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October 13, 2008 9:06 AM   Subscribe

SEO Help - Meeting in 1 HR

I was invited last minute to a meeting to brain storm metatags for a website. The Goal of the meeting is to:

1 - come up with metatags
2 - evaluate if purchasing search (google, yahoo, msn, etc.) is a real value add
3 - drive traffic

Without giving out to much this is a clinical trial medical site.

What I'm looking for are any tips or suggestions regarding "metatag" creation and suggestions about the pay per click route - I really do not know much about SEO so any guidance in the next hr would be appreciated.
posted by doorsfan to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well google by far is better for pay per click. Yahoo and MSN really never get as much as google does. Plus google adwords is really user friendly and it comes with it's own analytical program. As for metatags you want to keep them about your site. Do not put down tags for things that have nothing to do with your site. This will actually hurt you when the spiders crawl your site.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:18 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia on SEO.

Google on SEO.

It all kinda comes down to Voodoo, but meta tags should include words that are used on that page. Also, trying to be sneaky will work against you in the long run.

Submit a google sitemap for sure.

No opinion on pay-per-click, but have been thinking of trying them. You can do a test campaign, since you set the budget. Put $100 toward it and check the results. If you get enough to make it worthwhile, increase this amount.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2008


1- In terms of actual push-you-up-the-rankings SEO, Metatags are pretty well devalued. This has two major exceptions, the Title Tag, which Google et al will display as the big blue link in the search results, and the Metadescription, which all else being equal, Google will display as the short, 160 character description below it.

The SEs will also bold the search terms in the Title and Metadescription, so a search for "Blue Widgets" will look like this on a properly optimized page:

Blue Widgets: Your Widget Company
Blue Widgets are really neat things, and the most important kind of widget. Buy widgets here.
www.yourwidgetcompany.com/blue-widget

So, think of Metatags as less of an exercise in SEO, and more in straight old, punch advertising. You want to walk the line between being compelling copy, and getting the maximum amount of bold you can out of the title and 160 characters of Metadesc.

2 - If you do it right, Pay-Per-Click advertising, or buying search traffic, is an instant way to drive traffic to your site. If you don't do the background work properly, it's also an easy way to burn through a heck of a lot of cash in a hurry. You'll need to figure out where in the buying cycle your target audience is, what they're searching for, how they describe your product, among about 100 other different factors. An hour really isn't enough time to do this, to be honest.

3 - Well, build content that people want to view, make sure your site is clear, easy to navigate and doesn't do anything dishonest (both your readers and the spiders will figure it out,) and have the patience to keep hammering at it!

Labelling myself as a search marketer will probably put me on Matt's spammy-watch-list, but feel free to MeMail me with any specific questions.
posted by generichuman at 9:28 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Page titles, page headings and page links are much more important than metatags.

Work out the phrases you would like to be found under, make sure the page title reflects this, as does a heading on the page and links between pages. Big bonus is if you can get other relevant sites to link to you using those phrases you want to be found under.

PPC has helped some of our clients. Sirtemap with Google also helps. Content is the key though.
posted by twistedonion at 9:30 AM on October 13, 2008


2 - evaluate if purchasing search (google, yahoo, msn, etc.) is a real value add

I just wanted to add, Google is very, very good at extracting your money from you. The default settings in adwords are really, really ineffecient; while spending serious time with PPC can be extremely rewarding.

I guess what I'm saying is please don't just wade into PPC advertising without putting a lot of research time into it, setting a very strict budget, or hiring an agency if that's your bag.
posted by generichuman at 9:34 AM on October 13, 2008


In terms of actual push-you-up-the-rankings SEO, Metatags are pretty well devalued. This has two major exceptions, the Title Tag, which Google et al will display as the big blue link in the search results, and the Metadescription, which all else being equal, Google will display as the short, 160 character description below it.

Heh, I also reaslised that I wasn't being clear here. (Your hour-lond deadline is weighing on me!)

What I mean to say is that pretty well nothing you do on the metatags will affect your rankings. The Metadescription won't push you up in rankings, but it is essentially a 160 character ad to convince a searcher to visit that page. Make it count.

Page title tags are the single most important thing you can do on-page to optimise your site. Good practice is consistent use of:

[Page Description] [separator] [company name]

Which would be:

Blue Widget Purchase Form - Wally's Widget Ltd
posted by generichuman at 9:39 AM on October 13, 2008


Proven by the fact that I can't type.
posted by generichuman at 9:39 AM on October 13, 2008


Excellent start (I should now be able to add some value to this meeting) - I really appreciate the feedback!
posted by doorsfan at 9:51 AM on October 13, 2008


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