You've probably been to parties, conventions or conferences where you meet tons of new people. If you're like me, you might end up forgetting most of their names. But there are those who stand out--the ones who told a funny joke, had a connection with something you also are vested in, etc. In the world of SEO, you want your website to be one of those who "stand out" after the introduction.
Last week we talked about making that strong first impression with your title tag. But after the first impression...you've got to give users and Search Engines something to set you apart. This is where your description meta tag comes in. It's a wide-open opportunity for you to give one or two sentences about the page, fully utilizing your keywords. Make it sound natural (this isn't just a list of words). It should be what you would actually say to someone when describing the page.
Basically, this meta tag is what Search Engines see after looking at your title tag and it's what users see after performing a search. When you go to Google and do a query, you'll see the results in a certain form. The title is in blue (clickable and right next to the number). Generally, the desertion tag is what's next. It provides a snapshot of the page you are about to click on, giving you more reason to select a specific site over another search result.
When you do not enter a description tag, the information is pulled randomly (well, as randomly as a controlled process is from Google). Each time that a description tag is not utilized it's a missed opportunity to gain more credibility by using keywords, proper descriptions, providing context of content and ensuring qualified traffic.
If you're wondering where to start entering descriptions first...begin on your homepage. Then target all your top landing pages. Search Engine Optimization is an on-going process. We know you don't have endless time and energy to invest. All you need to do is take small steps every day to see results. (and...to be remembered after the introduction!).
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