We wanted to clear the air about description tag usage on a website. All too often we run into people with outdated or incomplete knowledge of this very basic subject all the while totally unaware of this fact. Could this be damaging to your website’s performance? You betcha.
<TITLE> Tag: This is THE most important aspect of a page in terms on on-site SEO. The other days I spoke to someone who claimed his site had already been optimized by another company and his <TITLE> tag was still his business name.
<META NAME="Description"> Tag: This tag won’t really help your rank anymore – but written properly will definitely help you get more clicks.
<META NAME="Keywords"> Tag: Useless. These tags will do absolutely nothing for your search engine ranking. We feel you can ignore them completely.
Video Meta Tags: These are now extremely important if you use video on your site. These tags are very similar to standard META tags. The only difference is that the CONTENT portion of the tag itself also has the word “video:”. Therefore, <META NAME="Description" CONTENT="Video: Your descriptive sentence or two goes here.">. In the case of Youtube.com (54% of video traffic) the title of the video becomes the TITLE tag and the description becomes the META description tag.
As we were saying before the META description won’t improve your ranking but they are displayed in the SERP (search engine results page) and most people read them before clicking on a result. Don’t you? So the trick is really writing these tags so that people read them and click on your listing.
- You only have about 200 characters – use them all – and tell your reader what you want them to know.
- Good idea to place a good key-term in there because the major search engines bold that term.
- Use as few words as possible – longer words can be easier to read quickly.
- If you need phone calls – put your phone number in there.
- Do not put your URL in there! Do we have to explain why?
- DO NOT USE ALL CAPS BECAUSE PEOPLE SEEM TO REALLY HATE WHEN YOU DO THAT. People quickly read and often the brain actually uses the shapes of the words to interpret them quickly – caps force the brain to slow down.
- If you have established a brand – make sure it is in the description.
- Don’t use a lot of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks silly – takes up valuable characters.
- You can use some unusual HTML symbols in there to draw attention. Don’t worry – Google is already ignoring this tag. Keep your character limit in mind.