Meta descriptions – the word may sound complex, but they are actually quite simple and straightforward. This inbound marketing tactic is highly effective and well worth the effort. In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about meta descriptions and how to implement them on your website.
What are Meta Descriptions?
Imagine yourself searching for something on Google. Underneath each link in your search results, you’ve likely noticed the brief description of what you can expect to find if you click on that site. That is a meta description. This short bit of info helps searchers decide whether or not they are looking for is likely to be found on that site.
In the meta description, you may notice that some words are bold. Google automatically makes keywords the user entered into the search box that are also in the meta description.
Why Do I Need Meta Descriptions?
Meta descriptions are a lot like the cover of the book. Sure, they say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but in reality? Most people do. A great title, an eye catching cover design, and a well written teaser on the back can really entice people to choose that book over the others on the shelf.
When people use a search engine, they want info fast. No wants to have to click link after link trying to find something. Instead, people use the meta descriptions to skim the results and pick the best one. Having a meta description that accurately and succinctly summarizes your site’s content improves your click through rates from organic searches. It can also increase the length of time visitors spend on your page. Both of these factors can in turn improve your page’s search rankings.
Meta descriptions are also used when people share your content on social media. Once again, this will increase the odds that someone will click the link.
How Do I Write Meta Descriptions?
The meta description is your opportunity to “sell” your website to people. The description is very brief (about 155 characters), so it is important to make every word count for maximum impact. Use it to show the searcher what they will find on your site and what sets it apart from the other results they are seeing.
Be sure to include one or two of your primary keywords. However, you should not spam the meta description with tons of keywords or duplicate keywords. This will only make your site look like spam to people and Google, having the opposite effect than intended.
As you can see, meta descriptions are incredibly important. This small change can have a big impact on your website marketing efforts.
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