A meta description is an HTML tag used to give a brief summary of the information on a webpage. This description appears below the URL and title of your web page when it is listed on search engine results. In order to stay visible on search results, your meta description should always be between 140 and 160 characters.
Example of A Meta Description
A meta description for this article could be:
“When coming up with a meta description, you should make sure it is between 140 and 160 characters so that Google can show the entire description. Always remember to include your keyword in your meta description!”
Here’s an example of how the above meta description will appear on the search results page code:
<head> <meta name=”description” content=“When coming up with a meta description, you should make sure it is between 140 and 160 characters so that Google can show the entire description. Always remember to include your keyword in your meta description!”></head>.
To get more information on meta description get in contact with Leapfrog Internet Marketing.
Why are Meta Descriptions Crucial?
Because meta descriptions show up next to your web page URL and title on search results, they have the potential to boost or lower your website’s click-through rates.
When it comes to your search result, your meta description takes up the most space (at least 2 lines of text, compared to 1 line for the URL and 1 line for the title). With that said, it’s important that you take as much advantage of the opportunity to promote your website with a useful message to internet users.
How To Write Meta Descriptions
Because the click-through rate on search results is viewed as a potential ranking criterion, the most effective way to make your meta descriptions search engine friendly is to write them with the goal of receiving as many clicks as possible.
Ideally, you should view search results like conventional ads in a magazine or newspaper. Traditional print advertising used headlines and taglines to prompt readers to call a phone number or go to a specific location to buy a product or service.
With online search results, your URL is the phone number or location address, your meta description is your tagline, and your page title is your headline. Since a meta description is basically an initial sales pitch for your website, you should write it using active and enticing language that will prompt people to click on your result.
Tip #1: Include Your Unique Selling Point
Ideally, you want to come up with a meta description that conveys your webpage’s unique selling point (USP).
There’s nothing wrong with including an emotional appeal in the description. Reaching out to the emotions of consumers has been found to have a lot of success in the world of advertising.
Here’s a good example:
From this brief description, we learn that the company can install and repair air conditioning units (an important service in Florida). On top of this, we learn that they “offer trusted and reliable advice when people need it the most” – imagine your AC unit is not working, and you have no idea what to do. Who do you call?
Research done by the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology in 2014 showed that human emotions and feelings can be categorized into 4 main segments:
This company relied on human emotions to reach out to potential customers. This is very smart and effective!
Tip #2: Appeal to an Emotion in One or Two Sentences
Google offers a maximum of 160 characters (roughly 1 or 2 sentences) for every meta description. With that said, you need to provide internet users with a compelling reason to click on your result in just one or two brief sentences. You can include a specific benefit to visitors, an emotional pain point for consumers, or a straight-forward call to action.
Don’t make your meta descriptions too long because they will not fit and Google will automatically truncate them.