Search Engine MetaTags

Designed to be search engine friendly

IMS Reservation Software has been designed to be search engine friendly – so that content of your site will easily be read and indexed by crawlers.

This feature provides additional tools for web professionals, the ability to edit page titles, meta tag descriptions and meta tag keywords. You can edit meta tags for each product page individually.

The system supports full meta tags on template pages and the following four editable meta tags on each product page.

Page Title:

The Roles of the Title Tag in a Web Page

Title tags play four roles on the Internet:

First, the title is used by resource librarians, directory editors, and other webmasters when they link to your page. If you present editors with a well written title, your site will be reviewed faster and will get favorable treatment by the editors. If you submit a page with a title like this, “Title Tags – Title Tag Limit – Title Tag – Web Page Title – HTML Title Tags,” then you can expect to wait for a review.

Second, the title is displayed in the search results as the most prominent piece of information available to searchers. Taking the example above, put yourself in the mind set of a search engine user who is scanning the search results. If you see a title like the one above, which is so obviously stuffed with frequently searched keyword phrases, don’t you think you would consider that the Webmaster is trying a bit too hard to get your attention, putting search engine optimization far above web usability? We think so.

Search Engine Meta Tags

Search Engine Meta Tags

Third, the title is displayed by the visitor’s browser (most often Microsoft Internet Explorer) in the border of the viewable screen as the visitor is viewing your website. This serves as an anchor so that the visitor knows where he or she is on your website. For this reason, titles need to clearly relate to their page and should include bread crumb or mouse trail information if there is space available. Microsoft’s browser, called Internet Explorer, displays the first 95 characters of your title tag. For title tags longer than 95 characters, Internet Explorer will simply crop the tag, as you can see it has done to the title of this Web page.

Fourth, the title is used by the major search engines as the most important piece of information available in order to help them determine the topic of your page, and thus to determine the ranking of your page in their search results. Given that the title is the most important factor in your page’s ranking, it can be very tempting to load the title tag with keywords. For the first three reasons mentioned above, you should avoid the temptation.

Search Engine Optimization and Web Usability Considerations in Creating Title Tags

The perfect title will balance all four purposes described above and will meet the technical guidelines explored below:

All titles should be typed in Title Case (or Proper Case). This is the most often overlooked error we’ve found when using the web. An excellent resource for learning title case capitalization rules is Writer’s Block – Writing Tips – Capitalization in Titles. By the way, your headers should be using Title Case as well.

There are exceptions to the Title Case or Proper Case rule. In the case of FAQ pages, it is allowable to use the original question as the title to the page. In that case, title case is not necessary.

Search Engine Meta Tags

Search Engine Meta Tags

For nonfiction or reference websites, titles should be written to clearly indicate what is available on the page.

Every page must have a unique title. Do not put the same title on every page of your website. (See purpose 3 above.)

The title must be able to stand on its own and clearly communicate the contents of the page to the reader. You must give the reader context. A title like “Home” or “About Us” when displayed in search results or bookmarks tells the reader nothing about the contents of the page. Remember, the reader is simply seeing a list of titles. When a visitor bookmarks your site or adds your site to their favorites menu, the title of your page becomes the title of their bookmark.

Home page titles present unique requirements. The home page introduces your organization and is almost always your best contender in a search engine optimization contest. Home page titles should clearly indicate what is available on the page, AND for the purpose of web credibility they should clearly indicate what organization is represented on the page. In other words, you need to include the name of your organization in the title tag of your home page! Not doing so can significantly lower your Web credibility.

Web Page Title Tag Limits (Maximum Lengths)

The W3C, in their page W3C – The TITLE element in HTML, states: “The title should ideally be less than 64 characters in length. That is, many applications will display document titles in window titles, menus, etc where there is only limited room.” A 64 character limit is a good starting place, but oversimplifies things a bit.

Google will display up to 66 characters of a title tag, cropping to complete words. For example, the following title is exactly 68 characters, so Google leaves off the last word in the title when displaying the website in its search results:

68-Character Title Tag: Creating Title Tags for Search Engine Optimization and Web Usability

Google Display: Creating Title Tags for Search Engine Optimization and Web …

On the other hand, if the word “and” were replaced with an ampersand, the title would be exactly 66 characters, and would be displayed in full:

66-Character Title Tag: Creating Title Tags for Search Engine Optimization & Web Usability

Google Display: Creating Title Tags for Search Engine Optimization & Web Usability

Google isn’t the only thing to consider when deciding on the optimal title tag limit. Yahoo! has an absolute cutoff in presenting titles of exactly 120 characters, which is substantially longer and gives the webmaster much more room to present longer titles. If your title exceeds 120 characters, the title will simply be cropped, whether the display title ends in a complete word or not. That is quite different from Google, which ends the display title with the last complete word which ended before the 66 character limit was reached.

The best strategy for creating a long title is to make sure that the title works for both Google and Yahoo. The optimal title tag should be thought of as consisting of a primary title (for Google) and a secondary title (for Yahoo!). Your primary title length should be limited to 66 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Your secondary title can be any length up to the point where the full title reaches 120 characters in length. You can create a longer title if you wish, but be aware that anything beyond 120 characters will be cropped in the Yahoo! search results, and no one will ever see it.

Meta Keywords Tag

name=”keywords”

Informs the search engine’s spider that a group of keywords should be in this tag.

content=”meta tags, search, homepage, web sites”

Your list of keywords and key phrases. In the “keywords” tag, you separate each keyword or key phrase by placing a comma between them.

Be careful not to repeat the same thing too many times here, and be sure the keywords are relevant to the content on your page. The Search Engines are attempting to crack down on people who use these tags to repeat the same word over and over in order to get a better listing, or using keywords that have nothing to do with the content of the page.

Meta Description Tag

The next useful meta tag gives a description of your page. Here it is:

name=”description”

Tells the search engine’s spider a description of the page is to follow.

content=”How to add meta tags to your page.”

Your very own description of your Web page. Type in what you want the description of your page to be, and use some of your key phrases as part of the description. Many of the search engines use this as the description that will appear in their listings

Meta Abstract

Gives a short summary of the description. The Meta Abstract is used primarily with academic papers. The content for this tag is usually 10 words or less.

An example of a Meta Abstract:

Recommendation of Meta Abstract: This is an optional Meta tag. It will not assist you with the major search engines. If you have content that is highly specialized, with the use of the Meta abstract tag it will allow search engines that are apart of your field of expertise to index your website correctly. Currently the Meta abstract tag is not apart of Google, Yahoo!, and MSN algorithms, but the abstract tag widens your appeal to specialist website search engines..

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