For more information on SEO best practices, check out Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
Meta descriptions are one of the most important steps along the path that leads new customers to your website. A meta description is defined as the HTML attributes that provide a concise explanation of the contents of your web pages, most commonly used on search engine result pages to show readers a preview of the page. If you want to see one for yourself, all you have to do is go to Google and do a search. The description under each title is the meta description. Even though meta descriptions are not directly important to your search engine rankings, they can have a direct impact on gaining click-throughs from potential customers. They are your first and best opportunity to advertise the important content of your website while letting search engine users know that your page is the one they’re looking for. Think of it as a mini Call to Action.
Small Description, Big Impact
Your meta description should ideally fall between 150-160 characters, which is roughly the length of the first two sentences of this paragraph combined. That is not a lot of space to get it right. Not only should your meta description provide an accurate explanation of what services or information your website provides, but should also employ keywords that are relevant to the search. The key here is to make sure that your description is relevant to the page while remaining unique. Don’t just copy/paste what your competitors are doing, try to put your own spin on it. Your best approach is to treat your meta description almost like you would a miniature advertisement. You want to make a statement, and you want it to be enticing. Think about why your customers want to go to your page, and answer that question. Why should you come to my page? We have free estimates, we work with your insurance company, our business is open 24 hours a day, we’re at your door in 30 minutes or less! Be honest, of course, but also know that these are the types of things that get people to click through and visit your website. Just make sure that you are giving an accurate description of your services. Misleading potential customers is the best way to lose them.
Google is Paying Attention
Google measures everything. If your description is not unique, it will definitely have a negative impact on your SEO factor. It’s important to have a unique meta description for every single page, don’t just copy and paste the same description over and over. This is your chance to make an impact, don’t waste it. The time and effort you put into writing an effective meta description will pay you back in customer click-throughs and excellent page rankings. While we encourage you to use keywords, beware of spamming them. Not only will this not help your page rank at all, it will actually hurt not only your ranking but your click-through rate, as no customer is going to be drawn in by seeing the words “water damage, water damage, water damage,” over and over again.
We Know SEO
Here at 33 Mile Radius, we know how to optimize your online presence. If you don’t have the time or patience to handle your own website’s SEO, or if this stuff is just too far outside your comfort zone, you can always call in the professionals. 33 Mile Radius offers a variety of optimization services that can improve the quality and content of your website, increase traffic, and generate solid leads for your business. If you visit our website, we also have an informative FAQ section, as well as blog posts and marketing tips that really work! Or you can fill out our free website analysis form, and we’ll do a free website analysis and have a phone call with you to see if there’s anything we can do to educate or help you.
Today we’re going to talk about meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are something that you can see in the search engine. It is also something that is behind the page in the HTML code. I’m going to quickly do a search for water damage to show you exactly where the meta description is. So we learned in our other video that this up here is called the title tag. Down below – this is the meta description. So you’ll notice that I searched for the keyword water damage. Google makes the words bold – water damage – or variations there of – plurals, etc. Those will also be bold. It helps increase the click through rate. Googles measures everything. The meta description should be unique for every single page. Google will tell you in Google webmaster tools if your meta description is not unique it’s kind of a negative SEO factor. It’s basically a page description. Again, you want to lead with the keywords that you’re trying to rank for. You don’t want to “keywords stuff” – which just means putting “water damage, water damage, water damage, water damage”.. This allows me to get variations – “water damage, water damage restoration, etc.” So, if we were to view the source of this specific page, all you need to do is right click and click “view source” – and then we can see here the meta descriptions. So here’s what the meta description looks like to Google. Google will come and read this and again here is the meta description. Now the length of a meta description – again, Moz is a great resource for understanding best practices for SEO. Another great resource is Google. Moz.com says “What is a Meta Description” – they say 150-160 characters is – and the reason they say that is because anything more than will actually get truncated off. You can see here at waterdamage.com they have “….” That means they have more to say but Google cut it off. Again, you want to go for unique meta descriptions for each page. You want it to contain the keywords that page is about – basically – giving a very brief 150-160 character description of what that page is about. Write it like you would an ad almost in the sense that you want to make it enticing. Hey, why should you come to this page? We have free estimates, we work with your insurance company, we are here 24 hours a day, we’re at your door within 30 minutes. Those types of things typically get people to go “Wow, I’m going to click on this ad” and I’m going to get more visitors so you guys can get more customers and everybody makes more money.