Don’t Dress Up Your Meta Descriptions

What is a Meta Description?

Meta elements of a webpage provide information to search engines which can be used to help categorize and rank the page correctly. The two most important elements when talking about SEO, are the title tag, and description tag. While the title tag can have a direct impact on how your pages are indexed, a meta description provides a search engine preview of what is on a website page, and can be the deciding factor that brings a potential customer to your site.

Want to see an example of a meta description? Just Google something. The copy visible under the links is a meta description. Want another example? Paste a link into a Facebook status for an example. (Because a meta description is a tag added to the coding on your website, if you don’t write a description, the body of the text will be used instead. By writing meta descriptions you control your message.)

What Makes A Good Meta Description?

Your meta description can contain all kinds of relevant information, but what should be there? The answer depends on what is on your page. Some sites try the call-to-action approach, while others always include a phone number. What you absolutely don’t want to do is fill the meta description field with keywords. The meta description probably does not affect where you rank in search engine results pages, but it can affect your click-thru-rates.

Be honest about what someone can expect from your page. No one is going appreciate being deceived and wasting time on your site if your description doesn’t reflect what is on the page. For example, say you have an online store. You’ve built a page for a hard-to-find product (let’s call it a Flepple) that’s not yet in stock, but that people are already asking for. A good description might look like:

“Pre-order your Flepple here before you can buy it in stores. Guaranteed delivery!”

As long as all those statements are true, it is a good description. It includes a relevant call to action, and lets you know what you’re getting when you click the link.

Meta description checklist

DO:

 

  • Write an accurate description
  • Include a call to action if it makes sense
  • Include a phone number if it makes sense
  • Customize it for every page on your site

 

 

DO NOT:

 

  • Fill it with keywords
  • Sensationalize your content
  • Include a website link

 

 

Need a little help optimizing your website for search? Vreeland is here to help. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your website.

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