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When creating your title and description tag, pretend that you're creating a classified ad. That's basically what you're doing. You title tag is your headline. You want to gain your viewer's attention as he's scanning page and interest him to read further. Your description should make him feel that he has something to gain from visiting your site.
Your description tag looks like this:
In your keyword tag, you want to list your main keywords people will use to find your page. Since some search engines are case sensitive, you might also want add your keywords in caps and maybe even some spelling mistakes some people might make when searching for your site.
Here is what your keyword tag will look like:
It is disputable whether it's better to separate your keywords with commas or to just leave a space between words.
Although meta tags help position your page, they won't determine success or failure of a top 20 ranking. Some search engines don't even support meta tags. That's why it's important to use your keywords in certain areas of your page.
It usually helps to have a keyword place in a heading tag at top of page. You also want to use your keywords in first few lines of first paragraph. A good amount of weight is usually placed here in determining your ranking. These first few lines are usually what are displayed as your description, so you also want to compel reader to stay at your site.
The determinations of search engine rankings are constantly changing. Since algorithms are hard figure out, software is usually helpful. The three biggest I know of are "Web Position," "Position Agent" and "GRKda GRSoftware Keyword Density Analyzer."
Since this article only focused on meta tags, here are some sites that will give you more detailed information on search engine placement:
You may also want to seek help from some experts. Here are a couple of cool search engine forums:
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