Many dynamic sites or template based websites use the same title for every page, such as "Companyname.com". This is a total waste of the tag.
Your title tag provides the caption, your meta keywords tag normally provides the scope of the information on the page (and is invisible to humans), and your meta description tag completes the call to action - together, they form the ultra-important 'hook' of your advertising in the search engines. They are the only meta tags you really need at this time because most search engines at least look at them.
1-12 words max (with page keyword) - Google displays 70 characters in SERPS - I like to keep titles to within this and ensure my important keywords are within the first 55 characters. MOST IMPORTANT!
5-24 words max (with page keyword) - Google displays 160 characters on normal searches. Descriptions can be larger on long-tail searches. IMPORTANT!
3-12 keyword phrases, individually separated with "," - Although Google does not give a page any visible benefit in terms of ranking for words here
Meta tags -
must reflect page content
Each Page -
should naturally optimise one keyword (with multiple phrases) and be reflected in the meta tags.
Do not -
spam the search engines!
Keep it Simple -
don't obsess about meta tags
Search engines understand one thing: text. They cannot understand graphics or images, and they are still years off properly understanding proprietary technologies such as Flash. Text is the key to accessibility and search engine optimisation - and meta tags offer you a golden opportunity to add a bit more, relevant and descriptive text about your web page into your web page. So, before you even worry about the correct use of meta tags: Write relevant text content for your page! You'll find a good example of meta tags spread at the bottom of this page. Note: Meta tags are hidden in a document's source, invisible to the reader. Some search engines, however, are able to incorporate the content of meta tags into their search criteria.
If your meta tags don't reflect the text content on the page then you *might* be in trouble, if not now, tomorrow! Though copy writing text to emphasize certain keywords can greatly improve a web page's rankings for those terms, writing lots of relevant content is the most important part. If you're writing useful, quality information on any subject or product, optimisation of certain terms will occur naturally.
What are Meta Keyword tags?
Some information resources on the web will tell you to ignore meta keyword tags, skip them, or they'll scare you into believing using meta keyword tags could damage your rankings.
Using any underhanded tricks on a search engine will undoubtedly damage your rankings in the long term. However, using meta keyword tags properly can help spiders properly index your website and promote it to the world.
When you begin creating your page, think of what you would type into a search engine to find your page. Target those terms, write understandable copy about those terms and summarize this page in your meta tags.
Definitive Use - The Title Tag
Not technically a meta-tag, you should write your title tag at the same time as your other meta tags and cross refer the content. Using a unique, relevant title on every page of your website is crucial. The title is a highly valued aspect of a website in the eyes of assistive software devices and search engines. Many dynamic sites or template based websites use the same title for every page, such as "Companyname.com". This is a total waste of the tag. The W3C states that the Title Tag is the most important element of any quality web page, and the search engines obviously agree. If you're not using this important tag properly, you're either ignorant, lazy, you're building the site for next-to-nothing or your under too much pressure at work!
A good title is generally a 4 to 8 (12 max) word description of the page contents. Try to include the relevant keywords or keyword combinations that occur within the pages subheadings and text. Using descriptive titles not only benefits search engines, but it also makes logical sense, gives the page a more complete feel, and is a huge benefit to users browsing the page using assistive technologies.
Make it readable to visitors, not search engines, and for another hint, check out how they make their titles informative at the Google Directory using special characters, and copy them, like we do!
Remember! Using words in your title that people are searching for can improve your search engine placement. Accessible Website Design Consultant is a better title than Accessibility101. It uses the keywords that people are searching for.
Definitive Use- The Meta description tag
The meta description tag describes your page's content, giving search engines' spiders an accurate summary (filled with multiple keywords!). Try to include at least the major keyword(s) in this description, and use 5-20 words for the description. Keep it short and to the point. Remember - this is your advert to the world! Writing good copy is essential - so think about it carefully and don't treat populating this section with text as an after thought.