I remember long time ago when in DNN 1, we were talking about adding title and description and keyword to the application, some people were suggesting why not add a single one and repeat it to all pages.
Of course that was a bad idea. You have only one chance to pitch your site to the user when he’s browsing through search results, title and description html tags must be keep them in top shape for every page and every type of content.
Last week I noticed that my own team for the last two years never bothered to complete these for some of the custom skin demo sites or packaged skin demo sites pages. My team made the argument that well “these pages are just to DEMO of a skin and surely we don’t need to waste time in doing this laborious job. You can imagine what I thought of that answer. I thought it was lazy and sloppy, and now have made them go back and add it when time permits.
Proper use of title and description meta tags in every page or your site, will help the search engines understand your content better. However, keywords meta tag is not very useful now days because search engines seem to drill the content and make up their own mind, although it does not hurt having them so long it is done in moderation and actually reflects the words used in the content or you get penalized for mentioning it.
There are various ways to format the title and description tags. The worst one is just to leave your site’s name as the title and your tagline as a description in all the pages.
The Title Tag being the most important element to optimize on a your webpage. Generally it is the webpage short description in five words or less, you can insert the name of your company or website, but make it three words or less so the second half of the Title Tag does not overshadow the first half.
Search engines place significant weight on the words used in the Title Tag when determining ranking. It is used as the title for the search engine results page listing. Therefore it is the first impression a search engine user will have when deciding which page to visit. When someone bookmarks your page, the title will be used as the bookmark heading. So have a title that stands out and is relevant to the site.
My thought is – can the core help a little? Little bit of Artificial Intelligent may help lazy people like me!
Firstly the title tag, is how each page will be displayed in any search engine. Having your site’s name in the title may be helpful if you have a site with lots of traffic and a well known brand, so people can identify your pages easily. I wouldn’t suggest to put your site’s name in the beginning of the title, unless you want to sell your brand first and then your actual products. For example in DNN when we create a page, we have to have a “Page Name” as it is used in menu.
Here is a question – can the page title – be filled automatically by DNN and if someone did not bother to fill the fields? Rather like this:-
Page Title = “Site Name + Page Name” so as an example, in my own site the homepage would be “SalarO Home” which is not very clever but it is better than having it empty and programmatically it is easy enhancement for the core.
Whilst, the title of each page should tell what this page is about in a short sentence, the description tag should give a short abstract of the content. The real challenge is to get site admin/site editors to do it. We are all so lazy or so busy with more important work that this gets left out. Description normally has to be intelligently done as it is an abstract of the content of the page.
As in the case of my team being so dismissive of this so they left them blank - I am sure if I was a search engine I would not want to put these pages in front of someone that has done the search for the product/service even if the content of the page is valid for the search phrase. This is because such a result will only confuse the users since it has inadequate title and description and so they would not click it to find out more?
How can the core automatically write something here that is meaningful if the user did not remember doing anything here.
Can it be something like below if the admin could not be bothered to put something consequential in those fields at DNN Page Details:-
Description = Page Title
I know this is not ideal but it is again better than nothing. As an example>> in the case of SalarO.com core would just repeat page title so it is going to be “SalarO Home” This is more meaningful on pages other than one called home. So if it is on a page like “New Skins” >> the Description becomes “SalarO New Skins” which is basic but it is indeed a valid statement even though it is repeated for both page title and Description.
I know in a few years time we may have a lot more clever things added like actually analyzing the content of the page and suggesting a good page title/description/keywords. But I don’t want to start dreaming.
However, one of these days we have to start doing something like this, since auto generated pages such as a news article in a news module or details in a blog page at the moment does not reflect the page title and description and I think it should.
So soon we have to think about building the mechanism to allow the module maker to populate the page title and description from the title of the article and summary of the article.