Meta description outside of head
This means that the URL in question has a meta description that is not in the <head>.
Why is this important?
The meta description is considered important to help users quickly understand what content they can expect to find on the page, when clicking through from the search engine results page. Well written meta descriptions typically achieve a better click-through-rate.
Meta tags are supposed to be in the <head>, so when search engines crawl and parse the HTML on the page, they are expecting to find meta tags, such as the meta description. They are not expecting to find the meta description in the <body>, so it will not be recorded against the URL.
As a result, in most situations it will seem as though the page does not have a meta description at all, which in itself is a missed optimization opportunity. Furthermore, this means that search engines will write the meta description for you, sometimes with pretty disastrous results (example below shows a page on our site with no meta description set...).
What does the Hint check?
This Hint will trigger for any internal URL that has a meta description that is outside the <head>.
Examples that trigger this Hint
This Hint will trigger for any URL that has a meta description in the <body>:
How do you resolve this issue?
This issue will most likely be caused by one of two things:
- A rogue plugin that inserts the meta description in the wrong place
- An issue with the underlying HTML page template that is rendering the DOM incorrectly
In either case, this will typically require a developer to resolve this issue, so it should be sufficient to point out that the issue is occurring and flag it for them to find the root cause and fix it.
Meta descriptions have no impact on SEO, however they do have an impact on CTR from search results, so it is certainly worth addressing this issue.