Meta Tags (keywords, descriptions, etc.)

Snap! offers all the necessary meta tags, especially the tags that are important for SEO1. The following describes the three meta tags main areas. There is a brief outline:

  1. Basic meta tags

Basic meta tags include the one meta tag that you always hear about: keywords. Snap! offers two means to enter keywords: (a) an input area to enter the keywords manually; (b) a taxonomy of tags that are automatically transformed in keywords.

The other basic meta tags that are important are: a page abstract, a description and a copyright.

Snap! also offers some more meta tags that are generally less important but may be of interest to you. For example, the author of an article can be mentioned using the Author meta tag.

It is also possible to define a default value which means that you won't have to manually enter your copyright on each page. For example, the copyright meta tag is most often setup for the entire website (i.e. © 2011 by Made to Order Software Corporation.)

  1. Advanced meta tags

Snap! actually offers many meta tags. The advanced meta tags are really only necessary on advanced websites. It will generally not add much of anything to your website to use them. For example, on a website describing your vacation all over the world, you might want to include the location meta tags. By default no location is offered in a message. With the location meta tags, you can enter the longitude and latitude. We also offer an extension to enter a complete address, a description of the area and a few other similar parameters.

  1. Automatic meta tags

Snap! automatically fills a certain number of meta tags for you. This makes your life a lot simpler and ensures a good set of meta tags. Among the automatic meta tags are the canonical URL to each one of your pages, the content type of the page (text/UTF-8), the author of the page, and when available a short URL.

As you grow the number of features on your Snap! website, so does the number of automatic meta tags.

Snap! Meta Tag: Description

The Snap! system includes the Description Meta Tag.

The description appears as a text area where you can enter a few sentences representing the resume of your page. This is used in 2 different places:

1) In search engines when a result is shown about that one page, the search engine may decide to show your description instead of the content of the page itself;

2) When your page is pinged and the received decides to show your page, it may either pick the page teaser or the description.

When writing with SEO in mind, you want to remember that the description should not include the question and answer of your post. If you give away the answer, why would I click on the link to get to the full article?

To access the description of a page click on the "Meta tag" field set while editing the page then enter the description in the field of that name.

Snap! Meta Tag: Keywords

In general, large search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, do not take your keywords in account. At least, so they say. Yet, most SEO expert will tell you that including keywords on your pages is a very important idea. The main reason why is that those words are viewed as words being highlighted.

To make an analogy: by adding keywords in the Snap! Keyword Meta Data you make all those keywords bold face.

Keywords are written one after another and separated by commas.

For example, this very page can use the following keywords: keywords, meta data, Snap!, SEO

Note that in most cases keywords are entered in lowercase unless they represent an invariant name such as Snap! in our example, or an abbreviation usually written in uppercase, such as SEO in our example.

Keywords can be multiple words, as shown in our example: meta data. It should not be a sentence, however.

Snap! also offers the option to enter tags on a page. These tags can then be added to the Keyword Meta Data field. When used along the Automatic Add Terms feature, it is very powerful since the most used words automatically become your page keywords.

Thus, this meta tag can either be used manually or as the automatic keywords gatherer.

Snap! Meta Tag: Page Title

The Meta Tag support by the Snap! system includes the Page Title Meta Tag.

In generally, this option is not necessary because the <title> tag is already present on all pages. However, the title meta tag is different.

The <title> tag is defined as:

  • The title of the page1
  • A vertical bar (|) character
  • The name of your website2

In comparison, the Page Title Meta Tag only includes the title of the page (first bullet point.)

The title is automatically added to your meta tags when the dc.title meta tag is turned on.

  • 1. The title is what you enter in the Title box when creating/editing a page.
  • 2. When we create your website, we generate a default name. Once your website is ready, you should first go to your Site Information page to edit the name of your website to your liking.

Snap! Meta Tag: Special Pages

Most websites will have a certain number of special pages. For example, the default front page does not offer an "Edit" link since the page is automatically generated from the latest 10 posts. That page cannot be assigned meta tags by editing the page, instead you need to go to the administrative screens of the Meta Tags extension.

Click on the Admin tab of your Toolbar, then click on Settings.

In the list of settings, look for Meta tags under Content management. (Admin » Settings » Content Management » Meta tags) Click on it to enter the Meta tags administration screen.

At the top you see a set of tabs, click on Custom Pages Meta Tags.

That page lists all the pages that you already customized. Click the edit link to modify the Meta tags on those pages.

To add new pages, use Add tab at the top. This brings you to the Meta tags editor. The following are the different entries you want to fill:

  • Enter a name that makes sense to you (usually the title of the page you're editing,)
  • Enter the path to your page1,
  • Ignore the weight unless you use the asterisk (*) in your paths,
  • The other fields are the same as what you otherwise see on your pages, fill them you otherwise would for that one page.

Future versions may include an easy link on all pages so one can edit the Meta tags without having to go to the administration screen.

  • 1. Note that you can actually enter multiple paths. Generally this is not a good idea because Google doesn't like it when you define the exact same title, description, keywords on different pages.