In the past, the meta data that you included in the code of our website played a large part in your search ranking. The search engine spiders used this information to determine what your website was about and then ranked your site accordingly.
Everyone saying they are important is right on the money! The reason they are so important is because search engines read the pages top to bottom, left to right and score terms and phrases towards the top “more important” than terms and phrases at the bottom, so given the fact that all that meta data is at the top of the page it is by default “weighted heavy”. Now the main trick is to make sure you use those same keywords and phrases ON the page, in the text, if you don’t then the meta data is basically useless and can be disregarded by the search engines.
In other words, you can’t just stuff terms in meta data and put a nice image on the page with no text and expect to rank, it simply does not work that way. You must build your pages first, create a keyword rich title and meta data based off the page you built, pulling the terms and phrases right from the content of the page to ensure it matches. This will lead to good ranking providing other factors are in place and that the competition isn’t over 100,000,000 or something crazy like that. That is where the real tricky part comes in, knowing what terms to even go after in the first place! That, however, is a totally different discussion.