Search engines are dumb — they’re scripts. Yes, the scripts are written by very smart people, but the scripts themselves can’t think.
A webpage’s meta data: the Title, Description and Keyword tags, govern what a search engine “thinks” about a webpage, and determine how it will be indexed. Therefore, they’re important.
When I’m teaching Web writing, I get all excited about meta data, because it’s something you can control. Write a webpage, and write the tags. Or write the tags FIRST, and then write the page.
I’m fond of the Description tag; it’s a free Google ad.
This article, How the Meta Description Tag Affects Google Rankings | StepForth Web Marketing Inc., gives an excellent overview of the Description tag:
“The clearer your Meta Description describes the content and purpose of a given page, the better chance you have of keeping a searcher on your page when they get to it. Now based on what I believe above, if the searcher stays on the page instead of going back to Google immediately (or quickly) your site’s page will have a better chance of at least maintaining the ranking it has or improving it.”
Write the meta data first
Web content, just for the sake of content, is useless. Before you write any content therefore, think about WHY you’re creating the content. What goals do you hope to achieve? Write down your goals for the content.
When I create Web content for a client, we discuss what the clients wants. The answer to: “What response do you want?” is vital. I write down whatever the client says, and try to boil it down into a sentence. I write the sentence on a sticky note, so that I can see it while I write.
Once you know what you want to achieve, work out how you’ll achieve it. Content doesn’t exist in isolation. You need an integrated campaign. Once you’ve planned that, and are ready to write your webpages, write the meta data for each page FIRST.
Each Page Description is an outline for that page.
Another tip: keep records, and track your content. Remember the Three Month Rule.
Search engines are dumb. Be smart, and pay attention to the meta data.