Let’s talk Meta!
Okay seriously, Meta tags, descriptions, and such are buzzing around the web, but how important are they to your SEO? Today I’m going to share a little bit about tags and descriptions and how they differ. I am also going to give you some information on how to write descriptions (after-all, these are what you’re going to want to pay most attention to).
What is a Meta Keyword Tag? This is used to show what keywords that page is targeting. This tag is not visible to the users but to the search engines who read the code for that page. This tag is just a guide for the search engines (it does not appear anywhere but the source code for each page).
What is a Meta Description? A meta description is an HTML and XHTML element that describes your page to search engines. While the perceived (and real) importance of meta data has depreciated, the attribute still plays a significant role in SEO rankings.
Time to decode!
After reading those definitions above, you are probably starting to realize now that Meta Keyword Tags are just not that important. In fact, if you have drawn this conclusion, you’re right. They were at one time important, but no longer serve any purpose or function with SEO. So, for our purposes here, you can disregard them.
Let’s turn our attention to Meta Descriptions. I’d like to share with you 10 tips and bits to help you make the most of them.
10 Tips and Bits about Meta Descriptions
- Whatever you do, remember to use them, they are helpful.
- Never exceed 160 characters in length.
- Bold your keywords and use these in your meta description – it will increase our click through rate.
- If you don’t insert a meta description, don’t despair, search engines will create a short snippet from elements in your page. (Not the best way to go, but if you don’t get to update all your pages, not a total loss either).
- The purpose of your meta description is to draw your readers in, so make sure you use your words wisely. Don’t insert useless extra words that you don’t need.
- Be unique with your content. This will give you the opportunity to offer unique search options for readers.
- Speaking of unique… every page and post on your site should have unique keywords and descriptions, don’t reuse unless it is applicable to the content on the page or post.
- Use keyword tools to find out what people are looking for based on your topics. Once you find keywords, write a post around them and use them throughout, including your meta description.
- Check out this Keyword and Meta Description Presentation on Slide Share
- If you have to make a choice to focus on keywords and posting great content over a meta description my advice, hands down, focus on your content and keywords. Forget the meta description because it’s not as important to SEO.
I’ll be back tomorrow for Day 8 of SEO for Everyone. I’d like to Thank Thaleia Maher of Something 2 Offer for hosting this challenge as well as the other challenge hostesses who are helping to make this event possible. If you are interested in learning more about blogging, boosting your SEO or simply just want to say hi, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
See you tomorrow,