Posted on September 27th, 2008 in Advice, Customers, Links, Simple, Web Traffic | No Comments »
I’m not really sure why but most HTML description tags are weak. Below are some guesses why people don’t care.
First, some people just don’t understand the meta tag description tag. If you don’t understand something you don’t use it. Second, people assume that the tag is handled automagically by the blogging tool or content management system that they are using every day. Third, people don’t understand the benefits of a well-built description tag.
In this blog entry I’m going to explain some reasons why you want to spend some time crafting excellent meta tag descriptions. A big hint is that a good description tag can drastically increase your changes of search engine success.
Before I explain exactly how to use the description tag for SEO and internet marketing, I encourage you to read about it on the pages below. If you click away, remember to come back here to get some of my best tag secrets. (You do want to know my “spy” technique, right?)
- How to Use HTML Meta Tags (Search Engine Watch)
- Meta Tag Optimization Tips (ClickZ)
- Meta Tags and Usability (Search Engine Land)
There are many other meta tag description articles available. However, most of them ignore the two big tips I’m going to reveal right now.
The first meta tag secret is that you can do easy competitive research just by searching and reading through the search engine result pages (SERPs). You can see the sites, URLs, and descriptions for free. This is the magic I want to make sure you understand.
The descriptions you see on the SERPs are what the highest ranked sites are using to get Google love. It’s incredibly easy to use the words and phrases you see on the search results page. Those descriptions come directly from the HTML description tag. With this information you can easily craft incredible HTML description tags too.
But there’s more to this. The descriptions you see also give you a good idea about what keywords might be valuable and worth your research. To be very specific, you can find related words to your “core” keywords. These related words can also funnel into your latent semantic indexing plan. This is a $1,000 SEO tip that I have only shared a few times.
There’s another subtle reason why you want to have a well-crafted meta tag description. When people search for something using a keyword and they find your site on the SERPs, they will use that description to understand your site. It’s a branding thing.
Furthermore, many people first get “caught” by your title but then they read your description to make the final choice to click. Of course not all people are like this — but our research indicates that many people do behave this way. So, you want good usability of your HTML description tag.
The bottom line is that you can significantly increase your organic web traffic with smart HTML description tags. They aren’t a “magic cure” or “silver bullet” for SEO but they can give you a special edge.
If you enjoyed this blog entry, I encourage to read these popular articles right now: