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Learn To Blog And Earn Money: Tuesday

Posted by admin on May 22nd, 2007

Today, I continue my series of what webmasters should do on their first week of having their web site, you can see the summary here: Learn to Blog and Earn Money: Week 1.  Two weeks ago, I left you with what you should do on the first Monday having your blog.  You can review that post here with Learn to Blog and Earn Money: Monday.

Today’s post will cover Meta tags.  There has been much discrepancy as to the importance of using Meta tags.  The reason this is my number two thing to do when starting a web site or blog is because Meta tags are one of those things that are a lot easier to do when creating something from scratch.  They don’t hurt right? They do help and help in a monetizing way.  I have implemented them on a site or two.  I did so only when creating a new site or blog.

There are so many other things you can do to better optimize your site that take a lot less time.  Things such as including title and heading tags and great content can be a better use of time if you already have a site created.  Having to go through an already existing site to include these tags would be tedious.  If you have an existing blog, I wouldn’t go through the trouble of inserting these tags, focus on the headings.

A major reason I like to use these tags is because they tend to have an impact on my adsense and the ads that are being shown.  Anytime I can focus those ads translates to more adsense revenues.  This can be a major factor in turning daily totals from $100 into $300 with adsense.

Meta Description Tag

Meta description tags are not visible for the world to see.  Well, at least they are not supposed to be.  Sometimes web sites leave the tag out of their code.  Why can this be a bad thing? Well, search engines usually display snippets from your site in their listings.

Here are some possible scenarios in which your Meta description tag might be displayed instead:

  1. If you have a Flash or graphics only site, or maybe even if you have the only content on your site being a redirect to another page.
  2. When off-page factors make your site a relevant match for a search but no exact match is found in your site’s text
  3. In less-sophisticated search engines that use the description tag as a workaround for their inability to display snippets

Search engines often display 150 characters or more for the listing description.  That’s kind of a lot of space.  Well, a lot of space relative to the page title that is.  That space is prime real estate to convey your message. So, if good writing comes naturally to you, you have a lot of opportunity to make this tag stand out. But if writing isn’t your strong suit, this tag gives you a little more room to make mistakes. Bring in a proofreader if you need to; this is a bad spot for an embarrassing typo.

I’ve recently taken a tour around my community on MyBlogLog and there are a good 50% of blogs in my community that have some sort of grammatical errors in key places.  I usually cut and paste my content into a word document to catch any minor grammar errors I might have missed.

Here are some pointers for writing a great Meta description tag:

Keep it simple and informative. Think of the Meta description tag as an “About Us” blurb, not a “Buy Now!” advertisement. Do you have a 30 second elevator speech you have prepared for those key moments when you are next to a high profile executive and you want to network?  Well, this is similar, think of it as your keyword-rich elevator speech.  It’s not worth the upkeep to write this tag to promote special events or deals.

Pair it with the page title. While you can’t be sure exactly when or how people will see your Meta description tag, it’s a sure bet that when it is shown, it will be right under your optimized page title. So, don’t repeat your title text in your description tag.

Include your keywords. While the Meta description tag may not be a huge factor in influencing rank, include your target keywords because they’ll be bolded in the search results. Notice how the bolding catches your eye in these pointers.

Make it Unique. Like your page title, your Meta description tag should be custom-written for each landing page to match its specific content.

Here’s some good news if you’re interested in saving time: The combination of page title and Meta description tag can be used as is, or with a little trimming or spinning, for any directories that you submit your site to later. And, if you’re looking for a keyword-rich tagline to add to the bottom of your page, your Meta description tag can be a great starting point.

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