Aviation marketers should have a basic understanding of description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary about their web pages.
Google published their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for webmasters that are new to the topic and wish to improve their SEO knowledge. Here is their view on writing effective page description meta tags along with my insight for aviation marketers.
Meta data is an HTML tag that stores information about your web page but is not visible in the browser. Search engines refer to this information as meta tags.
Examples of meta tags include:
- Page description (snippets)
- Instructions that control the behavior of search engine crawlers and robots
Page descriptions (snippets) consist of a few sentences or a short paragraph describing the page content. Written correctly, the description will contain content that the search engine matches with the user query. The search engine will either match the snippet or other relevant text on the page if it’s a better match with the query. Words that match the query are bolded, giving the user insight as to whether the content on the page matches what they are looking for.
For example, a user types in “aircraft painting” into the search query field. The search engine returns a match for an MRO facility with the following snippet:
Specialist in aircraft painting, corrosion control, and complex paint schemes
Good page descriptions cut down on “click and backtrack” behavior that affects the user’s experience and also inflates web traffic metrics. Avoid key word stuffing, as this is less likely to be displayed than a non-meta description snippet.
Meta data strategies
- Write the page descriptions that inform and interest viewers
- Avoid descriptions that have no relation to the page content
- Avoid generic descriptions
- Avoid copying and pasting the entire page content into the description meta tag
The benefit to accurate meta description is that it can improve click-through rates but won’t affect ranking in search results.
Controlling the behavior of search engine crawlers and robots
Meta tags can control the behavior of search engine crawlers and indexing. “Robot” meta tags apply to all search engines, with the “Googlebot” meta tag being specific to Google.
Robot meta tags instruct the robots how to treat the web page.
- noindex tag instructs the search engine to drop the page from their search results
- nofollow tag instructs the search engine not to follow a specific link on the web page
- nosnippet instructs the search engine not to display the page content description
Click on the following link to download the “Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide”