Q & A: Multiple Meta Description Tags

QuestionDear Kalena…

I just noticed that my company’s homepage has five meta description tags within the head tag. Will this have any negative ramifications?

Thank you, Heather

Dear Heather,

I am curious as to how your site got that many meta description tags. In fact, you also seem to have multiple keyword meta tags. You may get penalized by Google for duplicate content, but regardless, it’s bad design practice to have improperly formatted meta tags, I would remove the extra tags ASAP. I wrote a post about meta tags once on my own blog, but here are a few tips.

(1) Keep the description tag down to about 120 characters. (2) Include a compelling call-to-action since this tag usually shows up on the SERPS (search engine results page). (3) Be sure your important keywords are used at the beginning of the description. (4) Don’t keyword-stuff, and use the same keywords more than a couple of times, even as different variations.

Hope this helps!

best, Nick

Like this post? Prove it! Please press the big feed button at the top left. Thanks.

Q and A: Review my site, Perth Florist

QuestionDear Kalena…

I was just wondering if you would have time to look at my site and give me any ideas of how I could improve it from a customer landing on the site for the first time. I seem to be getting good traffic but conversions are just average at best. Any ideas would be appreciated.


Dear John,

There could be lots of factors that result in lower than desired conversion rates. It’s possible that your expectations are too high. If you are only servicing one local community, you have to assume that a lot of your traffic may be coming to your site only to find out that you do not service their area. However, I never like to tell my clients that their expectations are too high, although that is sometimes the case.

The design and professional appearance of your site is terrific. It’s easy to navigate, has all of the important information, and even does a good job at up-selling the customer. One thing I noticed rather quickly is that you do not mention any of the benefits of your flower shop over any others in the Perth area. When someone lands on your site (according to statistics) most people look at the top left of the screen. I would try adding a big button above your left navigation that says something like “Same Day Delivery” or “Guaranteed Freshest Flowers in Perth”, or whatever. Just make sure it’s a benefit that keeps them on the page. Since most of your internet business is deliveries, you might want to feature more information about that on your homepage. In fact, wouldn’t it be really cool to have a little call-out on your site that displays every day up to 11am (your same-day delivery cut-off) that says “It’s not to late to have your flowers delivered today!”? I am sure you can do that with a little PHP code.

One feature of another florist I have used, which I think is nice, is a flexible pricing option. I noticed that some of your flowers have different sizes and different prices. Why not feature this on the category page instead of just the product page? When a user browses all of your flowers you should have a buttons that shows them that they can buy this plant for $12, $24 or $48…. you get the idea. It’s just really nice to know that if they like a specific arrangement, they don’t have to spend $75. Check out this site to see what I am talking about.

You may want to also add a search box on your site. Not only does this help your customer find what they are looking for, but it also gives you invaluable intelligence about what your customers want! Google Analytics has a great feature that allows you to read a log of whatever people are typing in your search box. It provides great information for e-retailers.

Lastly, your site analytics could help you to find out where all of your traffic is going. For example, if you find that 90% of your traffic is entering your site through your index page and that you have a high bounce rate (users who click right off the site), or a very low “time on site”, you’ll know that your homepage may need to be optimized for sales. You may also want to determine what the most frequent exit page is. If you find that most people leave your site on the delivery information page, than perhaps you need to look at your delivery policies, or even your fees.

Again, your site looks very nice! Good luck, and thanks for the question!


Q & A: Blogging on a business site.

QuestionDear Kalena…

I have just discovered your site and have read your article on Blogging. I am a realtor in Whistler, BC Canada and my question is: Do you think blogging is a good thing for a realtor, and if so what do you think the topics should be? Please note, I have just discovered your site, and a friend built my site, but he can’t do it any more so I have turned to SEO101 to find out what on earth I need to do. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


Dear Marion,

Maintaining a blog for almost any site is usually a good thing. However, it takes consistency, time, and of course, commitment. There are several benefits to having a blog on your site.

Blogs provide rich content that the search engines just love. They are usually updated on a regular basis which also helps to keep the search engine spiders coming back for more. For your purpose, you need to focus your blog to attract whomever you are looking to get to your site.

Assuming your goal is to bring in folks looking to buy real estate in Whistler, BC, I would write about Whistler! You could blog about great restaurants, interesting places to visit, or happenings in the town. Whatever news and information you think your visitors would find helpful.

Try not to talk about your own business, but rather offer information that is useful and unbiased, so your visitors will keep coming back, and also see you as a trusted source of information.

Lastly, research and build a list of important keywords that you need to optimize your site for. Use those keywords to link to your main site where appropriate. That will all help to pass the relevance of your blog onto your business site.

Oh, one last tip. If you’re going to start a blog it is worth the time and effort to install and host the blog on your domain instead of using a hosted version from a third party. WordPress is easy to install and administer.

Good luck! Nick

Q & A: Duplicate content with dynamic sites.

QuestionDear Kalena…

I’m working on a CFM database driven site and Google thinks we have hundreds of duplicate title tags and descriptions because pages on the site can be accessed using the normal page # and/or the page # plus navigation query strings.

Example: (these 3 urls all go to the same page and Google is logging them as 3 different pages in my Google Webmaster View)

1) body.cfm?id=19‎

2) body.cfm?id=19&oTopID=19‎‎

3) body.cfm?id=19&oTopId=62‎‎

To avoid a duplicate content penalty I cleaned up my sitemap.xml to only include the page # with no query strings. (Example = body.cfm?id=19‎) In my robots.txt file I’ve also added the disallow code to block any file with ‘TopId’ in the url. I’m hoping this will help…have you experienced this type of problem before?

Thanks! Mitch

Dear Mitch,

Your question was the source of some debate over here, so thanks for bringing it up! There is a question as to whether Google will actually index pages with session ID’s, and the general thinking is no, so you may be in the clear.

You seem to be handling the problem of duplicate content with database driven sites well, however. It’s best to pick one of the URL’s to include in your site map. You can also be sure NOT to link to any of these pages with duplicate content, from within your site. If you do need to link to these pages, be sure to use “no follow” tags on your link.

Best of luck, Nick Loeser


Q and A: How do I report a competitor’s spamming to Google?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I have just started up an SEO company in Bangkok called Search Sense Thailand and have my first real break. Yesterday I got a new job to work on a real estate agent’s website, with a brief to get them onto the first page of Google for Bangkok Property.

But there’s one site, position #2, that has duplicated six websites, all linking to one another and using keyword spam on all their domain names. And I cannot compete with it! Why does Google weigh the domain name so heavily? Why does it allow duplicate content, from the same owner to dominate their search? This is just plain wrong. I would like some help on this, please. How can I get Google to take any notice?


Dear Pun,

Out of curiosity I checked Google and did a search for “Bangkok Property” and did not notice the issue you are stating above. This is not surprising, as Google often shows different results for different users.

However, to answer your question. If you would like to report spammy activity to Google you can use the link below. If I were you I would concentrate on all of the good whitehat tactics that you no-doubt employee, and try to beat him that way. By collecting good quality, relevant links, and filling the site with useful relevant content you can eventually beat him.


Best of luck, Nick Loeser