Optimizing Description Meta Tag Using SEO Keywords
Description Meta Tag
Description Meta Tag is a major SEO factor and mixing keywords within Meta description helps to pull more traffic to your website. It’s not only solve the purpose of highlighting your content on SERPs but sometimes also gains attention of average users offline and off the page. Some browsers show the description as extra information when you add the document to your favorites. Point to note that more than 50% of websites are not using the Description Meta Tag properly and they are running behind those who really care about it.
“Description meta tags weren’t being utilized to their full potential in 54% of submitted sites.” – Google’s Search Quality Team
Description Meta Tag is Part of HTML Document
They do play an important role in the success of your document.
Description Meta Tag is an integral part of HTML documents and one of standard metadata names. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has set guidelines for meta tags. Even content management system (CMS) softwares are making it compulsory and web developers are using it increasingly for better representation of websites.
“Although there is no obvious immediate benefit to adding meta descriptions, they do play an important role in the success of your document” — Adding Description
Description Meta Tag is a place where you represent each webpage specifically. It informs about the making of a webpage and purpose of the webpage content. This information never displays when webpage is viewed in a web browser but search engines extract it to display as preview text for each search result. The information is used to display snippets by search engines. This is where SEO writers can target and expect for more.
Even Google Cares About Meta Descriptions
Google’s concern is not Meta description; rather it’s more concerned about the quality of snippets.
This is true that writing a Meta description for each page is not less than pain for most content writers. But if you love Google and you want to be ranked on Google search engine result pages (SERPs), you cannot ignore some handy guidelines that are available on Google Webmaster Blog itself. It can take few extra minutes of yours to create nice intro texts for your webpages but you should still care about the tag because Google still cares about it.
Utilize the Power of Search Result Snippets
“The quality of your snippet can have a direct impact on the chances of your site being clicked” – by Snippets Team
Search Engines don’t necessarily use Meta descriptions for snippets. Google tries to extract most relevant information from different sources to best represent its search results and associated URLs. Even if you don’t create a Meta description at all, the search engine is still capable of creating snippet for your URL whenever it shows up on SERPs.
Google’s concern is not Meta description; rather it’s more concerned about the quality of snippets. This is true that you can not control snippets on SERPs but you can increase the chances of displaying your content (Meta descriptions) for search result snippets. The tip is to write accurate Meta description that is related to source webpage and its content. Never use misleading texts to market your website, instead market your each webpage differently.
Make Your Important Keywords Visible
Search engines try to display snippets in a better way by making search terms appear in bold.
“This could be the crucial bit of information a possible visitor of your site was looking for and the reason for him to click the link.” — Descriptions on SERPs
Meta description has prominent place for keywords chosen by you for your webpage content. The Description Meta Tag offers an opportunity to SEO professionals to include their important keywords in web document. These keywords don’t help you to get better ranking but they are even sometimes more important. A keyword phrase is the term for which user is searching on internet. Search engines display those keywords in bold letters if found within snippet. This link has better chances of getting clicked than those are having no word highlighted.
Let’s say you want to optimize your page for keyword phrase – handcrafted jewelry and accessories. With the implementation of other SEO rules, you should also include this term in Meta description. If you are lucky to be found on SERPs for the same term, you have better chances of showing Meta description for snippet area. Search engines try to display snippets in a better way by making search terms appear in bold. This is how Search engines and Meta descriptions can work together an extra mile for SEO writers.
Google really likes the Description Meta tag. Meta Description is a place where webmasters tell about their websites or webpages to introduce them. Google understands the importance of this information and prefers to display it as snippet along with the associated URL in search results.
Google Understands the Description Meta Tag
Google likes to see accurate Meta Descriptions that should be in accordance with original content of source page.
The very first point to take into consideration is that the Google recognizes the Description Meta Tag. Google considers the information included in this element as a short, concise and good explanation of webpage content. Google reads it and thinks of it as a source of useful information. It even uses the Meta description text for snippet display on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Google lists it in first place among acceptable Meta Tags known to it.
Make Sure That There is Always a Meta Description
Google wants you to write few lines for Description Meta Tag when creating webpages. Description has been set as a standard metadata name by W3.org and also become an important part of HTML document structure. Google follows HTML standards and also expects that every well structured website should follow them strictly. Google says that description should be created accurately for each webpage specifically.
Google Guides You to Write Good Meta Descriptions
“A little extra work on your meta descriptions can go a long way towards showing a relevant snippet in search results. That’s likely to improve the quality and quantity of your user traffic.” — Google Webmaster Blog
Google knows that most of the websites are not using Description Meta Tag properly in their web documents. Google says that it’s important to represent your webpages in your own handwritten sentences. Google likes to see accurate Meta Descriptions that should be in accordance with original content of source page. It’s always a good practice to include quality Meta Descriptions in all your web documents before submitting your website to Google or other web directories. The message is clear – Create good meta descriptions.
An Accurate Meta Description is Important
“This directs them to good results faster and reduces the click-and-backtrack behavior.” — Google Webmaster Blog
Google uses preview snippets to represent URL results on SERPs. Information displayed here for the associated URL gives a clear idea of source webpage to search users. If preview text looks good and searcher finds it useful, he will click to visit the source page. If source page fails to provide correct information, user would leave the page in frustration adding more numbers to bounce rate of website traffic.
Google works very smartly to display search results on its search pages and really cares about the quality of snippets.
This suggests that accurate and relevant preview snippet is important not only for the quality of Google search results but also for the webpage content. You will have more insight in the next section. As Google prefers to pick Meta Description to display it as preview snippet, the accuracy of Meta Description becomes more important and also helps to gain trust and attract more visitors.
Search Result Snippets are not Meta Descriptions
“We do sometimes use the description meta tag as the text for our search results snippets” — as Posted by Matt Cutts
Google works very smartly to display search results on its search pages and really cares about the quality of snippets. Here is an excerpt from Google’s blog post –
If description meta tags are absent or not relevant, a snippet will be chosen from the page’s content automatically. If you’re lucky and have a good snippet auto-selected, keep in mind that search engines vary in the way that they select snippets, so it’s better to keep things consistent and relevant by writing a solid description meta tag.
A small test is worth noted here. I randomly chose a searh term – most beautiful beach for travellers, and made a Google search.
I picked up second result from the first page to show you that preview text in the snippet is not from the Meta Description but starting matter of main content. Meta Description that is available on the document — When sea meets sand, beautiful things can happen. This Meta information does not seem accurate to Google when you are actually talking about beautiful beaches for travellers.
A well written Meta Description increases the chances of its display as snippet text on search result pages.
Your Meta Description represents your webpage but Google represents your pages on its SERPs differently. To create most convincing version of snippet, Google relies on its own algorithm that tries to extract most relevant sentences from webpage content. It can display first line of your Meta Description, first line of webpage content or unpredictable lines from any one of these sources. As preview texts of snippets change on SERPs for different keyword terms, search result snippets are not always meta descriptions.
Google Doesn’t Use the Description Meta Tag in Web Ranking.
“While accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t affect your ranking within search results.” — Google Webmaster Blog
Google is concerned about Description Meta tag and it does use the information included in the element for better understanding of associated webpage and its content. However, a well planned write up with inciting words could make great marketing content for Description Meta Tag. But that doesn’t help to determine the quality of source page content, nor does it establish the usefulness of available information on source page for visitors. People sometimes use bad practices to represent their content falsely by including misleading texts or stuffing repeated/duplicate keywords in an intention to provoke search users to click upon the associated URL. Google cares about accurate and relevant meta descriptions but Description Meta Tag is never a web ranking factor.