Anyone who’s delved into SEO understands that it’s a big, wide world that encompasses everything from on-page content to keywords to link building and beyond. Something that doesn’t often get touched on, however, is meta descriptions.
To start, you might be wondering, “What exactly are meta descriptions?” I’m glad you asked! Meta descriptions provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages, and they play a vital role in your SEO plan. It helps to think of meta descriptions like the blurbs on the back of a book; they give people searching the web some quick insight into what they can expect from your website when it comes up in a Google search.
A meta description for a pagea on your site is the text that will be displayed when one of your pages shows up in a Google search. Here’s an example:
In the image above, we did a Google search for “home care marketing,” and took a screenshot of our own corecubed listing. The text in the red rectangle is the meta description for the home page of our site. If we did, say, a Google search for “home care SEO,” we’d see one of our SEO blogs listed along with its corresponding meta description.
This image illustrates exactly why meta descriptions are so important. That little snippet of text reads like a short ad, and in very few characters lets searchers know what our company does and why they should click our listing. There’s definitely a bit of a science to writing good meta descriptions, and writing relevant and accurate meta descriptions helps increase your site’s click-through rate from search engines, as well as social media sites, as they also often show up in social media posts. Despite their importance, however, lots of businesses either overlook meta descriptions altogether or hire SEO firms that try to stuff them with keywords, a black hat tactic that could get you in trouble with Google.
Experiment time: Do a quick search for your agency’s name or search for “home care” plus your city (i.e. “home care Atlanta”), find the listing for your site and see what shows up in your meta description. How does it read? Is it enticing? Does it make sense or does it sound like a robot wrote it? Does it run on too long and get cut off mid sentence? Does it reflect what your agency does? Does it provide insight into what the page is about? Keep in mind when reviewing your meta descriptions that they need to do four important things:
- Act as a mini ad that tells readers what the page is about.
- Be readable, using clear English and full sentences, and stay between 150 and 160 characters (though there is some evidence that Google may be expanding meta descriptions in the near future).
- Use, but don’t abuse, important keywords.
- Be unique. Don’t use just one or two for all pages of your website. All pages need their own unique meta descriptions.
Who’s Writing Your Meta Descriptions?
Odds are, you may not have thought a lot about meta descriptions in the past, or you may have been leaving them solely up to your SEO firm. Either way, it’s an important part of your SEO plan to keep track of, as your meta descriptions can affect whether or not your link gets clicked in an online search!
Are your meta descriptions a meta disaster? corecubed’s team of SEO experts is here to help! We can clean up your meta data, make sure your site is optimized for important keywords, and much more! Contact us today to learn how we can take your SEO from “meh” to masterful!