I run a database driven site that contains about 700 articles. I have never setup any Metatags for my pages and am wondering how I should do this. Each article is displayed using the same php file so I would need to use something from the database to fill the tags with.
Should I use the articles titles or use a snippet from the article itself? I was thinking of maybe cutting the first 50 chars of each post and using that. Which would you think would be more beneficial?
The short answer is... yes! IMO you should have unique meta descriptions on every page of your site specifically worded to convince people to click on your link on SERPs and describing what that particular page is about.
I'm just curious, do your pages currently rank? If so, I'm curious what description is being displayed beneath your title on the SERPs? My guess is since you probably don't have a DMOZ entry and admittedly don't have a meta description, so the SEs must be pulling random text from your content on the page. I would want to control what shows up in the description on the SERPs for those pages, not have Google randomly picking text from my page to display.
Create a meta description unique to each page with a call to action - "Choose from the best selection of Sony TVs. We have non-HD and HDTV, LCD and Plasma... blah blah blah." Include your 1-4 keyword phrases that your page is supposed to rank for.
[edited by: ZydoSEO at 6:03 pm (utc) on Dec. 17, 2007]
Site is DMOZ listed. My index page and all of my article pages do currently have a meta description but they are all the same. Just a generic "Example.com - your home for stuff".
The site currently has 3000+ pages indexed. I am on the first page (7th spot) for my first keyword and second page (11th) for my second keyword. I have not been working aggressively on any keyword campaigns until recently and I am about to start narrowing down to some more major keywords since the current ones are pretty generic. That being said, the site has grown mainly due to quality natural backlinks, new daily content and clean URLs.
I think I am going to create a new database table to hold the meta data and have my authors summarize the article with each submission.
For past posts I think I should use a snip from the actual post until I get some time to go back and write up a description for each one. This should help clean up my descriptions a bit for now.