April 5, 2013 at 11:19 am #33329
Does the fact of not having a description for my website affect its SEO?
I’m asking this question because I’m using the beautiful Epik Theme. As you can see, on it’s demo site, there’s no website description. This is perfectly ok for me since my description being a a bit long (5 words but fairly long), I placed it into the so-called “Welcome Wide” widget with some custom CSS, right.
Conclusion: I can get what I need without filling the “description field” of my website, which looks even better this way. But question is, is that good SEO practice? And if not, what might be the consequences?
Note: I’m using Premise (for the first time) but I haven’t set up any SEO page yet since I need to get my website up and running before warning robots and the entire world about itApril 5, 2013 at 11:37 am #33332
braddaltonParticipantPost count: 9232
Its opinion. Not really. The search engines will scan your site and know by the keywords and links what your site is about but it does show up in some places.
You could use the Genesis SEO settings and add a description there.
Specializing In StudioPress Child Theme Customization.
500+ StudioPress TutorialsApril 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm #33372
ChrissyMorinParticipantPost count: 33
The description is important to you because it’s what shows on Google when people are searching your site. It’s what might make someone click YOUR site rather than someone else’s if your description is well written.. so not exactly SEO but it’s definitely best practice IMHO.
You can set the description for the site and for the pages posts using the built in Genesis or the Yoast SEO plugin ..
Chrissy Morin – Your Web Chick – Denver COApril 5, 2013 at 4:04 pm #33377
Thanks Braddalton and Chrissy Morin!
If I understand well you seem to share more or less the same opinion: description must not necessarily be displayed on my Home page BUT description must appear in the built in Genesis related fields in the SEO Settings part.
Well, this is what I did filling the “Meta for Home Page Description” field. I also copied-pasted it in the “Document’s Title Separator” field, right after the Separator which looks like a very long hyphen.
Is that right?
(If you ok it, this solution is great since it doesn’t mess up my Home Page design, mostly with Epik Theme which provides us with an efficient “Welcome Wide” widget).April 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm #33384
@podgor – I think you’re discussing different things with different participants.
There is something that is generally referred to as a site description, but it’s more specifically referred to as a tagline, which you can change on Settings->General. The impact of the tagline on SEO can be significant, because it can be wrapped in title tags for your homepage. Genesis SEO describes the title tag as “the single most important element in your document source for SEO.” You can control what your title tag is, and that may be different from your tagline that you display on your homepage. If you are only referring to the tagline displayed on your homepage (and assuming that does not become your title tag), that tagline just becomes part of the content on your home page and doesn’t have any particular significance. In other words, the tagline is significant if it is used as your title tag; otherwise, it isn’t so important.
I believe ChrissyMorin is referring to the meta description, and that is something that is different from the tagline or the text that is wrapped in title tags. As Chrissy described, it appears on a search engine result page, and in so far as it can encourage searchers to click through to your site, it is important. Google will essentially take as a strong hint the text that you specify as the meta description, but there’s no guarantee that the text you specify will be used by Google. See http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35624. As Chrissy said, it’s not pure SEO, but trying to control meta descriptions is a good way of improving your click through rate from organic search. You’d manage your home page meta description through Genesis->SEO Settings if your using Genesis to handle your SEO, or through the plugin you use for that functionality.
Hope that helps.
April 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm #33392
@BillMuray - Thank you very much for your detailed, helpful explanation.
The title tag you mention, if I follow you well the tagline, is the name of my website, right. Thanks for reminding its importance.
In my thread, I was referring to the description of the “name” of my site, which I entered in “Genesis > SEO Settings” and didn’t display on any of page of my site (yes I’m using Genesis to handle my SEO and I’m also using Premise (for the first time…) which I still need to set up).
That being said, it’s sometimes not that easy to choose a name (tagline) for one’s website, mainly when multiple sites offer (or seem to offer as far as search engines are concerned) the same service/product.
For example (I take a dummy example), you sell pizzas, right. Your URL is http://www.carlospizza.com. How can you name it? Well, something like “Carlos’ Pizzas”. As for the above mentioned description, it can be too long if you try to be original and different from your competitors, for instance: “Carlos’ Pizzas – Home Delivery – 24h/7day Service”. I assume such a description should be mentioned in your Genesis SEO Settings but not right below your tagline (name…). You’d rather leave the usual WordPress “description” field empty and display it somewhere else on your pages with an attractive design.
Hope I followed you.April 5, 2013 at 9:54 pm #33414
@podgor – It would be easier to offer you assistance if you included a link to your site.
Your review of my comments is not quite on the mark. The tagline is not your site name. It is a short phrase that describes the site or the business that operates the site To use your example, if you have a business with a name of Carlos Pizza, your tagline might be “Best Pizza In McLean, VA” or something similar. The tagline is often a marketing term that is used in other promotional material. If your pizza store has signs blaring that you are the cheapest pizza in McLean, it would make sense that your tagline would repeat – not change – that concept.
The title tag is important; the tagline is only important IF you use it in your title tag. It is not important because it is your tagline; it is important because it is your title tag. Genesis SEO provides this option: Add site description (tagline) to on home page? If you choose that option, you are using your tagline in your title tag and that gives it importance.
You should limit meta descriptions (the description that appears on a SERP) to 156 characters, but taglines and title tags are usually much shorter, typically 70 characters or less. For the title tag, you want information that is particularly relevant to your business and keyword rich; that is, it is short and focused with the words and phrases that are important to your business.
Your example with a title tag that included “home delivery” is only good if that phrase is an important part of the business attracting online customers. Your title tag probably can’t hit every word that’s important, so you’ll have to make choices, often based on how much traffic is associated with each word or how well-recognized your business is based on those words.
April 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm #33557This reply has been marked as private.April 6, 2013 at 9:31 pm #33626April 7, 2013 at 4:02 am #33669
Thanks again for your detailed explanation (sorry about the the private message).
As requested, and since I may not have done things the right way, here’s a link to my site
The tagline (description of the site) I entered in “Genesis > SEO Settings” is “Biographies de Personnes – Entreprises – Collectivités” while my site’s name is “votre biographie” (“your biography”). Description (tagline) is in this case very important since I want people to know that the offered service is not only about writing biographies of individuals but also about writing companies’ biographies and collectivities’ biographies.
Please let me know what you think.April 7, 2013 at 8:36 am #33704
snakeairParticipantPost count: 157
Your description needs to be longer. Read this blog post about how to write one. http://www.seomoz.org/learn-seo/meta-description
From the looks of your source code, it looks like you created a title for the meta description.
Biographies de Personnes – Entreprises – Collectivités
The description should be 1 or 2 very short sentences. An example of a good description I’ll take from the StudioPress homepage. This what they have.
Title: Premium WordPress Themes by StudioPress
Description: Professionally designed premium WordPress themes. StudioPress developed Genesis, which is the industry standard in WordPress design frameworks.
This is how it looks when there homepage get’s indexed. https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Astudiopress.com&oq=site%3Astudiopress.com&gs_l=serp.3…9494.9942.0.106126.96.36.199.0.0.0.62.188.8.131.52…0.0…1c.1.8.serp.qCigdx83i_YApril 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm #33758
@podgor – As snakeair commented, your meta description is too short. See the Home Meta Description in the Homepage Settings metabox on Genesis->SEO Settings. I think you can do better than even the sample StudioPress meta description that snakeair provided. Remember, the meta description should include the keywords for which you want your site to rank AND invite those who see the description to your site. Something similar to this might be better than what you have: “Let me show you how my well written biography or history of you or your business can enhance your online presence and marketing materials.”
For your business, I have to make an assumption, namely that you are not the most well known biographer, at least to the point where people are searching for you by your name. Instead, they are searching and finding you based on your capabilities. Therefore, for your home page title, I would put your name after a brief description of your services. Right now, your name appears first, and you want the most important words to appear closest to the left in a LTR language. Check your Homepage Document Title in Genesis SEO Settings. With this setting, you can have something that is completely separate from your tagline.
April 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm #36229
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