If you start asking people if they fill there metatags, most of them now don't fill them.
Because they have read somewhere that the Metatags aren't used anymore for ranking in the Search Engines..
How wrong they are, and what a great opportunity for you!
The Keywords are the main problem that webmasters think they are no longer relevant.
This Metatag was previously heavily used by spammers, who filled the tags with everything possible or by repeating there main keyword over and over again.. this is now called keywords stuffing and can get you banned from Search Engines like Google and Yahoo.
But this Metatag is still in use by some search engines, but should only be filled with up to ten keywords that are also included in the body text of your page.
And we have a winner…
The Description Metatag is used by most search engines to be displayed right onder your page title on the Search Engine Results Pages.
Google sometimes takes the Metatag, and sometimes a part of the text if it thinks this is more relevant to the search.
This Metatag contains a small description of the page. This description is placed there by you in a separate item from your content management system.
It should be different on every page.
Writing the Description Tag
If your write the Metatag, please keep your visitor in mind.
Place yourself in their search, and see if you can come up with a smart “advertising” text for your page.
Include your keyword in the Description
Using the keyword you want to reach in the description field works for you position, but use it no more then one or two times.
It seems that there are some studies on search behavior that show that sometimes people are clicking more on a link that has a good description of the page rather then the higher positioned one.
You should write a text that pulls people into the click, and will deliver the content they search.
Try it yourself, search on your own keyword target and see what you normally would click on….
This post and its description tag
You can see the title of this post, but the Metatag is nog really visible on this page.
If you look at the source code, you are able to read it, just like search engines will display it.
See it for yourself :-)
In Joomla there is a special item on each page where you can fill the descriptions and keywords.
Install the SEF Patch from http://www.joomlatwork.com/ to get the tags right and use the same Metatags for Menu items.
You can even fill your descriptions in with the OpenSef SEO assistent Metatag Generator.
But you should write your own if you are serious about SEO for your website.
For WordPress, you need to install a Plugin.
The one you could use, that is the same on this site, works really easy.
You can download it from Another WordPress Meta Plugin