In my article on How to Use Meta Tags In Search Engine Promotion, I wrote about the usefulness of using certain meta tags on your website, particularly the Meta Description tag, which you can use to suggest a snippet of text that search engines can use to display in the search results, and the Meta Robots tag, which can be handy to control search engine robots behaviour on your web page. This tutorial describes how you can add such tags to your web pages using Dreamweaver.
I will assume here that you already know how to use Dreamweaver to create your website. If this is not true, please see my tutorial on how to design your website with Dreamweaver. In fact, if you are completely new to creating websites, you should probably start with How to Design / Create a Website: The Beginner's A-Z Guide.
Another assumption I will make is that you know the text to include for the meta tags and what they are for. If your knowledge of this is shaky, please read my meta tags primer for the missing information. The page you are currently reading only deals with the practical steps of how to add meta tags to your website.
Adding meta tags with Dreamweaver is a fairly simple procedure, since the editor actually provides a built-in facility to do this.
In the paragraphs that follow, I shall use shorthand notations like "select 'Insert | HTML' from the menu". This means that you are to click the "Insert" menu in Dreamweaver, followed by the "HTML" item on the menu that appears.
To add a META description tag to your web page, open your web page in the editor. Then select "Insert | HTML | Head Tags | Description" from the menu.
A dialog box will appear. Enter the description for your web page in the space provided. Click the "OK" button when you're through with it.
If you want to add the mostly useless META keywords tag, select "Insert | HTML | Head Tags | Keywords" from the menu.
In the space provided in the dialog box, enter your comma-delimited list of keywords. As mentioned in both my general META tags tutorial and the more specific Keywords Meta Tag discussion, it's probably a waste of time to do this.
Dreamweaver also allows you to add other Meta tags, even those that it doesn't know anything about, like the Robots meta tag. To do this, select "Insert | HTML | Head Tags | Meta" from the menu.
A dialog box appears, allowing you to add any Meta tag that takes the "name", "http-equiv" and "content" attributes. For the robots meta tag, make sure that the Attribute box is set to "Name" and enter "robots" (without the quotes and in the plural) in the Value box. In the space provided for Content, enter the robot control directives you want there.
Since you can add arbitrary meta tags using the editor's built-in facility, you can also suppress the IE 6 image toolbar which many people find irritating. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read more about it in my article Disabling the Image Toolbar in IE 6 for Your Site.
Select "Insert | HTML | Head Tags | Meta" from the menu.
In the Attribute drop down box, select "http-equiv". Then type "imagetoolbar" (without the quotes) into the Value box. The Content box should contain the word "no" (again, without the quotes).
The "author" meta tag merely identifies the author of a page. The "copyright" meta tag allows you to place a copyright notice into your page. They are not actually used by search engines, displayed by the web browser or anything else for that matter, as far as I know. If you want to include them, select "Insert | HTML | Head Tags | Meta" from the menu.
To set the author, make sure that "Name" is selected in the Attribute box and type "author" into the space for Value. Then enter your name into the Content box.
To include a copyright notice, type "copyright" instead of "author", and put your copyright notice into the Content box.
If you already include a printed copyright notice on your web page, these tags are mostly unnecessary but they are there if you want to use them.
title tag of a web page is added differently. Although it is often regarded as part of a web page's meta data,
it is not encoded using a literal
META tag on the page, but has its own specialised HTML tag. If you have used my
you will probably have already added a title tag to your web pages. However, I'm including this information here for the
sake of completeness, as well as for those who are reading this article mainly to get this particular item of information.
There are at least a couple of ways to add or change the TITLE tag of your page. Here's one. Select "Modify | Page Properties" from the menu. A dialog box appears. In the "Category" list on the left side, select the "Title/Encoding" item. Insert your title into the "Title:" field.
As explained in my articles on
creating a search engine friendly
website and ranking well in Google, the
title tag is not the same as the text displayed in the main area of your web browser. Please see those articles
for more information if you don't already know what a title tag is for.
That's it. The meta tags that you have added to your web page will not be visible on your page itself, although things like the title tag will be recognised by the web browser and displayed in its title bar.
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