo

9. cat food

1,220,000 searches/mo

10. dog pet supplies

1,000,000 searches/mo

11. pet fish

1,000,000 searches/mo

12. pet dogs

1,000,000 searches/mo

13. find a pet

1,000,000 searches/mo

14. dog grooming

1,000,000 searches/mo

15. dog collars

1,000,000 searches/mo

16. pet supplies fish

823,000 searches/mo

17. pet stores

823,000 searches/mo

18. food pet

823,000 searches/mo

19. cat supplies

673,000 searches/mo

20. pet grooming

673,000 searches/mo

Once you have analyzed the top keywords, make the decision on which keywords to use that would break your site down into logical categories. These categories will end up being separate web pages or complete areas of your web site, which we will discuss in a later lesson, after we cover the SEOing of your home page.

In this case, your categories should be:


  • Dog Supplies
  • Cat Supplies
  • Fish Supplies

Giving us 3 categories or areas of the web site. Now that we have defined the areas of your web site, using keyword phrases, that are actually being searched for, on Google. Save this information so we can use it later when we start creating the area web pages after we work with your home page.

Step Two - HOME PAGE:

Now, let's work with your home page. Your HOME PAGE meta tags would contain relevant keywords, for ALL of pet supplies, and would look something like this (based upon the keywords we found for "pet supplies"):

<title>Acme Pet Supplies</title>

<meta name="description" content="Acme Pet Supplies is the complete online pet store, with thousands of products for your pet dog, pet cat and pet fish" />

<meta name="keywords" content="pet supplies, dog supplies, aquariums, pet store, fish supplies, pet stores, cat supplies" />

<TITLE> This is the title that shows on the browser tabs. Keep it short, but relevant, to your site. You can see that we used "pet supplies" in the title tag because it is not only the name of the business, but it also gets over 6 million searches, per month.

<DESCRIPTION> This is the description that shows in organic search links. You want it to be a commercial, for your site, but it also needs "most-searched-for" relevant keywords, to rate a first page organic search placement.

You can see that we used "pet supplies", "pet store", "pet dog", "pet cat" and "pet fish", in the description. That description gives you 10+ million searches, per month, for just the keywords in your description.

Since, you will have your site divided up into categories that use those keywords also, they will be doubly effective.

<KEYWORDS> Home Page keywords are the most misunderstood and most abused of all the pages.

People tend to throw a million keywords into their homepage meta tags, and hope one of them sticks. This practice just gets you ignored by the search engines.

Today's search bot is looking for relevance in keywords and content. Remember, "visitor experience" is now the most important factor in determining organic search placement AND page rank, so if you have the keywords, in your meta tags, they had BETTER be in your content.

Notice that there are words, in the top 20 searched, that I did NOT use in the meta keywords for the home page. They were not used because they were not relevant to this page (or to the site's theme).

This means that a person that types in "pet services" and wanted a pet sitter would not be happy if they got your page, so we did not include "pet services".

We did NOT include "find a pet". A person looking to find a lost pet or a puppy or kitten would NOT want to have your site come up in their organic search.

Getting the idea?

Your Homework

Now that you have found YOUR most-searched-for keywords and put them into meta tags, run the FREE meta tag analyzer to see if the new meta tags are contained in your current content, and if the meta tags you chose were the proper length and whether or not you chose too many or not enough keywords:


This tool will also tell you just how much SEOing your current home page needs. Study this free analyzer and you can learn a lot about keyword relevancy. Use it to make sure your Title and META tag keyword relevancy is 100% to your text content.

In our next lesson, we will teach you about <h> tags and how they work in your <body text>, images and <alt tags>, link <anchor> text and using<em> to emphasize your keywords, so the search engines can find and index them. We will teach you how to write good, interesting content, that will keep your visitors on your pages, and make them save your site, in their favorites.


Copyright 2010 David Notestine. All rights reserved.