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Choosing page titles and meta-tag data

In addition to all the text, photos, illustrations, and other graphics that will appear directly on the pages of your Web site, you also need to create two other important bits of information, namely unique page titles and meta-tag data, which go into the HTML code of the site’s pages.

Page titles
Page titles are pretty self-explanatory. Each page on a Web site needs its own unique title, which after being placed appropriately in the head area of the HTML code, will appear in the browser window’s title bar. Page titles are set between opening and closing

Titles need to identify the site as well as the content displayed on each page by using a maximum of 70 to 80 characters, including any letters, numbers, symbols, spaces, punctuation, or other text entities. When writing your page titles, a good rule is to pack each one of them full of “keywords” that visitors are likely to use when searching for pages that contain desired information.

Meta tags
Meta tags are special HTML tags that also go inside the head area of the HTML code on a Web page, but rather than appear somewhere on or in the browser window, this information is strictly used by search engines, indexing spiders, and robots, and is hidden from the visitor’s view. Specifically, these tags provide search engines and Web browsers with informational content about the client’s company and code settings, which helps those search engines rank the site in search results listings and helps those browsers accurately display the code inside the browser window.

Keep in mind that meta tags aren’t magical search engine ranking improvers; on the contrary, they’re merely assistive code bits that can help people find your site. Truth be told, Google and some other search engines don’t use this kind of information as much as some of the other search engines, spiders, and robots do. Nonetheless, even though they aren’t as important as they once were, using them is still worthwhile.

While a lot of different kinds of meta tags can be added to the HTML of the pages, only two tags should be placed on every page of a site — the meta description and the meta keywords:

  • Description: The description of the site is a single sentence that concisely describes what can be found on the site. Normally it should be written as a single sentence or short phrase and should contain no more than 150 characters, including spaces and punctuation. This information is critical, because this exact copy is often (though not in all search engines) what appears in a search engine results listing when the site is found after a keyword search. As a matter of fact, you may even ant to create unique descriptions for each page of your site to further assist visitors in finding relevant information on the site’s different pages.
  • Keywords: While many Web crawlers ignore this meta tag, some still do use this information, so you may as well plan to include keywords in the code of your pages. Keywords should include the words or short phrases that you feel would be helpful when searching for this site. Keywords (and/or key phrases) should be separated by a comma either with or without a space, such as “bread,cakes,pies.” or “bread, cakes, pies.” Place the seven most important words first, in order of importance. Any more than seven words will probably be ignored.

Just a note. If I remember correctly, XHTML tags have to be in lower case alphabets. See the last sentence at Common HTML Validation Problems. Also, HTML tags normally comes in pairs, opening and closing tags. A few tags like the HTML for displaying images and doesn’t need a closing tag. Only thing is, with XHTML, I think you have to write your tag as . The meta tag generator gave this for my meta tags (it also include , etc. You can leave this out as it is already in your template. Just make sure to paste the meta tags below the tag in your template. This is a sample:

<title>Blog Title</title>
<link rev=”made” href=”” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”your keyword, CSS, eCommerce, Joomla!, WordPress” />
<meta name=”description” content=your blog description, examle: tutorial about CSS, eCommerce, Joomla!, WordPress, etc. for beginners” />
<meta name=”author” content=”” />
<meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”ALL” />

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