Sixty percent of Web sites lack the programming to be ranked properly by search engines, according to a study released yesterday.
Web sites fail to provide meta-tags that let search engines read and index a company's site. Companies also don't use meta-tags to provide enticing descriptions in search results, said Front Page Public Relations, Phoenix, a marketing communications firm. Meta-tags give search engines information about a site such as the title of the page, a list of related keywords and a brief description of the content.
In the study, more than half the sites surveyed lacked an adequate meta-tag for the description of their site. This tag provides the content to be displayed in the search results. Without programming the description, the search engine is left to automatically formulate the content.
“If these same companies spent as much time revising their meta-tags as they do writing Google ads, they could pull customers to their Web sites for free,” Front Page president Robert Hoskins said.
Companies should spend more creative effort writing Web site descriptions that encourage users to click onto their site, Hoskins said. “Getting in the top 10 search results is only half the battle.”
One hundred Web sites were checked for the study, which focused on telecommunications and computer networking services.