The Importance of Meta Descriptions in B2B E Commerce

Last week I posted an article about why page titles are important for B2B ecommerce sites. Today I want to address another important aspect of each page on your site that will positively influence search engine optimization (SEO) and will improve the chances that your site will “get the click” once you reach the top of the rankings: meta page description.

Like many of the meta tags on a page, the meta description is often overlooked or filled with generic copy. This is especially bad for three reasons:

  1. Page description is what drives a visitor to click on your page–or not. Search engines use the meta description to create the brief summary under each page link. (Check out the image above for an example.) These summaries are what entice a searcher to click on your link–or pass your site by.
  2. The meta page description factors into page rank. Empty page descriptions won’t positively affect your search engine rank. In fact, you are likely to be dinged for not looking like a bonafide site.
  3. Google will make one up for you. If you don’t provide a page description, or your description is deemed irrelevant in some way, Google will pull copy from your page and create a description for you. This means that what the user sees on the search engine results page is left largely up to chance. Never a good idea.

It’s definitely time to review your page descriptions if they are:

  • Mismatched. If your page content and page description don’t match, you miss a key opportunity to provide the all-important-to-the-algorithm statistical relevance.
  • Less-than-enticing. The page description is the only real way to actively reach out to the searcher on the search engine results page. Make sure your page description accurately reflects what a visitor can expect to find on the page and utilizes a specific call to action to encourage the visitor to click.
  • Unoriginal. Using the same description from page to page on your site is a big no-no. Doing so makes you look lazy to Google and possibly like you are trying to trick the bots into ranking you higher for those words.
  • Filled with nothing but keywords. Don’t be swayed by the urge to keyword stuff your page descriptions. Since the descriptions are still considered for page ranking, it’s tempting, but any increase in traffic will be short lived and you risk being dinged or banned by Google.

Don’t let your meta page descriptions pass you by–they are a prime opportunity to tell the potential visitors what they can expect to find on your page as well as a way to legitimately boost your search engine optimization, if you approach them correctly.

To learn more about how to maximize the success of your B2B ecommerce site, download the white paper, B2B Ecommerce Success – Seven Questions to Consider When Beginning an Ecommerce Initiative.