Should each page on my website have unique meta tags?

Featured Articles, Search Engine Optimizationon July 14th, 2011Comments Off on Should each page on my website have unique meta tags?

A very common mistake that many webmasters make when it comes to search engine optimization is to use generic meta tags across all pages on their website. As we all know by now, search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing all reward unique content, and in some cases, will punish websites with internal and/or external duplicate content with slides in their search result positions.

But the key that many webmasters don’t realize is that, while duplicate page copy is an obvious form of duplicate content, identical meta tags can also trigger duplicate content penalties. So while you may have wonderfully written, unique content on each page of your website, using the same meta tags over and over will almost certainly keep you from attaining top SERP rankings.

Not only do properly set up meta tags help the search engines determine the relevancy of your page/site when supported properly with on-page content, but they are also the face of your page on the SERPs, as the title tag is what displays as the title of your listing on the SERPs.

Tips for optimizing your meta tags:

  • Personalize the meta tags for each page of your website. This is a no-brainer bit of SEO.
  • Make sure they reference keywords you want to target, but also make sure that you support the keywords. So if you mention “widgets” in your title tag, also reference “widgets” in the description tag, the keywords tag, and in the page body.
  • Make your title and description tags readable to people, not just the search engines. The title and description tag are your face on the SERPs, so don’t forget that if you want to get clicks, people have to be able to read them.
  • If you’re targeting a specific geographic location, put it in the title tag. Just be careful not to stuff too many locations or keywords into the title tag to avoid being penalized for spam.

For an explanation of any of the terms above, view our SEO Terms Explained page.

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