But by using them intelligently, you can improve your search engine rankings and essentially advertise free in search engine results to get more clicks.
Just follow these simple steps:
Define your top keywords
Figure out which keywords and phrases have worked for you by checking your analytics reports.
Or use Google’s free Keyword Tool to find top-performing keywords related to your site.
Once you find words that work, narrow them down to those with high search volume and low competition.
Eliminate your keyword meta tag
You’d think your keywords belong here.
But because of keyword stuffing (adding tags like "free sex" to lure visitors), search engines universally ignore it.
Your competitors, however, can easily read it and learn which keywords you’re targeting.
So get rid of it—your keywords will work better elsewhere.
Grab attention with your title tag
The title tag tells your browser what to display in the title bar.
It also appears on search engine results pages, meaning it can make all the difference in generating traffic.
This is where your keywords matter.
To grab attention, write a title tag that’s keyword-relevant, descriptive and differentiated from your competitors’ title tags.
Sell your offering with your description tag
Unlike your title tag, the description tag won’t appear to readers anywhere but in search engine results—as a brief description of your page.
Not all search engines factor it in your rankings, but it still plays a key role in attracting visitors, because it tells users about your site and encourages them to click—much like the description fields in an AdWords ad.
So make sure it’s concise, descriptive and keyword-relevant.
But be careful
If used properly, meta tags can matter.
But your site’s content is more important.
The information you place in your meta tags must always reflect the content of your pages.
Because getting readers to your site is good. But it’s pointless if they leave as quickly as they land.
Looking for more ways to attract and keep readers? Learn how to write compelling copy with our free 25-page e-book, Breakthrough Web Writing.