Here’s an interesting idea which might overcome the problem of improving that most neglected part of most web pages: the description meta tag. Now, we all know that we should write a good description meta tag along with a good title for every web page, but it doesn’t look to me as if most companies get around to doing that. But what if that description meta tag appeared on the page itself, rather than being invisible, behind the scenes code? Then we’d all make sure it was great, wouldn’t we?
On the web version of this blog, for example, I have a dual-purpose field which serves as a “quote box” on the right hand side, and the description meta tag. For those of you who are running more of a product-oriented website, with a content management system which already uses the page’s title as the headline too, I wonder if you could get the system amended by its developers to include the page’s description meta tag as a subheading? It shouldn’t be that difficult. A subheading usually looks great on any product page, as the before-and-after examples below show. So you’d get things arranged such that there was a “sub-heading” field beneath your “headline” field, and just as the headline field is automatically used as the page’s title by default, so the sub-heading field would be used as the page’s description meta tag by default.