"Meta data" is information
ABOUT information. When a web page is created, meta data is inserted into
the page in a way that makes it visible to the mechanics of a web page, but not
to casual web site visitors. Casual web site visitors are not concerned
with all that "gobbledy-gook," they just want to see the web
Meta data includes
"keywords," "description," "author," and other stuff. For Website 101 purposes, we'll try to help you understand the
At some point in the
process of designing and creating your web site, we will ask you to help
create a set of
The reason we ask
you to assist with the creation of your
because most search engines use that information to index and categorize your web site and your
business. Each word is significant.
This is a list of words that are
"key" to what your web site is about. Your list will include all the words you think a potential web site visitor would use to
search for, and find your site. Would they be looking for
"contractors?" "dog catchers?"
"dermatology?" What about inexperienced users who are not sure
even what they are looking for? Perhaps you need general words and can
think of broad concept words for your site, also. The more accurate and complete
your list of keywords is, the more likely your potential customers will find
your site AND your business.
What you see after you
do a search (sometimes called "the hit list"), is likely the description
that you put into each page of your site. The description and keywords
are used by some search engines to see if your site matched
whatever the searcher was seeking.
Here's an easy way to come up
with an accurate "description" for your web site's main
you meet someone for the first time, and they ask, "What do you do?", what do you
tell them? YOUR response to THAT question is probably a good
description of your business.
A description should sum up your business in a
comprehensive, concise, and compelling way. For instance,
compare these descriptions:
1 - Blackwell Web Design makes web sites.
2 - Blackwell Web Design,
an independent web development company, develops and maintains web sites for
small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and churches.
Both are accurate; one
just tells so much more clearly what we do.
Guess what? Keywords and Description
meta data is sometimes visible to a web site visitor if they click on VIEW and
then click on SOURCE. Usually among all that "gibberish," the words
"keywords" and "description" are listed.
You can look at the
keywords on THIS page. Go ahead, click on VIEW, then click on SOURCE.
See? Now you know what a keyword list looks like.
We recommend that you give careful,
thorough consideration to your
your site goes online, to be sure those search engines categorize your site right the first
need to change over time, since the World Wide Web is changing so
rapidly and growing exponentially. Be sure to check them occasionally,
and update when needed.
The Website 101 pages are basic informational pages to provide an overview
of some of the more standardized functions of most web sites.
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