28th March 2013
8 Tips on writing Meta Descriptions for SEO
What are Meta Descriptions? Similar to Title Tags, they are a vital part of the Meta Tags, placed within the HTML of your website. They are used to provide information on each page of your website, which is viewable by the public, and by search engines like Google. Google then uses this information to assess the relevance of each of your web pages, in order to rank them accordingly for separate search terms, and as the text that displays in the search engine results page.
When you carry out a search in Google, you are provided with a number of different results. The image below shows how each of these results are displayed. The area highlighted in yellow, in this example, shows the part called the Meta Description.
So, now we know what they are for, and what they look like, let’s find out more about writing successful Meta Descriptions:
- Whilst you are trying to add keywords and information to improve your ranking, it is imperative that you remember one thing – everyday users are also able to see your Meta Descriptions within search engine results. Therefore, they must read well, make sense and be as engaging as possible. Therefore not only are you helping with optimisation but you are also making sure the click through rate as high as possible. You have one sentence to tell potential clients why they should view your website so use it wisely.
- Ideally, each of your pages will have their own unique Meta Description, related to the keywords being used on each page. Don’t duplicate your descriptions across website pages.
- These descriptions should be between 140 and 160 characters long. You want to put as much useful information in as you can, without exceeding Google’s 160 character limit.
- Always try to add your keyword(s) at the beginning of the Meta Description – although you need to make sure that you don’t keyword stuff, and that it makes sense to people viewing your website.
- Avoid using any unusual characters, unless they are included in the keywords you are using. Try to use basic text, without unnecessary symbols.
- Try to include your company name within the Description, so that people looking for your website or brand are able to recognise you.
- Always try to add in a variant of your main keywords or key phrase. Try to choose a popular term, which people may use when looking for the services or goods listed on the page which you are optimising.
- Make sure that the keywords you are using within the description are related to the page which you are optimising – relevance is extremely important within Search Engine Optimisation.
You need to strike the perfect balance between keyword rich content for search engines and engaging content for website visitors, in order for your SEO to succeed. For more information on writing Meta Descriptions for your website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Search Engine Optimisation professionals at Varn. We look forward to hearing from you.