Optimize your on page meta tags-technical analysis part I of II
Search Engine Optimization encompasses a wide variety of
techniques in which your website can be better tracked and
displayed by Google (the largest search engine). Through
comprehensive management your site can have the largest
chance of succeeding.
With the recent Google algorithm changes,
content generation, publishing, and blogging
are the keys to ranking a site and driving
traffic. Through careful management, your
business can reap the benefits of constant
Social Media Marketing is an important part of any business,
large or small. As social media develops, businesses are finding
new and innovative ways in which to sell products and attract
customers. Can you afford to ignore a possible revenue stream?
Optimize Your On-Page – Meta Tags, Technical
Analysis (Part I of II)
This began as a quick blog post and quickly got a little too long f or one place, so I have split it into
two. You can read the second post here: Optimize Your On-Page – Robots and Sitemaps (Part II
Optimize Your On-Page, On-Time
First, what is on-page optimization?
“On-page optimization is changing the front of a website or page to perform as well as it
can in the eyes of search engines.”
At Virginia SEO, we really enjoy search engine optimization and inbound marketing. We enjoy it so
much that we want to share the details of how we do it with you. So, let’s discuss a couple of
important topics as they pertain to on-page optimization. Last week we discussed website layout and
also got into page layout, content, and title tags. This week we will discuss meta tag optimization,
technical analysis, on-site content, sitemap.xml, and robots.txt. Each of these items greatly
contributes to your websites rank and position in the search engine results page (SERP), which has a
direct correlation to the amount of traf f ic you get. Some studies show that 85% of users do not go
to “Page Two” of search results, so positioning your website on page one of the SERPs is a
Meta Tag Optimization
We brief ly discussed meta tags last week in our video training series, and we went over some broad
topics like what meta tags are, title tags, and the basics of keyword phrases. Just to reiterate, meta
“Little bits of data embedded in your website that search engines can read. They can
then use this information on your behalf”
The f irst thing that really needs to take place when optimizing meta tags is that a strategy needs to
be developed. This keyword strategy is a website-wide strategy, and applies a theme to your entire
SEO ef f orts. Without an overriding theme, our keyword strategy and meta tags will be all over the
place. Google is recognizing the overall theme of your content more and more and it is important to
f ollow the same methods and strategies across your entire site.
Meta Property: locale, description, url, twitter:creator
As a non-web admin, the only ones you need to worry about are the title and description tags. The
meta title is what Google and Bing show as the result of your searches- it is the link shown on
SERPs. The description meta is the two lines of text under a search result, which describe the page
showing up in search.
“Bad” Meta Tag Optimization
If you don’t “take care of ” these tags, Google will not look f avorably upon your page. These tags are
also meant f or your visitors- they need to be readable, well written, and descriptive. Take this f or
This is not an awesome description or title tag in my opinion. I have very little idea what this page is-
is it a designers home page? SEO? Hosting? Now take a look at a good meta tag description:
“Good” Meta Tag Optimization
This one is a bit better- it f ully describes the site and page I am visiting. I and other visitors are much
more likely to visit the better described site, and this applies to Google as well. They are more likely
As a web designer, there are lots of meta tags to create, optimize, and track. Some examples are:
to rank and promote the well-designed tags.
Designing these tags varies by website and by CMS, but most CMS’ have modules or plugins to help
out. I use WordPress, and one of the best plugins f or this is WordPress SEO, AKA Yoast. Yoast
gives you a very simple interf ace in which to manage these tags f rom the admin panel of WordPress.
I will go into more detail on my video series, where I will show you how to actually optimize these tags
f rom inside of WordPress.
Technical analysis of a website or page can literally be perf ormed one thousand dif f erent ways.
There are so many tools out there that you could use a dif f erent tool every day f or a year. I have my
own pref erred tools, and I will show you how to use them here- this is not to say that you can’t f ind
your own tools or use someone else’s tools- these are just what I pref er.
Firefox Web Developer Addon- http://chrispederick.com/work/web-developer/
This addon has so many f eatures we won’t even discuss 1/20th of them here, but just know that this
plugin can do it all. It can analyze your page f or HTML errors, it can validate JS and jQuery. It can list
out your page structure, check f or bad links, and show you image tags. Let’s look at my home page
at virginiaseo.org. One of the most interesting tools at least f or this discussion is: Inf ormation >
View Document Outline. This shows you’re the title tags in a graphic and easy to understand manner,
and also highlights what you are missing.
My second f avorite portion of this tool is Inf ormation > View Meta Tag Inf ormation. This really goes
into what we were discussing above, and allows you to view each pages underlying meta data in an
easy to read f ormat.
Firebug for Firefox- http://getfirebug.com/
This tool is great, and I use this tool extensively when I design websites. This tool is a necessity to
help solve DOM and JS script errors, but it can also be used to analyze your website f or problems or
improvements. We won’t go into a lot of detail about this addon, but one of the f eatures I enjoy is
that it has ySlow integrated into it- so you can run a speed diagnostic on your website. This is a little
of f -topic f or on-page analysis but it is def initely something you or your web designer should look at.
Raven Site Auditor- https://raven-seo-tools.com
I perf ormed a quick review of this tool here, but to sum it up: this tool is great. You need to take the
inf ormation it presents with a grain of salt, because it can pull a lot of inf ormation that may or may
not be alarming- but seeing the inf ormation might cause you to be alarmed, when that is not
Here is a crawl f or colonialdrivingschool.com, which is a website on which the current video training
series is centered around.
As you can see, the Site Auditor > Meta shows us great inf ormation about a website and how we can
improve the meta tags. If we drill down f urther we can see that a f ew of Colonial Driving School’s
pages are missing descriptions:
Raven SEO Site Auditor is one of many tools that can do this, and it costs money through a monthly
subscription. If you are looking f or f ree tools go and check out Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool.
This tool shows you the same metrics in a tabular display, which is really usef ul f or bulk editing and
f ixing issues.
You can read the second post here: Optimize Your On-Page – Robots and Sitemaps (Part II of II)
SEO Expert at Virginia SEO
Christopher Dill is a Christian entrepreneur who loves web design, marketing, and
anything on a computer. He is the creator and author of The Dill Design, a local
Virginia web design company. He also designed and runs Virginia SEO, which is a
SEO/SEM and marketing company. By using both design skills and a marketing plan, he can of f er his
clients an end-to-end solution which can help a small business succeed.Chris is currently f inishing up
his Master of Inf ormation Systems at University of Phoenix, and works by day as a Senior Network
Engineer. Chris' hobbies consist of technology, computers, and cutting-edge sof tware.
Latest posts by Chris Dill (see all)
Optimize Your On-Page – Meta Tags, Technical Analysis (Part I of II) - March 25, 2014
SEO Video Training – Session 2: On-Page Overview - March 21, 2014
SEO Video Training – Session 1: Introduction to SEO - March 15, 2014
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