Hey there, Easy SEO and More listeners, I have a special treat for you today. Back in episode 42, we talked about title tags. So today, I want to talk about
Now, I know what you’re thinking: What?!
That’s okay, though. A meta description is like a title tag. Look at this image to see examples of meta descriptions taken from a search result.
The meta description is going to tell people what the page is actually about in search results. And people aren’t going to go to the web page if it’s not written correctly.
That’s why I’m doing Five Steps to an Amazing Meta Description today.
“SEO Experts” will tell you that you can do a meta description anywhere from 70 to 220 characters, and by character it’s each time you type on a keyboard; every letter, number, even when you hit the space bar is a character.
However, people are only going to see 150 characters in the search results, so most SEO experts are going to tell you not to type more than 150 characters.
Well, I’m going to tell you why you should do more. And that’s going to be a lot like how I talked about the title tag back in episode 42.
Pages with meta descriptions see almost 6% more clicks than pages without. I realize that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s only 6%. But when you’re looking for new clients, 6% is 6% Isn’t it? Every amount adds up. And even the search engine powerhouse Google® recommends writing meta descriptions for your site.
If you don’t make it accurate, the search engines may change it.
So, if you have a meta description that you painstakingly did, and then Google goes and changes it, I’ll give you tips and tricks on how to change that back as well. But you want to make your meta description accurate, very accurate.
Give people a reason to read the description or they will go on to the next line and click your competitor’s link.
I recently changed my meta description to say:
It’s kind of compelling, isn’t it? It makes you want to know how you can get your website to the top of the search engines in 90 days.
You want that kind of description for your web pages as well. But, that description has a problem too. Can you spot it? I’ll talk about it more in a bit.
Here’s a trick to help you; use a Headline Analyzer. Here is a link to one that we use, but there are many out there.
(Hint, this what I didn’t do with my description)
Use, click here, read more, contact us… something that compels people to do more. A call to action will make a meta description twice as likely to be clicked on.
I hate to say this, but most SEO experts really aren’t experts. I’ve been doing this since 1995 and I’ve seen quite a lot over the years. Yes, there was a time when you could only do 150 characters on your meta description and you never wanted to do more than that. Back then, you could actually get dinged for that.
But things have changed quite a lot. I talked about it in episode 42 where Google actually admitted that you can do title (and description) tags almost as long as you want. But you still don’t wan to write too much, because people will not see anything more than 150 characters.
So do 200-300 characters if you want. I don’t know if I’d go over 300 characters, you don’t want to read a book there. Remember, there is no way for people to see outside of those 150 characters. The search engines will, though.
This is very important, do not have the same meta description for every page on your website: Do not duplicate the meta description even twice. You want a different meta description for each and every page, each and every blog post, each and every everything.
Google may think that you have duplicate pages if you have duplicate meta descriptions, and it won’t even look at one of them. And we don’t want that. But, even if Google doesn’t do that, best case is that your page will get listed for the wrong keywords.
If you’ve got a page about your main service, whatever that service is, make sure to put that service name in your meta description. That’s going to be important.
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