[tweetmeme]One of the basics of optimizing your website for the search engines is through ensuring that the site has the right metatags. Your metatags should be descriptive of the content of the web page, and should contain the right keywords for your page.
However, many small online businesses make the mistake of:
- Having the same metatag for all pages, even for different content
- Metatag that fails to capture the keywords of the page
- Too short meta title
- Putting only the name of the site in the meta title, with no keywords
- Keyword metatags stuffed with too many keywords
- Meta description tags that fail to reinforce the title tag with the absence of the main keywords
So how are the big boys writing up their metatags? Here are five big businesses and the respective metatags of their homepages:
- TITLE TAG: Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
- DESCRIPTION TAG: “Online shopping from the earth’s biggest selection of books, magazines, music, DVDs, videos, electronics, computers, software, apparel & accessories, shoes, jewelry, tools & hardware, housewares, furniture, sporting goods, beauty & personal care, broadband & dsl, gourmet food & just about anything else.”
- KEYWORDS TAG: “Amazon, Amazon.com, Books, Online Shopping, Book Store, Magazine, Subscription, Music, CDs, DVDs, Videos, Electronics, Video Games, Computers, Cell Phones, Toys, Games, Apparel, Accessories, Shoes, Jewelry, Watches, Office Products, Sports & Outdoors, Sporting Goods, Baby Products, Health, Personal Care, Beauty, Home, Garden, Bed & Bath, Furniture, Tools, Hardware, Vacuums, Outdoor Living, Automotive Parts, Pet Supplies, Broadband, DSL”
- TITLE TAG: Buy Craftsman Tools Fitness Equipment Kenmore Home Appliances Lawn & Garden Equipment Sears.com – Where It All Begins
- DESCRIPTION TAG: “Find everything you need to make your house a home at Sears.com. From Craftsman tools to Kenmore appliances, fitness equipment to lawn and garden supplies, with our easy online shopping, the things you want the most are just a click away.”
- KEYWORD TAG: “craftsman tools, home appliance, fitness equipment, lawn & garden”
- TITLE TAG: Learn about Dell’s laptops, desktops, monitors, printers plus computer electronics & accessories.
- KEYWORDS TAG: “Homepage, laptop, laptops, computer, computers, notebook, notebooks, Desktops, desktop, monitors, monitor, printer, printers, storage, server, Dell, dell support, dell technical support forums, Ideas for Dell, dell reviews, computer games, gaming, projector, projectors, computer accessories, electronics, sales, deals, value “
- DESCRIPTION TAG: “Visit Dell to buy computers and accessories for your Home or Small, Medium & Large Business. Explore our company information, learning sites, eSupport Center or participate in our community forums and Idea Storm.”
- TITLE TAG: L.L.Bean: Over 150 New Products – Outerwear, Swimwear and More
- DESCRIPTION TAG: “Find L.L.Bean outdoor apparel and gear, casual clothing, footwear, home furnishings and luggage at llbean.com.”
- KEYWORD TAG: “ll bean, outdoor apparel and gear, footwear, home furnishings, travel”
- TITLE TAG: Business News and Financial News at Forbes.com
- DESCRIPTION TAG: “Business news and financial news by Forbes.com. Core topics include business, technology, stock markets, personal finance, and lifestyle. Personal finance advice, tools, and investing tips provided by Forbes and affiliated publications.”
- KEYWORDS TAG: “Business and Financial News, Financial Markets Coverage, Personal Financial Advice, Financial Markets, Forbes Magazine, Markets News, Financial Investments”
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
Looking at the metatags of the above big businesses, here are some lessons that you can use for your small business:
1. Meta title tags should contain the company name and keywords. Don’t make the mistake of simply putting in your website name in the title tag as that spells huge opportunity costs. Putting only the name of the website works (such as BestBuy.com) if your business has already established a strong brand and high user awareness. If not, craft a title with about 60-65 characters that contain your site name as well as relevant keywords. Note the length of the title tags of the above retailers and how they use their main products as keywords in the title.
2. Identify what it is you are really selling, and put that in your metatag. What is your website all about? L.L. Bean is about outerware, while Dell.com is laptops, desktops, and similar products. Forbes.com is all about business and financial news.
3. The keywords in the title tag should also be present in your meta description and title tags. You’d want to reinforce to the search engines as to what your site is all about
4. Keep your keyword tags relevant. Don’t overdo it and stuff it with keywords. LL Bean and Sears have very sparse keyword tags.
5. Make sure that you have distinct metatags for each page. If the page is about desktop computers, keep it relevant and different compared to a page about laptops.
6. Experiment with your metatags. If you think the tags are no longer working, or you want to improve visibility for a particular keyword, you can tweak your tags and give more prominence to this product line.