Meta descriptions for your website

What are meta descriptions?

Think about the last time you searched for something on Google. Do you recall how do you decided which result to click on? The page title and the meta description probably played a huge role in deciding which website listed you chose to click.

Definition: “A meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a webpage or post. They are brief snippets of text (155-160 char) that appear below the blue links in search engine results. This description summarizes the content of a webpage linked above it. It’s not an official ranking factor in Google search results, however it can be edited to help users understand what the webpage is about and encourage them to click through to your site’s page, product or post.”

Why should you write meta descriptions on your website?

There are three great reasons why you need a meta description.

  1. A meta description increases click through rates and visits from organic searches done using search engines like Google and Yahoo.
  2. A well written meta description gives the right people the right information at the right time.
  3. A meta description helps increases your visits from shared posts on social media like Facebook.

Where are meta descriptions displayed?

Search engines such as Google and Yahoo display your meta description when you publish a website page or post. Social networks like Facebook also use your page/post’s meta descriptions to present the most important data about your webpage, when it’s shared. People on social media can see your meta description and decide if they want to go to your website.

What should be included in a meta description?

  • Inviting words and call to action content
  • Include one or two keywords for that page/post
  • Number of characters:  155–160
  • Avoid non-alphanumeric characters

NOTE: Your meta descriptions don’t directly influence your website’s rank on search engines like Google, however they can benefit you when people use search to specify or exclude terms in their search results.