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What makes a good meta description

Feb 23, 2017

What makes a good meta description

The meta description is a tag in the head section of the HTML that gives a summary of the pages content, search engines will use this in their results so this is a brilliant opportunity to entice a click through out of the searcher. At around 160 characters we don't have tons of room to play with so we need to be creative, but getting it right can help get those all important visitors to our pages.

The anatomy of a meta description

First things first we need to think about how much copy we can fit into this bad boy, there is no stead fast rule for the limit of the meta description but aiming it at around 160 characters means all your copy should show in the search results, there is nothing worse than taking the time to write a great meta description only to find that the last sentence doesn't make it into the results.

So we know how long it needs to be, but what does it need to include? As the primary purpose of the meta description is to entice the user to click on your website in the search results we obviously need to try to summarise the page within the 160 characters. Keep it relevant to the page content as you could risk being penalised if your meta description is completely irrelevant “Click here to win a free iPad” as the meta description on a page about lavender plants, you get the idea.

You should also take look back to your keyword research to ensure you include your target keyword in the meta description this will further help to reinforce this for the page when the Googles busy little spiders and crawling your website.

Overall have some fun with your meta descriptions, get into to the head of your users and what they will be looking to hear while they are searching. Remember to keeping reviewing your work through analytics, if your showing up high in the search results but not getting much traffic you may be able to tweak some parts of your meta description to start to bring the people in.


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