What are meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are a vital part of on page optimisation. The simplest way of describing the meta description is a short amount of text that allows you to describe a certain page to search engines. Although the functionality of a meta description is a whole lot more complex, this is the easiest way to get your head around it.
Are meta descriptions important?
Think of a meta description as a sales pitch for your web page. The information in the meta description should be enough to lure the search audience in to click on your link rather than that of your competitors. It has similar principles as an advert, allowing you to showcase the most appealing content on that particular web page in order to grab the attention of the online audience.
Populating the meta descriptions for your web pages provides the best chance of search engines displaying the snippet of text you require below your listing in the search result. Descriptive and well written meta descriptions are more likely to be displayed, and this has been proven to lead to significantly improved click through rates.
If you choose to leave a meta description blank, then Google will pull through content from your page to display in your snippet. As this is out of your control, you are not able to choose the messages displayed to potential visitors.
Length of a meta description?
Google can display up to a maximum of 160 characters, and this is a good opportunity to tell prospective visitors what your pages are about, so it is in your best interests to be in control of these characters. Meta description tags can have a significant impact on your search engine optimization efforts, so it is really important that you get this right.
Within the 160 characters it is important that you include detailed relevant key words related to your article or page. For example, if your key word is luxury Columbian coffee, ensure that you include this phrase in the meta description so that people browsing search engines will find what they are looking for on your site. Also, if you provide services such as free shipping or nominated day delivery, it is important to try and get that in there too. The 160 characters of your meta description tag act as a sop window for your business, so ensure that everything you have to offer a client is in there. It is going to help set you apart from any competitors that may have also appeared when a potential customer has searches for a particular key word.
Meta descriptions are not the be-all and end-all of your business or a particular service you offer being found through search engines, but accurate and informative meta descriptions help to attract user’s attentions and highlight how your business is relevant to their search query. Modifying the meta description on each page of your website can really help your products are service to be seen by a larger audience.