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Creating and Optimising Your 'META' Descriptions and Keywords

In the early days of the web, when search engines weren't very powerful, 'META' tags were created to help them by providing crude summarised information about a website - for example, related keywords or a description of the page itself. This 'META' information was laboriously added into each web page's HTML code by the site programmer, a time-consuming and 'geeky' process.

Many people incorrectly believed that META tags were all that was needed to achieve good listings in the search engines, and this led to an increase in spamming the search engines with pages stuffed full of little but keywords. Gradually this resulted in the engines changing the way they looked at and ranked sites, and ultimately led to the dominance of Google as the search engine of choice.

Google looks at a complex combination of page text, titles, descriptions, history and inbound links when listing and ranking your site, which means that you must look at all of these things if your site is to be found.

Even today, however, there are still two META tags which may help your site ranking - META Description, and to a lesser extent, META Keywords.

** NOTE: The Spanglefish admin system we provide you includes 'Page Properties' buttons on each page to let you easily edit all of your Page 'META' Descriptions and 'META' Keywords. **

Meta 'Description' tips:

  • We recommend that your Meta Description doesn't exceed 250 characters including spaces. 
  • Make sure you accurately describe the content of your page while trying to entice visitors to click on your listing.
  • Include 3-4 of your most important keyword phrases. Especially those used in your page title tag and actual page text.
  • Try to include your most important keywords near the beginning of your description. This can bring better results, and will also help avoid having any search engine truncate your keywords your description is too long.

Meta 'keywords' tips:

  • Meta Keywords should not exceed 1024 characters including spaces.
  • Aside from what we mention in the other tips below you should only use those keyword phrases that you also used in the copy of your page, title tag, meta description, and other tags. Any keywords phrases that you use that do not appear in your other tags or page copy are likely to not have enough prominence to help your listings for that phrase.
  • Don't forget plurals. For example, a travel site might have both "highland holiday" and "highland holidays" in their keyword meta tag to make sure they show up in  both searches.
  • If you know of a common misspelling of a popular keyword that could be used to find your site you should enter it in your keywords meta tag. For example, a travel site might use "ulapool" in their keyword meta since it is a common misspelling for "ullapool".
  • Watch out for repeats! You want to include your most important phrases, but when doing so it can be difficult not to repeat one word many times. For example, "highland holiday"  and "highland holidays" are two different phrases, but the word "highland" appears twice. This is alright to do in order to make sure you get the phrases you need in there, but be careful not to repeat any one word excessively. There in no actual limit, but we recommend that no one word be repeated in the keyword meta more than 5 times.
  • If your site has content of interest to a specific geographic location be sure to include the actual location in your keyword meta.

How to Edit your META Description and Keywords

1) Click on the Page Properties button at the top of the poage you are optimising.

spanglefish page properties

2) Scroll down to the 'Page META Tags' section at the bottom of the page.

spanglefish description meta editing

spanglefish meta keywords editing

3) Enter your Decription and Keyword text.

4) Confirm the changes by clicking on the 'Update Page Meta Tags' button.