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Use Web Page Descriptions to Increase Your Search Engine Rankings

In addition to the title tag some search engines will display your meta description tags in the search engine results pages. Google doesn't, but other engines such as AltaVista, Inktomi (supplies secondary search results on MSN and may show up on YAHOO! as well), and FAST do. If you have unique titles on all your web pages and the copy on your site is in final form, description tags are a next logical step.

You web page description needs to compliment your title tag. It needs to tell your audience why they should click on your listing. What's in it for them? Why should they click? What will they find that sets your site apart?

It's important to have keywords in your description tags, but more important to use the description tag to sell your site to your visitor, to draw the click.

Search engines that display the description tag typically display around 150 characters of it. Unlike the title tag, which is often limited to displaying 70 characters, you can put a more complete sentence or sales pitch in the description tag.

The meta description tag goes in the <head> section of your web page just like the title. If you already have title tags in the <head> section of your web pages, when your description tags are added it will look like this:



<title> Searching for my keywords? Find keyword here! </title>

<meta name="description" content="Tell me why I should click here and make sure to use your keywords in this description">


The red text is where your actual description will be in the code of your web page.

Once you have descriptions in all of your web pages of those you want to be fully optimized, its time to go learn about the meta keywords tag. While the keyword tag and meta tags in general are much less important than they used to be, including them in your web pages can still help get you top rankings in some search engines. If have a large website (say 200 pages or more) and ever decide to participate in a Trusted Feed inclusion program offered by Inktomi, AltaVista, AskJeeves/Teoma, or FAST, you'll need to have or generate titles, descriptions, and keyword tags in order to generate traffic from the program.

The next step is to learn about the meta keywords tag.

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