Why I Care About Meta Descriptions

Why I Care About Meta Descriptions

I have had a few folks ask questions about my previous post on SEO Basics and I promised that I would cover using meta desciptions for SEO in more detail today. First, a friendly disclaimer: I am NOT an expert in this area–I am still learning.

Your meta description, on the most basic level, is simply a short summary of what your web page is about and writing one is as easy as writing a compelling sentence or call to action. It is important in attracting new visitors to your website. If you want to boost your new visitor click-thrus from search engines, you have to have a great description of your web page listed in the search engine results pages. In fact, your meta description is often what the search engines display on the results pages.

search-result-example

The meta description is a vital part of what entices someone conducting a search to click your link in the search engines results pages and visit your website. That is why your meta description must provide the necessary information and encourage them to click your link to visit your website.
 
You would add your meta description to your  blog post here:

sample-seo-setting

 
Keep the following facts in mind when you are writing your meta descriptions:
 
  •  Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters long. Search engines will cut them off at that length.
  • Each page and blog post on your website should have an accurate, focused meta description that is unique to that page or post. Unique descriptions for each page help both people and the search engines tell your pages apart, especially when multiple pages from your site are shown in the search engine result.
  • Meta descriptions for blog posts may also include the author's name, date, or other relevant information.
  • If the keywords or key phrases searched for are in your meta description, they will appear bolded in the search engines results page to enable people to quickly determine if this is relevant to what they are searching for.
Some things to avoid when creating your meta descriptions:
 
  • Do not stuff keywords into your descriptions or use a long list of keywords separated by commas because it will look like spam to visitors and the search engines.
  • Do not write descriptions that are irrelevant to the content on the page.
  • Resist the urge to write long descriptions just to fit in more keywords.
  • Do not simply copy-and-paste a large block of content from your post.
  • Avoid confusing the search engines and people by using the same description on more than one page or post.
Now that was not too techie, was it?
 
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About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.

Comments

  1. Great point! Your meta description shows up on search engines…you should also check it because when you get hacked, this is often the first thing that gets changed. Love the look of your glam blog!
    Brenda recently posted…Facebook Class Graphic Take 2My Profile

  2. Hi Rachel,

    Well, all of us are learners and I love this learning part the most while blogging.

    A nice post that talks about the importance of meta tags in our posts and a well thought out short list to ensure what to follow and what not to follow. I have seen many people who simply pick up a block from their post and make it as meta description, which according to me is not a good practice.

    As rightly mentioned by you, meta tag must be a short crispy summary of our posts, highlighting some of the most important points in a very attractive way. After all, the meta description becomes an invitation note that will let our readers decide whether they should land to the related page or simply move ahead to find another.

    Thanks Rachel for throwing some bright light about the value of meta tag to our posts.
    Ashutosh Kasera recently posted…Google HummingBird Algorithm Update to Collect Nectar from InternetMy Profile

  3. Sounds a great deal like writing twits about the pages in question–well in technique, that is.
    Morgan Eckstein recently posted…Dead body under a lilac bush (31-HP Day 4)My Profile

  4. I used to ignore meta but not now after I learn how it helps in SEO. Great info, thanks for sharing~
    DinoMama recently posted…Foodie Fridays – Peranakan Style Deep Fried Sour PrawnsMy Profile

  5. What a great description. I use meta tags, but I did not know what I was doing. I was either too lazy or spread to thin to figure it all out.
    what I learned from you is to put the date and my name in the meta tag. I have not done that. I have been writing sort of a second title. When I Tweet, for example that is what will show in the first character of that Tweet before the url.
    I don’t know how everyone else’s work.
    thanks,
    Malika
    MalikaBourne recently posted…Why I Stopped Being Cheap By Using a Free Web SpaceMy Profile

  6. Excellent description of meta descriptions and what we should and shouldn’t include in them.
    Thanks so much,
    Shelly
    Shelly recently posted…Attraction Marketing System – Attract Customers a New WayMy Profile

  7. Rachel,

    When I came to this post, my heart went a flutter. I thought it would be a techie post way over my head. I am so not a techie person.

    Now the way you described this was so easy to understand. I thank you for that Phew….. To me, there is nothing worse than going to a blog full of SEO stuff that it doesn’t make any sense at all.

    I like your advice here and it is one to follow so Google will play nice with us.

    Thanks,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…10 Ways To Get Out Of Your Box On Social MediaMy Profile

    • Although I am a technie, but I do know what you mean.  SEO can be confusing and, unfortunately, Google seems to be changing their algorithm to keep us guessing.  I understand that their recent rollout of Penguin 2.1 madke a lot of site owners lose traffic.  Frustrating 🙁