When considering the Indexing and Positioning priority of web-pages in META search engines, we must understand the importance of Meta tags. Meta tags are present in the <head> section of the HTML document. One of the most important Meta tag is the Meta Description tag. This tag gives the search engines instructions on what the page is all about and how they should treat it. Note that the Keywords Meta tag is not used by Google anymore.
Basic structure of Meta Description tag
<META name=”description” content=”Search engine shows the content of this tag below the title of your site when it appears in the Search Engine results” />
This tag must be present in the <head> section of the HTML Web-Page. As this tag is present in the head section, it is not visible to the normal visitors to your website. Only search engines can read it or you can observe it if you look at the source code of the web-page. Observe that this Tag need not be closed!
The contents in this Tag are included in the Search Engine results description of your web-page. Observe the Screen shot below:
Tips to create Good Meta Description Tags
- Keep the content length below 160 characters.
- Use relevant keywords but keep the sentences meaningful.
- Do not insert unnecessary keywords. Keyword spamming can get your website penalized.
- Create Unique meta descriptions on each page of your site.
- Think what people would search for and then decide the description.
- Avoid crossing the 160 characters content limit.
- Your Most Targeted keywords must be present at the start of the Description content. Keywords with lesser priority must be placed later in the description.
- Use keyword combinations rather than pure repetition.
Now these were the ideal tips for creating good Meta Description tags. It must be understood, that if you don’t create a META description tag for a web-page then the Search Engines try to create it on their own, using the content of your web-page. But, this description can be quite irrelevant too. Also, note that if you cross the 160 character’s limit then Search engines might just cut of the further part of your Description.
Example: Meta description: “This is my homepage. I write about Technology, WordPress, SEO, etc. I love my family and I have a lot of fun with my friends too. I like to talk to strangers and understand them. I am a playful and a jolly person.”
Description in Search engines: “This is my homepage. I write about Technology, WordPress, SEO, etc…..”
Do you observe that the keywords you used in the later part of your description got wasted and were truncated. It sometimes also happens that some important parts of the Description are considered and the others are neglected.
Depending on the keywords, the description in Search Engines could also be: “This is my homepage…. I love my family…fun with my friends too…. I am a playful and a jolly person.”
How I create Meta Description Tags
I use the following practices for creating Meta Tags for my Blog:
- I create Meta tags considering the Search Engine titles of my web-pages. I sometimes repeat the keywords in the Titles into the Meta tags to give more priority to those keywords.
- I don’t create Meta Description tags for very long and explanatory content. I let the search engines decide the important contents of that page.
- I create keyword rich yet human-understandable descriptions of Short content.
- Sometimes, I do create long meta tags with keyword rich sentences, so that the unwanted part of it is truncated by search engine according to the User’s search query. [See the explanation in example above]
- I DO NOT SPAM my Keywords!
Do tell me how you create Meta tags for your web-pages. Do you find any mistakes in my ways, apart from they being non-ideal?