How to Write Good Meta Tag Descriptions

Using the meta data fields to your advantage

In WordPress & Joomla! you will find the fields I am talking about under the Meta data Information tab.  If you don’t have the patch installed you will not see the HTML Title field, the Copy right field, or the Google settings field, and the Robots meta tag field will not have a drop-down list.

Writing good meta tag descriptions

The HTML Title will be shown in the title bar of your browser and is used by the search engines. Make the best title you can and place it in the HTML Title field.

The META tag description is the place to write a small advertisement for your page. If done correctly it will show up under the title in the search engine results pages. The best way to write a description is to write it like an excerpt of the content of your article using the same keywords that you have used in your HTML Title.

The best time to write this is right after you have written the article. The article is fresh in your mind and you can write the description in less than five minutes. The best placement of your keywords in the description is at the beginning of your excerpt. Don’t write long descriptions as they will be cut short by the search engines. Keep them short and sweet. You have only one second to get the click you want, make sure you get it! Writing good descriptions will help you get that click, even if you are not number one in Google.

How to use the Keywords field

The keyword field was used in the early days of the search engines to help get rankings. You just needed to stuff that field by repeating your keywords over and over again to get good rankings, even in Google. That was not the actual intention of that field, and search engines eventually started to give less importance to it.

Some search engines don’t even use it now, and most give lesser importance to it. You can even get penalized for overuse of keywords in that field. Search engines don’t like such keyword stuffing and will look at it as spamming. The best use of this field is to put in the most relevant keywords that are also used in the content of your page. Don’t choose more than five to ten words to put in there. Whether you want them to be separated by a comma or not is your choice. I haven’t found any difference between the two options.

The page we looked at earlier is now done, with some images added and the paragraph introduction headers displayed in bold. The overall view of ‘the page is a lot more readable now and with the proper use of images (see this in my previous article), we even have the possibility to rank better for the keywords in the page.

In the backend you can also changed the HTML Title, added a META tag description, and some META tag keywords.

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