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Managing Pages - Part 3

Posted: 25-Oct-2012
Category: Using PyroCMS

Part 3 of the series of Managing Pages reviews meta data, how it is used in your web pages and how it is used by search engines.

In the screenshot below, you will see that the Meta data tab has been selected while creating or editing a page as we did in Part 1 of this series.

Meta screenshot 1

In this tab, there are three fields shown for data entry. These are

  • Meta title - Should always be filled in.
  • Meta keywords - optional
  • Meta description - Should always be completed.

So, what is the point of these ? Essentially this is where you should craft content that will be strongly associated with key elements of your business and the words used are targetted to what you believe, search engines users may use whan searching for a product or service that your business offers.

Lets take a simple example where a search engine user is looking for chocolates in the Hunter Valley and they have used the search term "hunter valley chocolates". This search has yeilded the result shown below.

Search result for HVC

Some key points to note here:

  • The search for hunter valley chocolates yeilds a number of results from different websites, all with the words used in the search term highlighted in bold text.
  • The first line in the first result is an extract from the home page's meta title. This line is also a link to the page on the webite. 
  • The short paragraph under the first line in the first result is an extract from the home page's meta description.
  • The sequence of the words is important in relation to the actual result from the search.
  • If the words used in the search term do not appear in the meta title of meta description then the search engine will look for them in the sequence entered in page content.
  • All the major search engines no longer reference the meta keywords in a website, so there is not much point in using them.

Ideally, you would have a pretty good idea of what you should be including in your meta titles meta descriptions and body content for each page. This activity is often referred to as Search Engine Optimisation. There are many references for this on the web. One of the best I have discovered is the Tourism e-Kit published by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse. This publication includes a comprehensive chapter on Search Engine Optimisation and can be found on the ATDW website. The chapters are divided into modules and each module can be downloaded as a pdf file, or can be viewed in an online tutorial format.

Coming up next, we will be looking at how to manage your website's navigation menu.