How to Create a <meta> Tag to Improve Your Online Business Search Ranking - dummies

How to Create a <meta> Tag to Improve Your Online Business Search Ranking

By Greg Holden

These steps show how to add your own <meta> tags from scratch to the source code of your online business web page by using Adobe Dreamweaver. These steps presume that you’ve already installed Internet Explorer and Dreamweaver, created your website’s home page, and saved it on your computer with a name like index.htm or index.html. To add <meta> tags to your site’s home page, start Dreamweaver and follow these steps:

  1. Click the Code button in the toolbar near the top of the screen.

    The code for your web page displays.

  2. Scroll to the top of your page’s source code, between the <head> and </head> tags, and enter your keywords and description.

    Use the following format:


    <meta name=”description” content=”Your short website description goes here.”>
    <meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, and so on”>
  3. Click the Design button to return to the design view of your web page.

    Your additions aren’t visible on the web page because they’re intended for search engines, not visitors to your site.

  4. You can now make more changes to your page, or you can save your web page and then close Dreamweaver.

Most web page editors make this user friendly for you: You can type your information in specially designated boxes. Open the page you want to edit by choosing File→Properties, and type the words in the Keywords box. You can also type your official description in the Description box.


You can also spy on your competitors’ websites to see if they added any keywords to their web pages by following these steps:

  1. Go to your competitor’s home page and choose View→Source if you use Internet Explorer or right-click and choose View Page Source if you use Mozilla Firefox.

    A new window opens, with the page source supplied.

  2. Scroll through the code, looking for the <meta> tags if they’re present.

    (Press Ctrl+F, enter META, and click the Find button if you can’t find them on your own.)

    If the page’s author used <meta> tags to enter keywords, you see them onscreen. They probably appear toward the top of the code.

  3. Note the keywords supplied and see if you can apply any to your website.

Keywords, like web page addresses, are frequently misspelled. Make sure that you type several variations on keywords that might be subject to typos — for example, Mississippi, Misissippi, Mississipi. Don’t worry about getting capitalization just right, however; most searchers simply enter all lowercase characters and don’t bother with capital letters at all.

The <meta> tag is also important for the Description command, which enables you to create a description of your website that search engines can index and use in search results. Some search services also scan the description for keywords, so make sure you create a description at the same time you type your keywords in the <meta> tags.

Don’t place too much importance on picking the ultimate, perfect keywords for use with your <meta> tags. They’re not all that effective anymore — not with search placement on Google, for example. Keeping your content updated and promoting links to other websites are just as effective.