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Meta Matters

February 8, 2016
meta-description-seo

Creating the right meta description for your business

Being successfully found online is no easy feat. It not only means having a great-looking website, but also requires a great deal of work behind the scenes. Just one of these many tasks is the creation of an effective meta description.

What is a meta description?

A website’s meta description is an HTML attribute that appears as a snippet of information beneath the link on a search engine results page (SERP). These will ideally provide an informative and interesting summary of the contents of that specific web page.

Why is a meta description important?

The ultimate goal of a meta description is to convince the viewer that your website is worth clicking through to. Your link will be one of many options on the SERP; the meta description may be one of the final factors in attracting a searcher to visit your business’s website.

How do we create great meta descriptions?

  • Get the right length

Meta descriptions that are too long will become disjointed and truncated with ellipses (…), making it difficult for searchers to get a sense of what the web page is offering them. The optimal length is approximately 150-155 characters.

  • Avoid Quotes

Be sure to remove all non-alphanumeric characters from meta descriptions. Symbols like plus signs, ampersands, and double-quotation marks may be recognised as HTML code, causing Google to cut the description off prematurely.

  • Make them unique

It is not enough to have a single meta description that envelops your entire website. Each unique web page, from Home to About to Contact Us, should have its own meta description that tells searchers what they’ll find. Consider each description to be its own selling point.

  • Provide a solution

Your meta description should tell searchers exactly what they can expect if they click through to your web page. Provide an honest, informative and convincing summary. Starting a meta description with action words — verbs like ‘learn’, ‘grow’, and ‘discover’ — can be another effective and persuasive technique.

  • Use keywords

Studies have shown that the top three results on the first SERP receive 61% of clicks. Most searchers will then only scan the other options. For websites that appear in lower positions, using keywords in a succinct, detailed meta description may be their best chance of being noticed at a glance. This doesn’t mean stuffing as many keywords into 155 characters as possible; it means incorporating them seamlessly and intelligently.

  • Consider your audience

Go and search Google; use any words you like. Look at the meta descriptions, and you’ll notice that Google (and other search engines) will bold any keywords in the description that match, or are similar to, the search queries. Think about the reason people might be searching for businesses like yours, and ensure your meta description incorporates the words they’re most likely to use in their search.

Meta descriptions: locked and loaded

If meta descriptions are not written for your website, Google and other search engines will simply display a snippet of text taken from the first paragraph of that page. As a result, you may not be informing searchers of what you have to offer, and thus might never see those potential customers.

Your meta description is a chance to win over those fleeting SERP viewers. But you needn’t worry about coming up with those 155-character sales pitches when you use Connected Tradies for your online marketing. As part of our mission to get you found online, the team at Connected Tradies is well-versed in writing effective meta descriptions. It’s just one of the many tasks we can do for you.