The HTML Writers GuildMEMBER
META tags are hidden text elements used primarily by search engines to describe the pages on your Website. When properly written, this information can mean the difference between finding your Website on the first page of a search engine listing – or on the last. Since search engines are how most of your visitors will find you, careful consideration should be given to the development of META tags.

In the table below, you'll find a basic description of the three most significant META tags and what they should include. Please understand that opinions vary widely on the "best" strategy and this is by no means a complete resource on the topic. For more information, check with your favorite search engine.

TAG DESCRIPTION LENGTH
TITLE
The title tag is what will show as a link to your site on most search engine results pages. It should contain the title of your document along with a brief description that includes the most important keywords or phrase from the page. 5 - 7 words
DESCRIPTION
The description tag is what will show as a description of your page on most search engine listings. It should contain a brief summary of your page's contents, making sure to include the words and phrases your target audience will most likely use to find your site. 20 to 40 words
KEYWORDS
The keywords tag does not typically display on search engine listings but is used to index your page along with the "title" and "description" tags. In all of your META tags, care should be taken to include words and phrases that actually appear in the visible text on your page as this will enhance the "relevancy" criteria used by many search engines and improve your ranking. Again, these should be the words and phrases your target audience will most likely use to find you. 20 - 200 words