Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Defining meta headers for a page

From: Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques

Video: Defining meta headers for a page

META tags are pieces of information hidden in the header of every web page that provide added information to the browser. The META tags are hidden from the regular browser window but are used both by browsers and search engines to understand and display additional information about your page. For Accessibility and SEO, there are two very important Meta tags you should always focus on, Title and Description. The Title tag provides the title for the page. When I say Title, I don't mean the heading or the first heading of the page; I literally mean the title of the page.

Defining meta headers for a page

META tags are pieces of information hidden in the header of every web page that provide added information to the browser. The META tags are hidden from the regular browser window but are used both by browsers and search engines to understand and display additional information about your page. For Accessibility and SEO, there are two very important Meta tags you should always focus on, Title and Description. The Title tag provides the title for the page. When I say Title, I don't mean the heading or the first heading of the page; I literally mean the title of the page.

Each page has a name or a title. This title can be different from the title of the article itself. For instance, you could make an article called About me, whereas the title would be About Morten Rand- Hendriksen, so it's more specific. The accessibility of a Title tag is that it sets the page title before any other content, so the first thing that's read by a text-to-speech browser is the title. It also adds the title to the browser window or tab, so you will notice at the very top of your window you always see a name that displays the name of the page.

So you see at the top of your window or on your tab, you will always see text describing that page. This is the Title tag. The SEO benefit is similar. The title tag defines the index title for the page in search engines. That means, like my example before, if I have a title tag that says About Me, it doesn't really tell the search engine anything about this page, whereas, if it says, About Morten Rand-Hendriksen, anyone searching for information about Morten Rand-Hendriksen will see that result appear.

That means if you customize your title tag right, you can target specific keywords or queries in search engines with your title. Adding a title tag to your page is pretty straightforward. The title tag is literally a tag, so it starts with tag title and ends with /title. Also, if you are using a web developer application like Dreamweaver or Expression Web, the title tag is automatically added to every page. Unless you define it though, the title that's added by the application will usually be something like Untitled Page or Untitled 1.

In addition to the title tag, we have a meta tag for description. The description meta tag provides a short description of the content on the page. When I say short, I truly mean it. This is because search engines use this to index the page and if you put in a description that's longer than 160 characters, then the rest of that description will not be indexed, so try to keep it really short. The accessibility benefit of the description tag only kicks in if someone is using a text-to-speech browser or a phone browser or something else that actually picks up the description.

The main benefit of the description tag is in search engines and social networks. When you add a description tag, it shows up in the index of the search engine and also shows up when people share that page on social media. The meta tag itself can contain many different variables. In this case you want to use a description variable. So to add it, you first add the meta tag itself. You then add the name of the meta tag, in this case description, and then you add the content of the description before closing the meta tag. We can now add a title and a description tag to our page.

First, let's open our example project in our browser. You will see at the very top here on my Tab, it says Untitled 1, and if I go in and activate Firebug and look at the head component, I'll find title down here and title says, Untitled 1. So this is what I need to change. So I will open index in Notepad, and here at the very top on line 8, I find the title tag that currently says Untitled 1. So I will change this to Hansel, and because this is machine code, I can't simply use the ampersand sign, I have to put in the code for the ampersand sign, which is & for ampersand, and semicolon(;), Petal Flower Company.

Now if I want to target specific keywords or something in my Title tag, I can now add extra information. You shouldn't really cluster this with keywords, but you can write a very specific description. In this case, I'll say, Selling flowers and plants in Ventura, CA. So now if someone searches for flowers and plants in Ventura, California, they are likely to find this page. That's the title tag. I also want to add the description tag. So I will go over here and create a new line and then I will say meta and give the meta the name description, and then I can put in content.

So here I can write a longer description of what Hansel & Petal Flower Company is all about. I will say, Hansel... to themselves. I just have to end my meta tag, and now I can save the page, reload it in my browser, and we will see two things happen. First off, you see the title in my tab here has changed to Hansel & Petal Flower Company and if I right-click and go View Page info, you will see we now have a description: Hansel & Petal Flower Company is a premier flower company, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

More importantly, if I go to SenSEO now, and go Show Components, you will see we now have both a Title and a Meta-Description. You can take this further by adding Meta-Keywords. That would be done the same way. You go in and then you say, meta name keywords, and then content, and then you can add keywords, and then you can add keywords as well. The reason why I haven't added keywords in this case is because keywords are becoming less and less important. Search engines have discovered that people use keywords to target specific searches and often cluster their pages with extra keywords that have nothing to do with what's on the page.

So therefore, they are not indexing. That means what's important to you is the title and the meta name description. Adding title and description tags to your site puts you in control of what the search engines and social networks see when they only want the gist of what's on your page. Doing it right means you share important information about your page in a simple and concise way.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques
Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques

30 video lessons · 11236 viewers

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 59s
  2. 8m 16s
    1. Accessibility and SEO: A primer
      4m 58s
    2. Understanding the benefits of accessibility and SEO
      3m 18s
  3. 11m 26s
    1. Experiencing an inaccessible web site
      6m 4s
    2. Experiencing an accessible web site
      5m 22s
  4. 16m 28s
    1. Evaluating screen readers for Windows and Mac
      5m 56s
    2. Installing browser development tools
      4m 8s
    3. Pretending to be a screen reader
      6m 24s
  5. 7m 40s
    1. Installing SEO tools
      2m 30s
    2. Understanding how search engines search a page
      2m 45s
    3. Comparing sites that are SEO-friendly with ones that are SEO-unfriendly
      2m 25s
  6. 44m 6s
    1. Defining a language for a page
      5m 4s
    2. Defining meta headers for a page
      6m 10s
    3. Creating better semantic markup with HTML5
      3m 13s
    4. Using and hiding section headings
      4m 56s
    5. Creating content hierarchies with heading tags
      5m 29s
    6. Emphasizing content in paragraphs
      5m 36s
    7. Making accessible block quotes
      3m 22s
    8. Using some new HTML5 tags
      4m 47s
    9. Using ordered and unordered lists
      5m 29s
  7. 22m 17s
    1. Marking up links properly
      6m 48s
    2. Marking up images
      7m 23s
    3. Creating a proper image header with CSS
      8m 6s
  8. 32m 43s
    1. Creating an accessible menu with an unordered list
      6m 16s
    2. Creating and hiding nav headings and skip navigation links
      6m 59s
    3. Giving navigation links proper focus with style
      4m 39s
    4. Creating an accessible drop-down menu
      10m 46s
    5. Scrapping drop-down menus for better options
      4m 3s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Next steps
      3m 44s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.