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Thursday, June 8, 2006

Annoying Sloppiness

Posted by @ 6:09 am

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before – the start of ineedhits’ 10th birthday celebrations is coming up soon, and we’re preparing to celebrate it in style!

I was checking out the websites of local promotional companies to get some prices on promotional products and merchandise, but the search engine marketer in me couldn’t help but scrutinize the meta tags of one of the sites I visited.

What caught my eye was that site had very poor title tags – they consisted only of the company name and a one or two word reference to a specific page. Whoever came up with those title tags certainly had neither search engine friendliness nor customer appeal in mind.

So I looked at their code and found the following:

How Not to Do Meta TagsObviously the promotions company had outsourced their web development to a third party, who had provided them with not a bad design, a searchable product database, contact forms and a bunch of static pages. And, by the looks of it, the web development firm had also planned on at least utilizing the description and keyword meta tags in some form. However, they obviously never got around to replacing the placeholder text in their website code template with relevant descriptions and keywords for the promotions site while they were working on it.

I have no idea whether someone decided to cut the scope of the project or whether they simply forgot to optimize the meta tags, but seeing this kind of sloppiness really annoys me.

Probably no one at the promotions company has even noticed that they don’t have good meta tags (or, for that matter, any at all). Maybe someone is wondering why their website isn’t attracting the amount of traffic that the web development company promised they’d get – or maybe the whole website is still so peripheral to their business that they don’t even worry about counting how many visitors they get.

What I do know is that I was certainly using search engines to find their website and their competitors’ websites … and that they could do so much better if their web developers didn’t regard search engine optimization as an afterthought and either did it properly themselves or outsourced it to experts in order to get it right.

Discussion (4 - comments)

I don’t know, Nancy, if you are in a position to help me. The designer of my site disappeared and I am not smart enough to check or even add tags to my site. If you can steer me to someone reliable and inexpensive, who I can work with,I would be most appreciative. Felicia,

By Felicia - June 21, 2006

Hi Felicia,

First of all, there is a basic question that you need to check: Do you have the login details that you need to access your website files on the server they are hosted on? These login details are called “FTP details”. FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol”, which enables you to exchange files over the Internet. If you have the FTP details for your site, you can review and update your website code and meta tags.

Your FTP details consist of two pieces of information – your FTP or host address and your FTP password.

An FTP address looks like a normal website address, but in some cases it uses the prefix “ftp” instead of “www”. Below are some examples of what an FTP address can look like:

If you are unsure about your FTP details (address and password), your best bet is probably to ask your web hosting company for your details.

Once you know you can access and change your website code, you can get someone to review your tags. I’ve had a quick look at your site: You have got title and keyword tags, but the description tags are missing, and your title and keyword tags could be significantly improved from what they are now.

ineedhits offers the Optimizer Kit Plus ( which provides you with an in-depth keyword analysis, code optimization (which includes new title, description and keyword tags) and re-submission of your page to search engines. This service costs $39.95 per page, so you’d pay about $160 for the four pages of your site. You might want to shop around, but ineedhits specializes in very affordable services and I think you will find our price hard to beat.

P.S. Your site would also benefit from more text on your pages (search engines like a lot of text), and you can get the keyword analysis report that you’d get as part of the Optimizer Kit Plus to write some more relevant, keyword rich copy for your site. See this post on why copy is important for your ranking:


By Nancy Hackett - June 22, 2006

What to do?

I have had a web site for approximately 3 months, and still can’t list on a search of key words on Google, however have made huge strides in Yahoo and MSN, not to mention Altavista and Alltheweb.

My page ranking is 4/10, I have done the Meta and Keyword inclusions to my pages, but remain out of sight for Google.

Is there any “Black Hat” techniues applied by competitors, or SEO’s that I can check out on Google or any related sites that can identify what the problem may be?

By Printoutlet - June 28, 2006

I had the same type of problem till I used Google sitemap found here
After creating a XML file and uploading it to the main root dir. Google crawls my site regularly and some of my keywords are now found in Google not sure if it was the sitemap or just Google taking there time I do use highly completive keywords. I am a do it yourselfer SEO and Developer

By Compatible Toner Experts - June 28, 2006

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