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  1. But what is the answer. Here at SEO advisor we are staggered that this subject still comes up when we talk to customers and view articles online. By now surely this should have been addressed but clearly not. Although will it ever be fully address as algorithms shift and change so often so does the subject of what’s hot and what’s not in SEO.

    Meta tags and where to find them

    If you are not a SEO analyst, web programmer or website owner already focused on search engine optimisation you probably have not heard of meta tags. So what are they? Where can they be found? And why are they important if they are important at all?

    Meta tags are often part of the coding of a website, although they are being found less and less these days, they are elements of the websites page language, HTML or XHTML, that provide meta0-data or information for the search engines, about that webpage. Meta tags can be used to detail the page description, keywords and other data not in the head elements of the page.

    To check meta tags you can use the source code. To do this right click on your web page from the pop menu that comes up select “view source code” this should bring up a notepad page with a load of coding in it. If your website is written in HTML or XHTML then you should be able to find the meta tags by scrolling to the top of the page usually below the title detail element.  

    To be able to know what you are looking for here are two examples.

    Firstly a keyword meta tag;


    <meta name="keywords" content="seo,search engine optimisation,search engine optimization, ">

    Secondly a description meta tag;

    <meta name="description" content="SEO-advisor.org,uk, advisers SEO, advisors SEO”>

    The two meta tags shown are keyword and description and there is some debate and discussion online as to whether or not they are important to your search engine optimisation campaigns.

    Is keyword meta tagging important?

    Back in the 1990’s keyword meta tagging was the rage. By using this page element you could improve your search engine rankings with ease. But then came the SPAMMERS, people who stuffed these keyword meta tags to bursting point with SPAM keywords so that they ranked higher than genuine websites.

    This factor together with improve robot and search engine spider technology has meant that these programmes have learnt to all but completely ignore this element of the website coding, in fact Google the number one search engine used worldwide no longer uses meta keywords at all.

    So does this mean that they are no longer of any use at all? Well lots of articles on and off the net will say that keyword meta tagging is no longer important. A lot of website designers will tell you that they are of no importance. But the fact is some search engines out there still use them and Google and other search engines use these search engines for some of their results and to find websites. The answer therefore is keyword meta tagging is less important than it was not “of no importance”. The simple rule is to not spend too much time on this element and only have around 6 to 10 keywords in this element per page.


    Are keyword descriptions of any use to SEO?

    The simple answer is yes. A lot of search engines use this area to find out what the website is about and whether it is relevant to the search. Use this element to describe your website and include a call to action as this is quite often the description found on the search engine rankings. Although it has been reported that Google does not use this element this is not strictly true, Google uses it less than it used to but it does still use the element on a regular enough basis for it to be an important element of your SEO campaign.

    So to summarise: use them both but do not waste too much time on them as there are other areas to focus on. 


    All Blog Articles, SEO and Digital Marketing Advice from SEO Engineer and Digital Marketing Analyst; Sam O'Prey from Telford, Shropshire in the UK  


  2. Customers quite rightly ask: If we are doing Search Engine Optimisation why should we use Adwords or other pay per click advertisements? Or Visa Versa if we are using pay per click why should we use SEO which can take as long as between 6-12months to start getting results from word go?


    Well overall it is down to your end goals and strategies. If the web is not a major part of your business you may wish to opt for one or the other. But as more and more business is going online if the internet is not where you currently conduct business in the future it will be and if not you then the competition.


    Both pay per click and SEO have their benefits and shortfalls.


    Pay per click advantages are:


    • Easy to use (no need to be an expert SEO)
    • Pay as you hit so no gain no spend
    • Give great return on investment
    • Budget flexible (turn on and off at will)
    • Easy to monitor for campaign success
    • Easy to optimise for keyword success
    • Controllable via geography and time ads are shown
    • Great for promotions


    Pay per clicks disadvantages are:


    • Controlled by daily budget and once this runs out your ads stop showing meaning you can lose potential customers when your ad goes offline
    • More competitive because they are easier to set up every man and his dog can have one meaning the cost per click can be high
    • Open to click fraud if not monitored; competitors clicking on your ads to cost you money
    • Can often be ignored by surfers who prefer the natural rankings


    SEO advantages


    • Once placement is found traffic can find you 24 hours a day 7 days a week
    • You can reach a global market
    • You site can be optimised so that you get well targeted traffic
    • Hits are free – you never pay per hit
    • As you don’t pay for hits you do not enter a keyword bidding war
    • Also as you don’t pay for hits click fraud is not a problem
    • If you are in the top ten ratings it gives the surfer the impression that you are a reputable large company


    SEO disadvantages


    • You have to be patient it can take 6 months plus to get results
    • Results cannot be fully controlled
    • Can be expensive and time consuming to get and stay in place especially for generic terms
    • Due to algorithm shifts results can change overnight and months of work can suddenly be lost
    • Very competitive and can be frustrating


    The point is that both have their advantages and disadvantages. The above bullet points are to quickly show to anyone new to either format of eMarketing as to the pros and cons to both.  At SEO advisor though we like to make people aware of the cons but not focus on them, rather focus on the pros of both.


    Both pay per click and SEO are advised for greater search engine market penetration and brand/keyword coverage.


    In the short term, when launching a new website we would advise more aggressive pay per click campaigns until your SEO kicks in and natural rankings take hold. When natural rankings are working well use pay per click for specialist promotions and offers as well as filling in any keyword gaps where your SEO is not performing for those keywords.


    We always suggest that where possible you have in place both an SEO campaign and a pay per click campaign using Adwords etc so that you are getting a more complete search engine coverage and having more chance of being viewed by your target customers.