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How Important is the Meta Information for a Page?

Discussion in 'SEO & PPC Marketing' started by Kevin Muldoon, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. I know that many of you use WordPress SEO by Yoast (or something similar).

    I use it on my WordPress websites, however I do not complete the fields underneath. That is, the fields underneath that ask you for your focus keyword, SEO title and meta description. I essentially just activate WordPress SEO and use it for the page title code, breadcrumbs (occasionally), Google+ snippets and sitemaps.

    How important is this information? I have used it before on websites, though I never really saw any benefit to doing so. It just felt like a waste of time to me.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this :)

  2. Title of course is still most important. But the meta description is quite crucial to playing into how your page will rank organically. You should include your keywords, however not being spammy. It should still read like a sentence and feel natural to the reader. If you don't fill out this field Google is going to grab whatever it sees first. So if you write a good introduction in your body, Google is going to grab that and you will be 100% fine. The problem comes when people use H2 headers at the beginning of their articles following by their body intro copying the same words... then Google grabs it and you end up with double words. (assuming they didn't put anything in meta description).

    I just grabbed one of your blog posts out of index... Google is just taking whatever it can find first. You write pretty good introductions :) in your blog posts but I think you could rank higher if you spent an extra minute or two... Example in this one below, I would probably would have included "policies" in the meta description somewhere as you are probably wanting to rank for "Facebook Policies" I am assuming.

    Those are my thoughts!
    Heather likes this.
  3. I usually do an introduction of two or three paragraphs before displaying a header, so that should not be a problem with me; however you raise a good point about me not including the focus keywords in the meta description.

    I'd love to see some research into how much difference the meta description can make. The problem with a lot of this kind of thing is that you never know what works. Does it make a 20% difference or a 1% difference. No one seems to know. I realise that this is perhaps the wrong way to look at it, but I'm curious as to what the most important factors are.

    Plus, I really don't like the idea of going back over six hundred posts and adding descriptions! :)
  4. You can do it faster using WordPressSEO panel site.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wpseo_bulk-description-editor :) maybe not faster, but at least interface is better.
    Meta info is quite nice place to grab the attention of potential visitor.
  5. Thanks for the suggestion Kris. I will need to look into that. It could help increase my search engine rankings.
  6. Ya nobody really knows how much it affects it. :( I'm a huge fan of Neil Patel and I grabbed his most recent post as an example... He always has his keyword(s) he wants to rank for in both the title and meta description. Not saying he is right 100% of the time. But he knows his stuff and I have always had success following his tips. :)

    He used "SEO" + "techniques" in both the title and meta description.

    Agree with Kris, the bulk editor in Yoast now works great if you need to go down a bunch of posts.
  7. It sounds like I need to do this. I'm just thinking about what sort of priority I should put on it. I reckon it could take a full day - or even two - to get through the six hundred odd posts on my blog.
  8. Don't force yourself :) Choose the less popular posts first, make 20-30 per day in spare time between writing new articles. But it's just my idea, doesn't have to work for you.
  9. It's a great idea Kris. Definitely. I was silly to think I had to do them all at once :)
    Brian Jackson likes this.
  10. Ya I would just knock out a couple a day like Kris said. After a while you'll probably notice a nice little increase in traffic :)
    Heather and Kevin Muldoon like this.
  11. I'm going to try and work through the meta descriptions over the next week or so. WordPress SEO does make this process a lot easier.

    I actually read something interesting about this today.

    On Moz, they note that:

    "Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs. These short paragraphs are a webmaster’s opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they're looking for."
    I highlighted the part I thought was relevant :)

    I was under the assumption that meta descriptions could affect rankings. Obviously, increasing clicks is important, however I always wrongly assumed that it influenced search engine rankings in some way.
  12. #12 Brian Jackson, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
    I don't know if I believe that lol... I still stand by what I said above.

    While I don't think they are as important as they used to be, it still is going to affect your rankings. Knowing how it fully affects it is totally unknown by anyone.

    What they don't mention in that quote is that Google ranks things based on relevancy... so the more click through's you get because of a better meta description, the higher you will rank because Google sees that as relevant to the user.

    If words in the user’s search query match words in your title or description (your keywords in title + description), these words will be highlighted, bringing even more attention to your listing. (this kind of goes with what I said above...)

    See how it comes full circle :). In many ways, the meta description, even if just for higher CTR, actually does affect your ranking/position on pages. Hopefully that makes sense.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  13. Thanks for clarifying. It makes sense that higher clicks would influence rankings in some way.

    I'm curious as to why MOZ wrote that. Perhaps it was true at one point.

    I had planned to modify my descriptions last night but just couldn't find the time. I'll need to try and do it within the next week or so.
  14. Title tag is the tag that is used in the title of your website. When user pulls the site up(browse), title will show up on the browser tab. Title is one of the most important elements of website optimization. Whenever a crawler visits your site, the first element it looks at are the web page titles. So you have to optimize your website with great page titles.
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