AUDIENCE: Administrators, Marketing Users, Web Developers
- Define the Meta description and its purpose
- Identify best practices for Meta descriptions
These short paragraphs are in essence advertising your content to searchers, showing them exactly how your page delivers what they’re looking for. If you leave the description blank, you are wasting this opportunity.
Best Practices for Writing a Meta Description
- An effective Meta description is shorter than 150 characters (including spaces).
- Search engines will index up to 255 characters (including spaces) of the Meta description, but anything over 150 characters (including spaces) will be hidden from searchers and unable to influence which search result they choose. They will see only an ellipsis (…).
- Since the primary benefit of the Meta description is to get searchers excited about visiting the web page, content hidden by search engines is wasted.
- The Meta description should accurately describe the page.
- It is extremely important to use your focus keyword in the Meta description. This is the word (or phrase) you want searchers to find your page for. They are far more likely to click on your listing if they see the words in the description.
- It's best to use the focus keywords in exactly the same order as you use in the rest of the page (e.g. 'diabetes symptoms' is different than 'symptoms of diabetes'), but it isn’t mandatory. Using the words in the same order that searchers use is a strong indicator to them that the page is relevant to what they are searching for.
- You have only 150 characters and spaces to communicate what the page is about; it's best to use the focus keyword just once.
- Make sure the Meta description corresponds with the reasons people would visit the page.
- Each page of your website should have a unique description.
- Every page of your website should be unique. It should solve a specific problem, address a specific need, covey unique information, etc. The page's Meta description should reflect this.
- If the page is similar enough to another page for which you wish to use the same description, consider carefully whether you really need this additional page.