“Meta, Tag, WordPress, Internet, Traffic, Search, Find”

That’s right; you may recognize those as META tags.

You know what META tags are, and you’ve probably seen them scattered about, whether on a WordPress blog (some webmasters don’t mind posting the words) as well as the empty fields within WordPress that ask you for META tags. Years ago, (and still today) META tags were introduced for HTML programming, and were inserted in the heading of an HTML document. These META tags told the Internet search bots what the site was about, along with a page title, description and heading text.

Nowadays, it’s easy to assume that because WordPress and other CMS programs are replacing HTML documents as the standard, tags don’t really matter anymore. After all, Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the other search engines out there actually do a swell job finding obscure texts all over the Internet just through the process of linking back and indexing various internal and external links.

Do META Tags Matter Anymore?

However, although it’s become fashionable to say tags don’t matter anymore (thanks to very hungry search bots that manage to find almost every Internet page in existence) it is simply not true. META tags are still very important, if not for being discovered, than at least for ranking higher than “standard” in terms of SERPs. (Search Engine Ranking Pages) Google’s own Matt Cutts recently stated that that the “pendulum might have gone a little bit too far in the other direction.” Meaning that so many webmasters are ignoring META tags these days (rather than treating them as a second thought) that it is affecting search rankings.

Actually Cutts, explaining further, stated that while META tags are not a Google priority, META description is actually still important. He stated that in some cases the META description becomes the “snippet” of text that is used in the preview. “We can either show the snippet that might be the keyword in context on the page or the meta description.” Since it’s either/or, the safe thing to do is to go ahead and create META tags and a META description.

Working with Keywording and Tags

Note that not all free WordPress themes have META tag or description options. In this case, you will either have to download a plug-in for this purpose or perhaps buy WordPress themes that automatically solve the problem for you. Regardless of what you decide to do with META tags, it is vital that you pay close attention to keyword phrasing.

The industry is clearly moving in the direction of longtail keywords as opposed to broad keywords. This is because users themselves are now focusing the keyword content they hope to see. This creates an obligation in you, the webmaster, to use plenty of popular niche keywords that might draw the attention of casual searchers. Filling out the META tags and META description certainly can’t hurt matters. At best, they may motivate a user to click on your site. On the other hand, META tag gibberish certainly will not motivate anyone to enter the page.

Be sure to research the keywords you are thinking of before publishing the content. It’s also standard practice to create a sitemap or auto sitemap plugin which “pings” the search engines, letting them know that new longtail keyword content has hit the Internet. Remember, although search engines are vastly improving in technology, they still cannot find “hidden” pages that have no internal links. Besides that, external links make the page popular. So make sure you have plenty of links and give some thought to make click worthy META information.

Written by Olga Lonel: Olga Ionel is an original writer at ThemeFuse.com – a leader in the  wordpress themes industry. She is fond of sharing SEO and blogging ideas.