Posts Tagged ‘description’

Page Title And Description Tags

Friday, January 30th, 2009

The head section of a webpage’s code can contain a vast array of of elements from robots meta tags to author tags and distribution tags.  Most of these are now redundant and only a few can have any effect on search engine ranking.  In fact, many people consider the keywords tag to now be redundant and the only two tags that really make a difference to SEO are the title and description tags, and these are the focus of today’s blog.

The title element is extremely powerful and any changes to it can significantly affect a site’s.  Site owners with a basic understanding of SEO will realise that a keyword is generally required to be included in a page title in order for the page to rank highly in the search engines.  A common mistake is to then assume that in order to maximise exposure, it is helpful to include as many search terms as possible.

In reality, targeting too many terms will spread your SEO efforts too thinly because the search engines will give less weight to each of the words.  Another fact that is not as well known is that the order of the words in the title is important.  The first few words are given the most weight and should contain the most important search term.  Companies who place their name at the beginning of the page title are generally missing a trick.

The description tag is important and should include instances of keywords.  However, this tag is typically displayed in the search engine results pages, so it is vital that it contains a clear and relevant message.  A common mistake is to treat it like a keywords list, stuffing it with key terms at the cost of readability.  Although it will help to ensure keywords are contained within the description, the primary purpose of this tag should be to display an informative and compelling ad to attract potential visitors to your site.

A page’s title and description tags play a significant role in on-page Search engine optimisation.  However, it is all too common to see poorly written tags.  Hopefully, this brief post will shed a bit of light hoping to successfully optimise their own sites.