Better meta tag optimization leads to better search engine optimization (SEO) results.
Meta tag optimization on your blog or website is a fundamental component of basic on page SEO, and optimizing this data will increase the likelihood of ranking higher on search engine search results for your targeted keywords.
For static HTML websites, getting the meta data right is an easy task because each web page within a website is a stand-alone HTML document or file, which means that the home page is its own independent file as well. But can the same be said for a blog? I am afraid not.
Each individual post maybe a file of its own, but because of the background coding infrastructure of most blogs, getting the meta data right for the overall blog itself can be challenging. When I say the overall blog, I mean your blog as one complete and stand-alone entity.
The home page of a website defines the entire website’s concept or theme. The webmaster customizes the meta tags on a website’s home page based on the entire website’s main concept keyword around which the website revolves.
Similarly, a blog too has an overall purpose. For example, this blog’s title is the Extra Money Blog, and its purpose is to help successful professionals get more out of life through discussions around entrepreneurship, blogging, Internet marketing, career and personal finance.
Have a look at the meta tag optimization on this blog:
Notice that the meta tags are relevant to what this blog stands for. Unfortunately, this kind of meta tag optimization is not easily achievable in a standard wordpress blog / theme, not without additional coding at least.
To further clarify this point, a website has a distinct home page (the index.html) file, whereas a blog doesn’t really have a dedicated home page per se. Most blogs are meant to be live, dynamic websites where the home page, or landing page changes depending on the most recent blog post.
This presents an interesting challenge from an SEO perspective. Because a blog does not really have a dedicated home page, how is one to optimize the meta tags on a blog’s home page? You can’t work on something that doesn’t exist. This assumes that your blog’s home page is not a static page.
I talked about the importance of getting your website’s meta data right in my post on how to optimize blog posts and webpages. Many readers have since then emailed me asking how they can optimize their blog’s meta tags. The answer is not a straightforward one, but there is a solution.
In a “regular” WordPress blog, the meta data on the “home page” reflects the meta data of the post that is currently live. When the blogger publishes a new post the following day, the meta data changes. So even if a new visitor was to land on the “home page” (the main URL) of the blog, it is the current post’s meta data which is reflected behind the scenes as the overall blog’s meta data, therefore sending such signals to search engines.
This meta tag optimization structure would be perfectly fine for static blogs, or wordpress sites that are meant to be websites and not blogs. But for dynamic blogs, the limitation precludes you from optimizing the meta data for your overall blog (without additional coding at least).
Thanks to the Thesis WordPress theme, one can easily create separation between the home page meta data and that of the current blog post.
In Thesis, each blog post you write gives you the opportunity to specify the post’s meta tags. Here is what the input section looks like within the Thesis dashboard:
In addition, there is a separate area within the main dashboard where you can specify the meta tags for your blog in its entirety. Here is how the input section looks like in the Thesis dashboard in the “Page Options” section:
Now see what this does. Here is what the specific post looks like when indexed in search engine listings:
Here is what the overall blog looks like when indexed in search engine listings:
You might be thinking that you can simply add an SEO plugin and accomplish this functionality in your blog? If so, you are correct in that you can optimize individual posts. However, this still doesn’t give you the opportunity to optimize your overall blog’s homepage with the main (thematic) meta data.
A big component of how a blog is able to sustain a high organic ranking in search results is the ability to perform meta tag optimization with keywords specific to the blog’s overall theme or topic. In my opinion, you are losing out on significant leverage if you don’t have your blog’s functionality set up this way.
You don’t have to have Thesis to effectively implement the meta tag information that will propel your blog higher on search engine listings. Coding tweaks can be made to any other theme to achieve the same results. However, that is not my personal preference.
Unless you are an expert coder, tweaking the coding just further convolutes the HTML code in the background, which hurts from an SEO perspective and makes it more difficult for search engine spiders to crawl your website smoothly. It is something that I wouldn’t dare attempt myself.
Personally, I prefer to go the cleaner, easier and more streamlined route. I am also a big fan of ease of implementation and use. I am not a programmer, I am an entrepreneur, and I want to work on what I enjoy and do best, which is my business and definitely not tweaking code.
Sure I can hire a developer to make the tweaks, but it takes time to find the right resource and then pay them. Might as well work with a theme that has everything built into it from the get go for just as much, if not more economically from a cost perspective. Not to mention the time wasted researching, implementing, testing and tweaking.
The Thesis WordPress theme is by far the best blog theme I have come across in terms of flexibility, ease of use, SEO-ability, user support and most importantly functionality. If you’d like to learn how to get your blog or website to rank higher on search engines, which involves the other components of effective SEO, read my post on how to fully optimize your web pages and blog post.
Readers: If you are a Thesis user, what do you think about the meta tag functionality? Are you using it to your advantage? If you are not a Thesis user, how are you getting around this limitation and achieving meta tag optimization on your “home page” and then for individual pages and posts?Previous: Mind Hack Strategies for More Productivity & Better Results