The importance of Meta Descriptions Tags has changed over time. Initially it was felt that they helped a web page rank highly for the keywords within the tag, but there’s general agreement in the SEO world today that this is no longer the case. However, do not dismiss the importance of the tag because it still plays a vital role in the rankings of your website and it is something which must be considered by all SEO professionals. In this article I will discuss the Meta Description Tags and some of the misconceptions around its use.
What is the Meta Description Tag?
The meta description tag is a part of the overall HTML source code on a web page. When the web page is displayed as it is being viewed through a browser the meta description tag will be displayed at the very top of the window and will be displayed beneath the title tags in the HTML code.
The meta description tag is oftentimes used as the small commercial ad that is displayed across the top of the website window in the search engine listings. Many SEO experts have recommendations published on the use of specific key phrase interpretation that suggest that it should be used as one would use an ad in a magazine. The meta description is not a keyword phrase and so it is able to comprise 200 characters or less. It is able to exceed the length of Title and Meta tags that would typically be in the range of 150-160 characters.
However it is important to also remember that although the meta description is a small brief description of the web page it must still be able to entice visitors to visit the web site. It is therefore important that there is plenty of text on the page to catch visitors attention. Images and hype filled sales text with key terms within quotes have become bad for business.
Title tags can be used within the HTML of the page they are used by the browser to provide a description of the page and is used by the search engines as the link to the web site.
Content: Title tags and Meta Tags
The content of a web page is important both for the search engines and website visitors. Large companies specialise in one particular field only, spending thousands of man hours to develop fine-tuned content. Small companies on the other hand can improve their odds of being found by visitors by taking advantage of a few commonly overlooked aspects of web site content.
As already mentioned the title tags should be used to introduce the website to the world. There are other meta tags such as the keywords and description tags that are used by the search engines and used to provide further description of the content on the web page.
Search engines frequently update their database pages and websites with new information. They attempt to provide current content to the search engines. In doing this they follow a link from the search engine databases to the websites they are searching. This ensures their results are just as up to date as possible. It is often updated hours or days after being keyed in by a user.
The meta keyword tag is often forgotten by many people when keying in their website. It is often logical to assume that placing a list of keywords in the meta tag will automatically key in the same keywords when they visit the website. However this is not the case. The meta keyword tags are for that search engine to see what keywords are on the web page and rank them based on relevancy.
Search engines look to your title tags and your meta tags to find out about your web site and what it offers. It is often the case that the title tags will be the main determinant in whether the web site is found by visitors or not. Visitors will find your site naturally if your title tags are relevant to your website.
The meta description will be a list of keywords that describe the web page in well concise and clear terms. The keywords should be used in a way that makes sense to human readers.
Humans read the title and the description tags to help them decide on whether they have located the web page that meets their interest. If the title and description tags are crafted properly they will assist you in better positioning on search engine results.
Thus there are many meta tags that can be effectively used on your web site to attract search engine traffic. All that is required is some knowledge of how search engines work and a basic understanding of the criteria that they consider to be on point with their search results. To generate search engine traffic is not a contemplating process, in fact search engine optimisation should be considered as an active process.