Description Meta Tag Reminder
September 21, 2017
The University is almost done converting their websites into the new content management system (CMS). In the past year and a half, 360+ web authors have been trained and have created over 6000 pages of content within the CMS. Hooray!
Since most of the sites have been converted over to the CMS, Web Communications will be looking to help improve the quality of the content on the site. This includes making changes and suggestions for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Accessibility.
Today we launched the first of a few strategies to increase the SEO and accessibility of our web pages. All pages should have a description meta tag that helps search engines, like Google, understand the content that is on the page. The search engine will read the content in the meta description and see if it matches the content that is in the headings and paragraphs on the page. The words and phrases that match will be the words and phrases that the search engine will use to try to understand the content of the page.
To help remind web authors to add a meaningful meta description a red banner will show up on the top of pages that are missing the description. This will only show up in OU Campus and will not be displayed on the page when it is published out.
At the time of this post, only 40% of the pages in the CMS have a description meta tag associated with them.
Description Meta Tag Tips
- Descriptions should be between 60-150 characters.
- The technical term for this is a meta description, and the information is in the part of the page code that is only read by search engines.
- Search engines such as Google use the meta description to return results that match a user’s search.
- These short paragraphs are your opportunity to advertise the page content to searchers and let them know whether the page contains the information they're looking for.
- It is also a chance to convince users to click through to the page.
- If a page does not have a meta description, the search engine reads the first text on the site.
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