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Tots100 Blogging Basics

Today, we’re sharing a tutorial for bloggers on how to add ‘meta tags’ to your blog.

This may sound very technical but adding a meta tag is really just like sticking a Post-It note on your blog so people (and search engines) passing by can easily see what it’s all about.  Here’s what you need to know:

What are Meta tags?

Meta tags are invisible ‘markers’ that share information about your blog or webpage with search engines and other people who might be interested in finding out what your blog’s all about. These tags are an important part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – which means having accurate, popular Meta tags will help more people to find your blog through search engines.

Make a few preparations before you add Meta tags to your blog.

Choose a Meta description – Your blog’s Meta description is a short bit of text that will appear below the blog name or web page name if your site appears in search engine results. In our Six Simple SEO Tips webinar, SEO guru Lee Smallwood advised bloggers to treat the Meta description a bit like a Tweet – make it short, snappy and inviting! As a rule of thumb, your Meta description should be less than 250 characters long.

Think of your Meta keywords: As well as having a Meta description that describes what your blog is all about, you need a few Meta keywords, that will work alongside the Meta description to improve your site’s overall SEO performance.

  • My Meta description is “The real side of parenting, opinions about real life and everything else in between”
  • My Meta keywords are “typecast, i am typecast, parent blog, family, opinions”

Your Meta description and keywords can easily be updated when your blog changes focus or evolves – but don’t change them every week or you won’t get the best results!

If you are a WordPress user, then there may well be an option to define your meta description and keyword within your theme – if not, downloading a plug-in such as All in One SEO will do the job for you. But if you’re a Blogger user, you’re going to need to do just a little bit of tinkering.

Meta tags and Title tags have to be inserted into the <head> section of your template so you will need to navigate to this section:

On Blogger you will need to open your Dashboard, click the Design tab and then the Edit HTML option.

At this point it is a good idea to back-up your blog just in case anything goes wrong.  In fact, it is good practice to back up your blog on a weekly basis.  Click the “Download Full Template” link and save the file to your desktop.

Tick the Expand Widget Templates option and look for the opening <head> tag (this will be very near the top of the code).

Place your cursor at the end of the <head> command and hit Enter/Return
Use the following HTML code but with your own details:

<META name=”description” content=”The real side of parenting, opinions about real life and everything else in between.” />
<META name=”keywords” content=”typecast,i am typecast, parent blog, family, opinions” />

  • Write your own description here
  • Write your own keywords here

SAVE TEMPLATE NOW


It will take approximately 24 hours for Google to crawl the new meta information.  Your brand new Meta description will then appear underneath your URL when the site appears in search engine results.

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HINTS AND TIPS:

Google only uses meta descriptions for the main URL.  Any sub-pages have their meta created by Google – usually the first 200-250 characters of the post which enhances the need for appropriate SEO if you want your article or post to be found.  Have a look at the webinar link for more information.

Incorporating a Title tag is useful too because this is the wording that is displayed when the cursor is hovered over a browser tab or when someone bookmarks your blog/website.  As you can see from the image, Blogger has already coded a <TITLE> section which draws directly from your settings (you can adjust these in the SETTINGS tab, BASIC section).  You can override this by using the following HTML:

<TITLE>your title here</TITLE>

This is useful if you have a very long blog address or if your blog is known by a slightly different name to the actual URL.



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About 

Sally Whittle is founder of the Tots100, Foodies100, BlogSummit and the MAD Blog Awards. When she’s not working, she can be found blogging at Who’s the Mummy, or having fun with her 8 year old daughter, Flea.

2 Comments

  1. Posted 24 August 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Have just tried this, so fingers crossed I did it right. Lol. xx

  2. Posted 22 December 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    very helpful post…thanx