What are meta descriptions and how should you write them?

SEO is a long and often complicated process but one of the basic non ranking factors we look to optimise are Meta Descriptions. Google announced in September of 2009 that neither Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords are no longer a part of Googles Ranking algorithm. But, they will still impact click through rate and if you’re looking for more and better quality website traffic, this is something you’ll want to focus on.

What are meta descriptions?

The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. Google and other search engines often display the meta description in search results where they can highly influence user click-through rates.

Take a look at this example:

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How do I code my meta descriptions?

If you use a site builder like Wix or Squarespace you can edit your meta descriptions through the SEO settings or if you use Wordpress you can install plugins to edit your SEO settings.

You can also manually code meta descriptions like this:

<head>

<meta name=“description” content=“This is an example of a meta description. This will often show up in search results.”>

</head>

How should I write my meta descriptions?

Meta descriptions should give an overview of the page in which they are related to. You’ll want to give each of the pages on your site a slightly different meta description. Although they aren’t a ranking factor they can have heavily influence on your click through rate. This is the percentage of people that see your organic listing who also then go on to click it.

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Think of your meta description as some ad text. It’s designed to encourage people to click your site so it should be both informative and intriguing.

It’s best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’ accurately describe the page but not too long that they “overflow”. So we recommend descriptions between 50–300 characters. Keep in mind that the “optimal” length will vary depending on the situation, and your primary goal should be to provide value and drive clicks.

If you don’t set a meta description for a page on your website usually Google will take a snippet of text from that page and display this in it’s place.

Hopefully you’ll now be set and ready to write your meta descriptions! If you need any additional help or advice with your SEO feel free to book a free consultation with us.

Chloe ChristineComment