For the past month or so, we’ve been using our Wednesday series to talk about the 2 problems that prevent websites from producing significant online sales. The plan is to talk about how to increase traffic and increase conversion rates. So far, we’ve covered keyword research and have started to delve into the basics of search engine optimization. Last Wednesday, we talked about the importance of the title tag and this week, we’re going to discover why the description tag is so crucial.
Despite what you may have heard, the description tag is a vital part of SEO. You may have heard that Google doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on the description tag when they’re deciding how to rank a site in their results. That’s actually true. It plays a very small role. But it’s still very important. Why? Because just like the title tag that we talked about last week, the description tag is used in your Google listing.
When you search for something on Google, you get a page of results that each have a big blue headline, 2 lines of black text and the green website address. The title is pulled from your site for the blue headline and the description is pulled in, used for the 2-line description found in black. Essentially, you have the ability to control what your listing looks like, as long as you make sure that your pages each have a title and description. If you neglect to have a title, it’s likely that your headline will read, “Untitled.” When was the last time that you clicked on a Google listing that said, “Untitled?” Does that look like something you’d want to learn more about? I don’t think so.
You have to do your very best to make sure that your listing is as attractive as possible. It’s a ton of work to get your listing on the first page but if you fail to get the click, you might as well have been on page 10.
While there’s little emphasis placed on the description tag in terms of how your site will be ranked on Google, it can’t hurt to include your keyword phrases in your description, if only because you stand a chance of getting keywords bolded in your Google listing. If your description or title contain the same words that the user entered into their search, Google will help draw attention to your listing by bolding the words that match. That often-overlooked factor can seriously increase your listings click through rate. If you get twice as many people to click on your listing because it has bolded words, that could double your annual sales. How about them apples?
Until next week…